By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—“Ghostbusters” makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of new characters, the central ones played by women. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director and co-writer Paul Feig brings his unique take to the supernatural comedy, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth, who plays their receptionist. The foursome female protagonists come together to rid New York of a ghost infestation and track down a mysterious and evil demon (played by Neil Casey) from taking over human bodies.
Amy Pascal and Ivan Reitman, who directed “Ghostbusters” and its sequel, produce the sci-fi comedy reboot, which is written by Katie Dippold and Feig, based on the 1984 film “Ghostbusters,” written by Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis.
McCarthy, who has starred in a string of comedy hits including “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat” and most recently “The Boss,” plays Abby, a key member of the ghost-busting crew. Abby is a firm believer in the paranormal and won’t let naysayers get in the way of her doing her job. Producer Reitman notes that the actress, also known as the star of the popular TV sitcom “Mike & Molly,” provides an “everyman” quality to her work.
“She brings great energy, great truth—(and) she has a quality of being very funny and real,” the legendary filmmaker says.
McCarthy, who does many of her own stunts in action-packed “Ghostbusters,” spoke about reprising the beloved franchise and working alongside some of today’s top comedy stars in this update.
Q: How do you feel about re-making this hugely popular, iconic film?
McCarthy: The first two “Ghostbusters” loomed so large. They are so much of our childhoods growing up. We’ve seen them a million times and quote lines and it seems impossible that anyone doesn’t know but it’s been long enough where there are all these people who don’t know it. It wasn’t a part of their lives so to get to be able to do this and reintroduce it (is great). Then obviously, if they see this they’ll go back and see the original two so it’s like a perfect storm.
Everybody who is involved is making this “Ghostbusters” had such tremendous love and respect for the originals. It was like an old coach coming back you just wanted to make them proud and to get the blessing of the original cast and Ivan (Reitman, the original films’ director), it all felt kind of surreal and fantastic.
Q: What do you love about “Ghostbusters?”
McCarthy: The reason why I, and I think everybody, loves “Ghostbusters” is that it’s (about) four unlikely heroes that save the world and it’s with these ghosts and science geeks and they’re not the typical heroes, and I just love that story.
Q: How do you feel about the all-female cast?
McCarthy: This is what (director) Paul Feig does so well. He puts together a group that, as individuals stand on their own with individual voices, different points of view. Kate and Leslie and Kristen and myself, we all have a different perspective on the world and, even if we’re similar, everybody has a different spin on things and to make all that work so harmoniously is amazing.
Q: What do you think Chris Hemsworth brings to the movie?
McCarthy: Everybody had talked about Chris Hemsworth, “Oh, he’s great. You’re going to love him.” He comes in and you are like, “That is just pretty to look at.” Nobody mentioned that he is bizarrely funny, like a geeky guy who’s never dated and has to be funny. He can be that kind of funny. He was improvising crazy stuff for his interview scene and it all made sense. We were all losing our minds during that scene.
Q: Do you think kids, who might not be familiar with the previous “Ghostbusters” films, enjoy this one?
McCarthy: Personally, I’m excited to take my six and nine-year-old girls to it. They do not know I’m in the picture business because I’ve not been able to take them to anything I’m in. They are so excited because they love the original film.
Q: What about the stunts you do in the movie?
McCarthy: Paul (Feig, the director) likes to see how much of the crazy stuff he pitches, I’ll say yes to and sadly I always say, “Yeah. Yeah. I should do that. I should take that three story fall.”
Q: What do you think audiences will enjoy about this film?
McCarthy: It’s one of those great classics where you can take your whole family. The grown-ups don’t feel like they’re going to see a kids’ movie. You can go on a date to watch it. A bunch of 20-year-olds can watch, or a 40-year-old. I feel like it’s like movies used to be where you didn’t have to pick a side. You just made a funny movie that works for everybody.