Technology has advanced, society has changed and stories are now being told that include people of all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. It seems only fitting that the story of four ghostbusters be retold through a modern lens by a troop of hilarious and talented women. Opening on July 15, the reboot of the 1984 hit "Ghostbusters" stars funny ladies Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the new team of paranormal-fighting misfits.
Though the production has been met with tons of online trolling, mainly criticizing the all-female cast, "Ghostbusters" has risen above with a film that is witty, smart and gives new life to a beloved story. At a recent press conference, mom.me had a chance to talk with the new cast, as well as director Paul Feig, co-writer Katie Dippold and producer Ivan Reitman, about what it means to be part of a new chapter in the "Ghostbusters" legacy.
Melissa, as a mother of two daughters, what does it mean to you to be part of a cast of empowered, smart women that make up the new Ghostbusters? And, for the other ladies, what does it mean to you to be role models to young girls watching the movie?
Melissa McCarthy: It means the world to me. Every time we put something out into the world, where I think they can see themselves, where they won’t even have the realization of "Why wouldn’t it be me? Why wouldn’t I be the hero? Why wouldn’t I be the Ghostbuster?" I think that does such incredibly important things, not only to little girls, but to little boys to go, maybe, "She’s my hero" ... I think it’s incredibly impactful.
Leslie Jones: For me, when I was coming up, when I saw Whoopi Goldberg on television, I remember crying. I remember telling my dad that I can’t believe that there’s somebody on television that looks like me and I can now do this. So, for some little black girl to see me doing this, I am very much proud of that.
Leslie, you recently spoke out about the challenges you faced when searching for a red carpet dress. Can you talk a little about that?
LJ: I’ve been 6 feet tall since the 6th grade and had a size-10 foot since 7th grade. It’s always been hard for me to find clothes. For an industry to not make clothes for me, the average woman that actually goes into the store and buys them, it kind of pisses me off a little bit. It takes a real designer to design for real women.
MM: It’s a very strange thing. I’ve always been bewildered about that. I think 72 percent of the American population are a size 14 or above, and most stores do not offer it. If they do, it’s up by the tires. What other business goes, "Is it the majority? OK, I’m for sure going to keep you out." I started a clothing line because I couldn’t shop. I couldn’t get stuff, I had to have all my stuff made, and I thought, this is madness. It’s a crazy thing. I think the more you speak up about it and say it’s not the exception ... They’re expecting everyone to be the exception. We come in every shape, size, color, height and everything, and [retailers] should serve that.
LJ: I believe that the craziest, most wrong statement that can be made is: "That’s just how it is." That’s just going to kill us. There’s no such thing as that. Stop accepting that. It’s not just the way it is, and say something. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no.
I believe that the craziest, most wrong statement that can be made is: "That’s just how it is."
We love that your characters are positive female role models. Can you tell us which women have been role models for you?
Kate McKinnon: For me, it’s any woman comedian who has dared to wear pants, or not care about how she looks and not cared about looking like what we think of as "feminine." So many of my heroes fall into that category. I’ve tried to carry that mantle.
Paul, how did you find the perfect actresses to play the characters?
Paul Feig: Putting together an ensemble, I had to go, "Why did the first movie work?" It’s an amazing story, it’s executed so well, but it’s because those people in that movie were so amazing. I said, "I have to assemble a comedy dream team." It was a pretty easy decision to make because these are four of the funniest, most talented people working today. I can’t imagine not having any one of them not in this movie.
When will we see the next "Ghostbusters"?
Ivan Reitman: Soon. Of course, I said that last time, and it took 20 years.