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