Most people know that Ernie Hudson wasn’t the first choice to star in the legendary paranormal comedy ‘Ghostbusters.’ Stories say it was an ensemble vehicle boasting Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver. There’s a strange alternate universe where Murphy didn’t bow out of the role and news outlets constantly reported diva bickering between him and the other top star, Murray. Here and now though, I don’t mind being happily stuck with the memories of Hudson playing Winston Zedmore, the fourth Ghostbuster. He too has great memories from those long gone days. But first, the painful ones. Ones of disrespect and lies, in the most classic Hollywood fashion.
With talks of a GB reboot being on everyone’s entertainment page, as well as the recent EW photo shoot featuring the original cast, it comes as no surprise that Hudson is being given a voice while the getting’s good. As long as there’s a Ghostbuster in the news, the new project gets free press. You’re reading some of it now. Here’s more – this time from Mr. Hudson who left parting words with Entertainment Weekly on those early struggling actor days that led him toward immortality.
“I look back on Ghostbusters in a very fun way, but it’s got so many mixed feelings and emotions attached to it. When I originally got the script, the character of Winston was amazing and I thought it would be career-changing. The character came in right at the very beginning of the movie and had an elaborate background: he was an Air Force major something, a demolitions guy. It was great.”
Sounds great, sure. For an established icon like Eddie Murphy who wouldn’t have done the deal if he didn’t get enormous screen time. But for a single dad nobody, sweating to pay his bills? Not so much…
“The night before filming begins, however, I get this new script and it was shocking. The character was gone. Instead of coming in at the very beginning of the movie, like page 8, the character came in on page 68 after the Ghostbusters were established. His elaborate background was all gone, replaced by me walking in and saying, ‘If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.’ So that was pretty devastating.”
Not only that, but they only paid him half of his routine Hollywood quote. That’s some tough crow to swallow. So he goes to work the next day grossly underpaid and contractually obligated to do a job he never signed on for because “The studio felt that they had Bill Murray, so they wanted to give him more stuff to do.” Hudson wasn’t even in the trailer. He was never featured in the posters.
Remember that alternate universe of Murphy and Murray being at odds? When all you’ve got is Murray, Murray wins. This wouldn’t have happened to Eddie Murphy. Hudson’s fucking name isn’t even on there! Rick Moranis wasn’t even a goddam Ghostbuster, and there he is in big ass letters. Harold Ramis is on there 2 times!
“Now 30 years later, seeing little kids with their Ghostbusters backpacks, seeing whole families dress up—the movie has a special place, and I’m very humbled and touched by it. I certainly am thankful to have been a part of it. I love being an actor. I still enjoy the process. I’m still hoping that I’m going to get that one great role that I thought I had in the original Ghostbusters. 30 years later, I’m still looking.”
Look, the guy isn’t hurting – he’s been bombarded with work since the 80’s and ‘Ghostbusters’ surely helped that happen. But this is bullshit. I don’t blame him for having bittersweet memories about his experiences because that was all totally unfair. Hollywood always did pull some audacious crap on people. I read somewhere that Sly Stallone was dicked around a lot on the set of ‘Rocky’ because he wasn’t a famous hotshot. Changing scripts on somebody is old hat – just ask Jeremy Renner. Hollywood is full of shit and when you’re cool with that and expect it, you’ll probably do just fine. But I can imagine the pessimism those industry players carry around with them because you just can’t count on anyone fully respecting you. But that’s all subjective. The garbage Brad Pitt puts up with now can’t be near as bad as the shit 1985 Ernie Hudson saw.
Thank goodness for ‘Ghostbusters 2,’ as lackluster as it was. At least the motherfucker got on a poster.
Source – EW