Paul Feig’s remake of Ghostbusters has faced backlash. The leading ladies tell Gemma Dunn why the comedy should be given a fair trial.
Paul Feig always knew rebooting Ghostbusters would be a challenge, his decision to cast four comic female leads - Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones was big move.Feig admits he’s frustrated that “every time you star women in a movie it becomes the story.
“I almost don’t blame audiences, because they only react to what they’ve been fed. I think the fact they haven’t seen a lot of movies starring women is Hollywood’s fault, and I just hope we can get past it being an issue.
“Every time I do a movie, I feel like it’s a litmus test. It’s important to me that this movie does well to tell Hollywood, ‘Look, women can star in these movies - let’s break the mould’.”
But out of Feig’s dream team, who you gonna call?
Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates reteaming with Feig for the fourth time, Melissa McCarthy takes on the role of Abby, a scientist with a passion for all things paranormal.
Working with her long-time friend Kristen Wiig was also a draw for the popular actress. Of their characters’ friendship, she says: “It’s a little bumpy in the beginning, but you can tell the history is there. And that’s easy to portray with Kristen, because I’ve known her so long.”
The mother-of-two says the female-led cast “felt right”.
“The first time all four of us were doing a scene, it made sense. It was really, really fun.”
Adding to the enjoyment is Thor hunk Chris Hemsworth, who plays the Ghostbusters’ dim-witted receptionist, Kevin.
Comedy pro McCarthy was impressed - and not just with his looks, stating: “He’s one of the best improvisers I’ve ever worked with. He was saying some of the strangest stuff, completely in character - we had to hold for four minutes while Kristen and I tried to stop crying with laughter. He even started singing once, and I had to stop him.”
Like Abby, Wiig’s character Erin believed in ghosts as a child, she realised her fascination with the paranormal was holding her back and hurting her credibility in her physics job.
“She finds Abby again and meets Holtzmann and Patty. As it turns out, they’re these four misfits that find each other.
“I love that kind of story,” she adds, beaming.
McKinnon’s character, referred to as Holtzmann, has always been an oddball.
“I like playing a woman character that doesn’t revolve around a romance, which is rare in a movie. I’m so glad to have been given that opportunity.
“She’s the tech geek in all of this. She is in charge of perfecting the machinery that allows them to accomplish this mission.”
Much like her co-stars, Feig had New York-born McKinnon in mind, casting her for being a “nutty weirdo in the most wonderful way”.
“There’s something about her that’s so charismatic - she’s a movie star,” he says.
Patty, is an avid reader when it comes to all things historical and paranormal.
Of her character, Jones says: “Patty brings the normalcy - she reads a lot of books, she’s a sponge for facts and keeps her mind open.
It was important to me and to Paul that Patty is the one who says what people are going to say in the audience.”
Refusing to let her mood be dampened by the controversy surrounding the all-female sequel , she adds: “I don’t understand gender controversy because there are two sexes, so why is there controversy?”
She prefers to focus on the fact she got to perform her own stunt: a stage dive.
“Paul wouldn’t let us do a stunt without him doing it first.
“He was like, ‘Oh it’s easy’, and he just turned around and jumped off, and I was like, ‘Ahh well, if he does it in a suit, I have to do it’. It was awesome.”