We all got excited when we heard the news Ghostbusters was coming back to the big screen.
The internet went nuts as they always do, quickly rushing to judgment before ever giving the all-female casted movie a chance. Once cameras started rolling, though, I took a train to the Boston set to find out more.
Director Paul Feig revealed he is, in fact, feeling the pressure.
“There’s a pressure just on doing a reboot of Ghostbusters, because it’s such a beloved thing, and you don’t wanna screw it up and copy the old one, but you also don’t want to pretend it didn’t exist,” he said. “There’s all these pressures and the internet pressure you get from the outside, plus factoring in the fact that I have an all female cast, which I wish wasn’t even a big deal, but the fact that it’s become a big deal. You definitely want to make sure that it’s great.”
Paul joked about the internet’s expectations, including the criticism he’s going to turn Ghostbusters into a romantic comedy. While on set, it was clear the director was doing everything in his power to make a great film, running around in his suit and engaging with the actors and crew. If it was possible for someone to be everywhere at once, he sure appeared to be.
As Paul went back to work, members of the cast stopped by for a chat; at the same time, “ghosts” walked back and forth across set with neon wires sticking out of their outfits, shining in a Carolina blue to give off a ghostly effect.
Star Kristen Wiig told us, “It’s not a remake – different characters, different story, but similar spirit – and we are wearing tan jumpsuits busting ghosts.”
The ladies are doing more than just wearing tan jumpsuits; costar Leslie Jones says she lost almost 30 lbs during the role: “I have lost 27 pounds with the packs and the running and everything, and it was pretty brutal. I take a lot of epsom salt baths, I get a lot of massages, I go to the chiropractor two times a week. I have to, I’m old, everything is breaking. I’m like Humpty Dumpty.”
With a new story and a new purpose, the ladies get to do a lot of fun stuff. There’s a great scene in which one of the ghosts grab Melissa McCarthy‘s character Abby and swing her across the New York sky. I asked her what it was like flying on a rope.
“I weirdly love it,” she admitted. “I don’t know what it means, but literally I keep offering to go up there like, ‘Do you wanna like throw me into a wall or anything?’ and they’re like, ‘Just… just let it go’ (laughs). I don’t know what that means, but I really love it. When else do you get to fly across a room or hang upside down? I don’t, so I take it when I can get it.”
Wiig – who plays Erin – then gave us background into how the two Ghostbuster ladies know each other:
“Our characters were actually friends when they were younger, when they were in high school, so we have the most history and we sort of bonded over our belief and love of the paranormal and ghosts. As we got older, we sort of went our separate ways. Abby staying in that world and believing in it, and I sort of left it to go this more traditional scientific route. I became a professor and I just leave that behind and sort of shove it away.”
Melissa chimed in:
“And we split in the process, her wanting to, maybe not wanting to, be on the fringe and made fun of as much, wanting to be more legit and my character, which I kinda love, has never lost her passion and belief in it. She’s full throttle, this is what I do with my life. And then something happens that makes us come back together. It’s kind of nice because we have such a history, we’ve had a big falling out and then to have us come back together is a good story within all the action stuff.”
Speaking of action, these ladies did a lot of physical work for the film. There’s a scene where they get knocked around a few times by the ghosts, all while wearing big Proton Packs and plasma guns. As far as the equipment, it all has a DIY aspect to it, because Paul believes one of the great things about Ghostbusters is that it felt like you could build some of their tools to fight ghosts yourself.
“I really wanted for all the tech to look like stuff that could be built if you were super smart and raided every dumpster behind every lab and office building in town; you could cobble this stuff together,” Paul said.
The cast and crew revealed they went through the original Ghostbusters movies and asked themselves what would make them sad if it was missing from the film, while walking the line to make sure people wouldn’t just wish they were watching the original. Everyone involved pulled out all the stops to do this one right.
Judging from the environment on set, they succeeded. Ghostbusters is in theaters July 15th, 2016.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sony Pictures