If there’s a steady paycheck in it, Winston Zeddemore will believe anything you say. Ernie Hudson, on the other hand, is simply ready to believe there will be another Ghostbusters outing in his future.
Thirty years after the 1984 release of director Ivan Reitman’s original Ghostbusters, which starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver and, of course, Hudson, the veteran actor (Congo, Law & Order, Oz) is still answering questions about his stint as an investigator of the ectoplasmic – and happily so.
Interest in the comedy franchise remains as high as the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man is tall, with 30th-anniversary Blu-ray releases and a collectors set of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II debuting on Tuesday, and buzz in Hollywood has writer-director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) in talks to helm a third film with female leads.
However the Ghostbusters are resurrected, Hudson stands ready to strap on the proton pack one again, as he explained to SPINOFF as he reminisced about the good ol’ days, when ‘Bustin’ made him feel good.
Spinoff Online: How’s been having this 30th-anniversary victory lap for Ghostbusters been treating you?
Ernie Hudson: It’s so cool, because I don’t think the studio really supported the movie, but I think the fans have really come out. There’s a Ghostbuster chapter – several Ghostbuster chapters – in every major American city and all over. I was just in Ireland, and 50 guys in there in their jumpsuits and backpacks, and they turn their cars into Ecto-mobiles. In France, in Brussels – It’s really a phenomenon, and the fans love it. People are watching with their children, and so it’s great! I’ve done a lot of movies and done a lot of television, but it’s one of those things that people really respond to, and I’m just very honored to have been a part of it.
Did you keep anything from the movie?
I still have my suit. Now that you’ve heard that, Columbia, don’t come and take it back! But beyond that, no. But my fans, they built me a great backpack, which is better than the one that we had in the movie.
What’s your favorite memory of shooting?
The most fun thing was that Bill Murray was so hot – and still is. I mean, talk about the movie having legs. Bill Murray is amazing. His career’s just extraordinary, and he’s so funny. Being on the street with Bill Murray, just hanging out and seeing how the fans react, seeing people stop their cars and jump out and run over – that was pretty extraordinary, because I had made it to that place in my career. Seeing him at that time was really incredible. And Danny [Aykroyd] and Harold [Ramis], they were very conservative, normal guys, but Bill, just somehow, embraced it in a very loving, cool way. And that was really cool. When I think of the movie, I always think of him.
Obviously, you were part of a group of guys who were on fire at the time. Did you think while you were making it that this was going to be something talked about for a generation or two?
No! I mean, you always hope that, but the chances of that happening is like lightning striking. So it’s nice, but no, at the time you think, “This is cool – and this too will pass.” But it hasn’t! It’s been kept alive by all the fans and little kids who grew up watching it. And that’s a good thing. Because like I said, a lot of people forget two weeks later. Hollywood is very fast. It’s what’s in the moment, it has been building momentum, I think.
When was the last time you guys were all together as a group? On the second movie?
Well, I’ve run into everybody, and I see everybody from time to time, like Harold, before he passed away. I really think it’s unfortunate, because I know he really wanted to do another movie. It’s been a few years now, but Bill Murray calls me from time to time. Danny Aykroyd – I’ll see Danny at one of his vodka [brand events] or whatever! I saw Sigourney Weaver last year at New York Comic Con. And so it feels like family, but everybody’s busy. Everybody’s doing their thing, and I’d love to come back together again for another movie. They’re talking about it.
Attention to that property is higher than it’s been since the first two came out!
Fans have kept it alive. I was at an event and a guy was there with his 10-month-old baby who had a Ghostbusters outfit. You can’t buy that! You have to make it. And his mom said, “I made it for him when he was a baby and now, his baby’s wearing it.” Some new toys came out: Now there’s a LEGO Ghostbuster. So little kids love it, old people love it …
Ivan Reitman recently told me a third film is still a good bet.
It’s still on track, and I just saw Ivan about two weeks ago. And he says “on track,” but he didn’t say that with a lot of confidence, so I don’t know! [Laughs]. I’m like, “OK …” But I’d love to see that happen. Fans deserve it, and it would be great.
What’s your hope for Winston Zeddemore when we meet him again?
I’d love to see Winston, the character, kind of become the director of global Ghostbusters – because now there are Ghostbuster chapters all over the world! I’d just love to be a part of it, love to see it happen.
Until then, what’s front and center for you?
Right now, I’m doing a lot of public speaking, so if anyone needs a keynote speaker, think of me! That’s kind of cool, and then I started the whole social media, so find me on Twitter, Facebook and all that stuff. Just launched my website, ErnieHudson.com, officially – come and check me out! And there’s a movie with Emmy Rossum, Hilary Swank and Josh Duhamel called You’re Not You. It should be a really, really good movie, and there’s a bunch of other stuff too. I just love staying busy!
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