Oscar-nominated comedienne Melissa McCarthy (“Spy,” “The Heat”) is Abby Yates, a scientist who believes in the paranormal and she won’t let the non-believers grind her down, in Columbia Pictures’ new action-adventure “Ghostbusters.”
“Ghostbusters” makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. This July, they’re here to save the world!
“Abby has always been the believer,” says McCarthy. “It doesn’t matter if people are making fun of her, which they always have. It doesn’t matter if nobody else believes. It doesn’t matter that people think she’s crazy. She’s just always believed in the paranormal. I just love that she’s stayed the course, no matter what.”
In their screenplay, Kate Dippold and Paul Feig created a friendship between Abby and Erin, who is played by Kristen Wiig. “Our characters were friends all through high school – they were the two eccentric girls who believed in ghosts and the paranormal,” says McCarthy. “But they had a bad parting, because Erin didn’t want to defend herself anymore, so she went in a more academic direction. Now, in the movie, they come back together. It’s a little bumpy in the beginning, but you can tell that the history is there. And that’s easy to portray with Kristen, because I’ve known her so long and she’s one of the greatest people I know.”
“I think the reason why Melissa is one of the most successful comedians working today is that she brings an everyman quality to her work,” says producer Ivan Reitman. “She brings great energy, great truth – she has a quality of being very funny and very real. People love her because she’s here to represent them.
One of McCarthy’s most memorable moments was trying on the proton pack for the first time. No movie magic here – McCarthy says that the prop is just as heavy as it looks. “Especially for what we have to do with them – we’re diving, we’re running, and we’re fighting. Every time we get blown back by something and we land on our backs, there’s sharp, heavy jagged metal,” says McCarthy. “On the other hand, I hate when you can tell that somebody’s running with something light, so I’m glad that’s not what happens in this movie. We look like we’re struggling because we are.’”
“Ghostbusters” allowed McCarthy to do many of her own stunts. “I really love all that stunt stuff,” she says. “I’m asking to be thrown into things. I try to do everything they’ll let me do. And then every once in a while Paul would have to say, ‘No, you’re not doing that. You’re not getting dropped onto a car from 25 feet up.’ And when he says that, I’m thinking, ‘Yes, that makes sense,’ but what I’d hear myself saying is ‘Why not?’ And Paul would say, ‘You’re insane,’ and walk away.”
One of the stunts that McCarthy was able to perform herself was crowdsurfing at a rock concert. “I’ve never done that before,” she says. McCarthy notes that stunt work sometimes involves complicated rigs or wires, and she asked the stunt coordinator, Walter Garcia, what was the best way to perform a stage dive. “He said, ‘The best way you do it is you run to the end of the stage and dive off.’ Okay. Let’s do that. The first take, I was a little tentative, but once I did it I knew I was in good hands. Of course, I realize there were ten stunt people out there waiting to catch me, so I’m not sure I’m going to try that in real life, but that was wildly fun.”
Opening in Philippine cinemas on Friday, July 15, 2016, “Ghostbusters” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.