This year marks the 30th Anniversary
of Ghostbusters. In
honor of this momentous occasion, the hilarious 1984 motion picture
mash-up of comedy, supernatural horror, and science fiction has been
given a one week, limited theatrical re-release. This will be
starting on August 29, 2014 in some 700 theaters nationwide. On
September 16, Columbia / Sony Pictures is releasing a special
anniversary edition of Ghostbusters on
Blu-Ray. Also on
Septembers 16, Ghostbusters
II will be released
for the very first time on Blu-Ray
in honor of its 25th Anniversary.
It's been three decades since the fabulous foursome of
parapsychologist dispatchers of evil spirits first made their debut
on the silver screen. Bill Murray's Dr. Peter Venkman, Dan
Aykroyd's Dr. Raymond Stantz, the late, great Harold Ramis' Dr. Egon
Spengler, and Ernie Hudson's Winston Zeddemore are still making
people laugh via their droll, witty repartee as they take on all
manners of ghosts, goblins, and a giant Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
bent on Armageddon.
Deftly directed in rare form by Ivan Reitman, Ghostbusters
featured a hilarious and clever, tack-sharp script penned by Ramis
Ghostbusters went on
to become a blockbuster summer hit and a beloved pop culture
phenomenon of cinema and the 1980's. The
film spawned a hit theme song by Ray Parker, Jr., whose video
featured a who's who of celebrity cameos. Ghostbusters also
spawned the 1989 sequel film, a video game, and a hit children's
animated television series.
Talk of a Ghostbusters
3 film has been
bandied about for years, with the original cast members all weighing
in with their thoughts and support, but to date, nothing concrete
has been set. The sad
passing of Harold Ramis this past February, followed by Ivan Reitman
backing out of directing, hasn't put a damper on the project
Sigourney Weaver (who portrayed Dr. Venkman's romantic foil,
demonically-possessed Dana Barrett), Rick Moranis (who portrayed
demonically-possessed accountant Louis Tully), and Bill Murray have
all expressed interest in a third film. Aykroyd
dropped a new bombshell in July on NBC's The Today
Show telling Carson
looks like we'll be in pre-production in the spring now, from what
I'm hearing. It should be good. But there is still not much known
about who will be involved."
Ernie Hudson also has expressed his interest in reprising his
character of Winston Zeddemore should Ghostbusters 3 see
the light of day. Hudson's
affable portrayal of Winston, the lovable, unassuming, everyman of
the four ghost busting heroes, continually endears him to audiences
of the film franchise. People
can relate to the down-to-earth Winston and his hilarious
take-it-in-stride attitude of things, of just being all in a day's
work, (while saving New York and the world!)
A gifted character actor, Hudson has appeared in countless film and
TV roles, including his memorable role as Solomon in the hit 1992
horror film The Hand
That Rocks The
Cradle, and starring as Warden Leo Glynn in HBO's 1997-2003
stark prison drama TV series, Oz.
Hudson also starred in perhaps his most beloved and memorable
dramatic role, as the kind and benevolent police officer Sgt.
Albrecht in the 1994 film adaptation of comics/graphic novel author
James O'Barr's The
Crow. The Crow, currently
celebrating its 20th Anniversary,
went on to become a cult film and phenomenon in both pop and
underground culture. It
was also the last film of the late actor Brandon Lee. Lee,
who starred in the title role of The Crow/Eric Draven, tragically
died in an accident on set while filming. Hudson's
compassionate portrayal of the gentle policeman who befriends both
Lee's character, heroic spirit, Eric Draven, and the waif child
Sarah, is one of the central highlights of the film.
Just a few days after Ghostbusters enjoyed
its re-release in theaters on Labor Day holiday weekend, Ernie
Hudson graciously discussed his creative thoughts and memories on Ghostbusters and The
Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of
Ghostbusters and also the 25th Anniversary of Ghostbusters
II! What are your emotions on being such an integral part of
such an iconic and beloved film franchise in 80's pop culture and
Well, it's nice to be loved. I think it's great that people embrace
the movie and still love it after all these years. My emotions are
that I am honored and very appreciative.
Why do you think that Ghostbusters means
so much to so many people of all ages, generation after generation,
to this day?
I think this movie is a timeless classic that crosses generations.
It is one of the few films that families can share and enjoy
having a special 30th anniversary
theatrical re-release for one week, in over 700 theaters nationwide
starting on August 29. Will there be a special celebratory
premiere, and if so, will you be there on the red carpet? Will
you be involved with any of the planned special events?
