Melissa McCarthy has worked with director Paul Feig on all three of his previous movies (Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy) but the star and filmmaker face perhaps their biggest challenge yet with Ghostbusters, Feig’s reboot of the classic 1984 comedy. Remaking a beloved film is never an easy task, and Feig set out to do this one with women – four great comic actresses including McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones – replacing the iconic team (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson) from the first film.
McCarthy plays Abby Yates, who has been resolutely researching the paranormal despite ridicule, lack of funding and the estrangement of her friendship with former collaborator Erin Gilbert (Wiig). She spoke with Screen Rant about the pressure of rebooting Ghostbusters, her chemistry with the other women and her thoughts on continuing the franchise beyond this one film.
What was the biggest challenge for you of doing this movie, with all the pressure that would accompany doing a new Ghostbusters film?
Melissa McCarthy: You know, once I really heard Paul’s concept and what he meant when he said “reboot” and why, and I read the script and I loved it, and I thought, these are fully realized characters and they’re different. I liked the relationships and the action. Once I kind of knew I was in, I let all of that stuff go, because I can really only look – I try to really stay compartmentalized and I can only pay attention to the road right in front of me. I always worry that if I let in too much stuff, like, you don’t really want to alter… “Oh maybe I should do this because it seems more like the old ones.”
All I try to do is keep my integrity to the character and the story, and I thought the story’s good and it has all the things – because I’m a crazy fan of the first two, like I’ve seen them a weird amount of times. And I know why I love them, it’s a feeling I get about those four unlikely heroes that nobody values, that nobody really takes seriously, and yet they save the world and they do the right thing anyway without an “atta boy” or “atta girl” ever. I root for that as an audience member and I thought that this script had that. And I thought, as long as we stay the course – and I trust Paul so much to bring it in and keep the humor and keep the action and keep the heart and all that stuff even, I kind of could just sit back and do my job.
Do you feel like the four of you clicked pretty quickly together on the set?
(nods) I mean, Kristin and I have known each other forever. We’ve been friends 16 years. I mean, she was at my wedding. I’ve known, I go really far back with her, and Leslie and Kate and I knew each other from SNL. But something just weirdly – I think it’s the thing you kind of hope for. Like, we clicked really immediately. I think we’re all different enough that when we’re all working together, it was like a volleyball. Like one popped it up for the next. Nobody was ever kind of – I don’t know, it just worked. I think sometimes that either works or it doesn’t, and when it works, you’re like, “This is easy! This is fun.” Every day was kind of a blast and that’s like, when that’s happening and the script’s good, you’ve already kind of won the battle.
We’re not going to spoil anything, but people should stay until the end after the credits…
If you get a chance to do a sequel, do you have ideas about where you’d like to see Abby go?
No, because I kind of feel like I’m in the delivery room right now, so I can’t talk about the second baby. But I know that I’d do anything Paul Feig – I don’t know that he really needs to ask, he gets to about, “Hey do you want to…” and I’m like, “Yep! Give me a date.” And with those three women, I would do kind of anything. But in terms of where to go, no, because there’s so many possibilities. I mean, I know what works is if there’s going to be conflict, it’s got be messy, and I think what you root for is that there’s always a struggle for them. So I would just look forward to being like, “What is the struggle?” Because you can’t suddenly be like, “They’ve got it made in the shade!” It wouldn’t make for a very interesting movie. So I don’t know.
Ghostbusters will open in U.S. theaters on July 15, 2016.