'Ghostbusters' Paul Feig On How He Chose The Cast Of 2016's Reboot Starring Kristen Wiig & Melissa McCarthy
Ever since it was announced that there would be a Ghostbusters reboot nearly 30 years after the original came out in 1984, all eyes have been on director Paul Feig. We knew early on that the cast would be all-female, but who would step into the iconic quartet to play a new generation of ghost busting scientists? "We didn't write it with any actors in mind," director Paul Feig admits of penning the script with co-writer Katie Dippold. We just wanted to get these characters right, and then it was two months of me going, 'Who are the perfect people for this?'"
Of course we know who Feig ended up picking for the roles: SNL's Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and frequent SNL host Melissa McCarthy. Previously Feig has worked with McCarthy on Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy. "Everyone always thinks Melissa was a shoo-in, but she was not," he says. "I just had to get four different, distinct personalities, and I know so many funny people, and especially funny women, so it was a good two months of... well, it was crazy."
And it's no coincidence that the core cast had the commonality of SNL. "Nothing is better in a movie when your cast has a [previous] relationship with each other. In Bridesmaids that's why we cast Kristen and Maya as best friends, because they are truly best friends," the 53-year-old director says. "Kristen is this vulnerable comedian, Melissa is a headstrong comedian, Kate is the weirdo, the nut, you're always like, 'Where did that come from?' Then you have Leslie who is this powerhouse. The four mix so well."
Just like the original, the reboot's foursome are also scientists. Well, three of them are. "Erin's character, played by Kristen Wiig, is a particle physicist. Melissa's character is an expert in the paranormal, she's been studying it her whole life. Holtzmann [McKinnon] is a nuclear engineer who creates their inventions, and Leslie Jones joins the team because she knows New York really well."
The most obvious difference between 1984's version and 2016's remake is the cast's gender. Four hilarious male comedians stepped into the roles many moons ago, and now it's time for the funny women to take a turn. But the characters' gender was never an issue, according to Feig. "I just want the funniest people, and the funniest people I know are women. Ghostbusters are for everybody."
Feig concludes of casting the four women in these roles: "Making comedies is all about catching lightning in a bottle."
Or you know, catching ghosts with proton beams.
Ghostbusters hits theaters July 15.
Images: Sony (2)