We have been doing various interviews. I will be in Chicago
watching the movie at the Hollywood Palms Cinema and introducing the
movie along with fans, but there is no collective gathering of the
stars or premiere planned.
Will Director Ivan Reitman be there or any members of the cast?
There isn't one premiere but we are certain each of the team will be
celebrating in some way or another.
What are your thoughts on the theatrical re-release?
It's great that fans who have only seen the movie on TV will have
the opportunity to see it on the big screen, as it was intended.
did you get the role of Winston Zeddemore? How did Harold Ramis and
Dan Aykroyd who wrote the story and script, and director Ivan
Reitman know of you and your work? How
did they approach you for the role?
I auditioned and tried to impress the film makers. I also did a
movie in 1983 called Space
Hunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone with
Molly Ringwald and Peter Strauss. Ivan
produced it and Harold was one of the writers, (Ed. note: Ramis
also had an uncredited voice-acting cameo role in the film), so
that was my introduction to them.
What were your thoughts about the script, storyline, and your
character when you first read through it?
I thought it was a great role. I liked the character and the story.
I very much wanted to be a part of it, even though the story
changed from the original script to the one we shot. While the role
changed considerably, I still liked the character and very much
wanted to play Winston.
What did you do for your audition and how did it go over with Ivan,
Harold, Dan, and Bill?
An actor prepares and goes in and tries to convince the producers
that he is the right person for the role. Apparently that is what
happened as I got the role. I was cast by Ivan and Harold. I met
Dan and Bill afterwards.
Winston Zeddemore is such a likable and affable guy, especially made
so by your sparkling performance. He's always so calm and collected
when confronting the supernatural. I love your first scene with
Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz, when she interviews you and lists the
"unique" qualifications for the Ghostbusters job. She
asks you, "Do you believe in UFO's, astral projections, mental
telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography", (while she's
asking you this the camera cuts to your very calm, relaxed
expression like this is nothing out of the ordinary), as she
continues, then listing "telekinetic movement, full trans-mediums,
the Loch Ness Monster, and the theory of Atlantis?" You reply, very
blasé, "If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything
you say". How did you prepare for your role as Winston?
The heart of the character was what I was feeling when I was
shooting and I prepared as I do for any role, by immersing myself in
the character of Winston.
How did your rehearsals go? Did you crack up a lot while rehearsing
and then filming your lines? Did
you and the cast have a lot of bloopers and did you have to do a lot
We had a lot of fun and we absolutely laughed a lot! Everyone was
professional and we had a great script. There
were not a lot of retakes but we did shoot a lot of alternate funny
lines. What was seen in the completed cut of the movie was what
worked the best.
actors say that comedy is actually much more difficult than drama. Have
you found that to be the case? What
are the challenges in doing comedy as opposed to drama?
I think comedy and drama both require good timing. The difficulty
is determined more by who you are playing off of. I don't find one
more difficult than the other unless you were doing comedy with
people that weren't very funny.
What was that unlicensed Nuclear Accelerator really made of, and
what was it like to have to wear that heavy thing on your back as
you shot the film?
I'm not sure of what it was made of. It
was mostly metal and it was heavy and uncomfortable to wear for long
periods of time, but that is a small price to pay for such great
footage. We also had stunt "rubber packs" for more demanding shots.
You look extremely badass sporting that Proton Pack! Did you feel
as badass as you looked, wearing it while using your particle
Absolutely! You can't have a Proton Pack and NOT feel badass.
What did you think about the evil supernatural destroyer of Gozer
taking form as, of all things... an adorable, giant, Stay Puft
I think that was perfect casting for this kind of film!
What did they use for the melted marshmallow all over you, after
Winston, Peter, Ray, and Egon zapped the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?
It was actually tons of shaving cream.
How did the makeup and costume crew get that goo all over you to
shoot that scene, and how did they get it off of you?
And the same goes for the pink slime in Ghostbusters II?
There were vats and tubs filled with shaving cream that were dumped
on us. As far as getting
it off, we were on our own!
You have what many Ghostbusters fans
regard as the two best and most classic lines in the movie. Why
do you think your first iconic line, "That's a big Twinkie," has
become, and continues to be, such a memorable milestone with fans?
there's my very favorite line of yours in Ghostbusters. After
you and the Ghostbusters save New York City and its citizens from
Gozer and the 112 and a half feet tall, giant Stay Puft Marshmallow
Man, we see Winston, who's covered in melted marshmallow, raise his
head and arms up to the city skyline and exuberantly exclaim, "I
LOVE this town!! Ha Ha!!" as you clap your hands with joy. How did
Ivan, Harold, and Dan decide that you should recite that iconic
We felt we needed something to put an unforgettable button on the
movie and that line was it!
