Gen­der issue is a gen­uine con­cern for film­maker Feig


aul Feig opted for four fe­male leads in the re­boot of su­per­nat­u­ral com­edy Ghost­busters, and it’s a cast­ing call that has haunted the build-up to the film’s re­lease. Melissa McCarthy, Kris­ten Wiig, Kate McKin­non and Leslie Jones take on the lead roles (played by Bill Mur­ray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hud­son in the beloved 1984 orig­i­nal), and Feig is frus­trated that “ev­ery time you star women in a movie it be­comes the story”.

“It just shows how far be­hind the times Hol­ly­wood has got­ten,” says Feig, who also helmed 2011 hit Brides­maids. “I al­most don’t blame au­di­ences, be­cause they only re­act to what they’ve been fed. I think the fact they haven’t seen a lot of movies star­ring women is Hol­ly­wood’s fault, and I just hope we can get past it be­ing an issue. Ev­ery time I do a movie, I feel like it’s a lit­mus test. But I get it. It’s im­por­tant to me that this movie does well to tell Hol­ly­wood, ‘Look, women can star in these movies - let’s break the mould’.”

Here’s more about Feig’s fab four...

Team­ing up with Feig for the fourth time (pre­vi­ous col­lab­o­ra­tions be­ing Brides­maids, The Heat and Spy), Melissa plays Abby Yates, a sci­en­tist with a pas­sion for the para­nor­mal.

“Abby has al­ways been the be­liever,” ex­plains 45-year-old McCarthy. “It doesn’t mat­ter if peo­ple are mak­ing fun of her, which they al­ways have. She’s al­ways be­lieved in the para­nor­mal. I love that she’s stayed the course, no mat­ter what.”

Like Abby, Wiig’s char­ac­ter Erin Gil­bert be­lieved in ghosts as a child, but as her physics ca­reer grew, she re­alised her fas­ci­na­tion with the para­nor­mal was hold­ing her back and hurt­ing her cred­i­bil­ity.

“Erin wanted to live a life where she wasn’t the weird one, so she left the para­nor­mal world be­hind and went into academia, be­com­ing a pro­fes­sor at Columbia Uni­ver­sity,” re­veals Wiig. “She finds Abby again and meets Holtz­mann and Patty. As it turns out, they’re these four mis­fits that find each other.”

Patty Tolan, born and raised in New York, is an avid reader of all things his­tor­i­cal and para­nor­mal. Satur­day Night Live star Jones, 48, says: “Patty brings the nor­malcy - she reads a lot of books, she’s a sponge for facts and keeps her mind open. It was im­por­tant to me and to Paul that Patty is the one who says what peo­ple are go­ing to say in the au­di­ence.” In UAE cin­e­mas to­day

BUST THIS JOINT: Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kris­ten Wiig and Kate McKin­non star in the new Ghost­busters film

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