How did saying that line, for you, exemplify the magic of New York
and the magic of the film, which is also, very much a love letter to
the beautiful Big Apple?
I love New York, so it was easy and great to say a line that says
You are also in Ray Parker, Jr.'s official music video for the theme
song from Ghostbusters. Tell
me about that creative experience and the shoot for that, and what
that was like for you.
It was a lot of fun shooting that video in Times Square. Ray Parker
is a great guy. It is a great song, and it was a really fun
When was the last time you spoke with Harold Ramis? Did you have a
chance to speak with him before his sad and untimely passing and
what did you talk about?
The last time I spoke to Harold was at the premiere of his movie, Year
One. We talked about Ghostbusters
3 and caught up on
the fun of the first two.
How recently have you talked with Dan, Bill, Sigourney, Annie, Rick,
and Ivan, and have you discussed Ghostbusters
3, which is still in the planning, pre-production stages?
I have talked to all of them in the past year. All
expressed a desire to do the next film, but I haven't seen any
definite plans yet for this.
Will you be reprising your role as Winston in Ghostbusters
If they offer it to me, I would love to!
Without giving too much away, what plot details can you reveal?
None of these details have been released so I can't comment on that.
What are some of your fondest and most memorable on set anecdotes,
reflections, and especially creative experiences working with the
cast and crew, Bill, Dan, Harold, Annie, Rick, Sigourney, William
Atherton, and Ivan?
Being on the streets of New York. Spending time with the cast and
crew was fabulous, and there are very fond memories of all for me.
You were the only member of the film's original cast to audition for
a voice acting role in The Real
TV series, in which you had hoped to reprise your role as Winston.
But the voice acting role went to Arsenio Hall, which with respect
to Arsenio, greatly disappointed a lot of fans. Did
the show's producers and creators ever tell you why they made that
choice, and how did you feel about that?
The timing was off for my own schedule at that particular time. No,
they did not talk to me specifically about their casting. I think
Arsenio is a wonderful talent and a great friend. If anyone
replaced me, I am happy it was him.
In 2009, you, Dan, Harold, and Bill, and most of your other cast
members did lend your voices and likenesses to Ghostbusters:
The Video Game. Critics
and fans were very impressed, and
Dan Aykroyd stated "This is essentially the third movie." What
was that creative experience like, getting into character via voice
acting? Did you think
the creators of the game did a good job recreating the atmosphere
and excitement of the movie?
I think the creators did an incredible job. It reflects very
clearly their love of the movie. I loved getting together with the
other guys and I am glad we created something we are all proud of.
In 1989 you reprised your role as Winston in the sequel
and this time you had the chance to be slimed! What
are your creative thoughts about the sequel, how it progressed the
storyline concept, and how Winston's character was developed?
I think the second movie, Ghostbusters
II, was much more
family friendly and kids seemed to enjoy the sequel the most. I was
glad to be a part of this.
My very favorite role of yours, is that of police officer Sergeant
Albrecht in 1994's The
Crow which is
now celebrating its 20th Anniversary. For
many people, including myself, that is your most emotional and
meaningful dramatic role. How
did that role come about for you? How did director Alex Proyas
approach you for the role and why do you think that that character,
and film, resonates so powerfully and emotionally with people?
The Crow is
one of my favorite movies. It
was very tragic and I knew Brandon for seven years before we shot
the movie. It breaks my
heart that he is no longer with us. The movie turned out great and
I was happy to be a part of it. It
was one of my favorite acting roles ever.
What are your fond memories of working with Brandon Lee?
Brandon was a really sweet, generous, giving guy and very talented. It
was an honor to work with him and I enjoyed every moment I spent
with him, professionally and personally.
What are your thoughts regarding The
starring Luke Evans? Would
you reprise your role as Sgt. Albrecht or play another role or cameo
in the new remake film if the opportunity arises?
I wouldn't reprise my role. Brandon
was The Crow for
How have your roles in both the Ghostbusters and The
franchises impacted and affected you emotionally and creatively
throughout your career as a gifted actor?
It's part of my entire resume and I am proud to have been part of
What new creative film and TV projects are you currently working on
that we can look forward to seeing you in?
I am in the upcoming film You're
Not You with Hilary
Swank and I star in the Gallows
Road indie movie with
Kevin Sorbo. I am also
enjoying my time doing public speaking. I am also up for a
recurring role on a TV series that I cannot discuss officially yet,
and I am writing my first book.
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