Rick Moranis. He was one of the great sidekicks of all time, capitalizing on his SCTV days (which concluded with his very own beer guzzling adventure, Strange Brew, in 1983) to appear in Ghostbusters  as everybody’s favorite nasally nerd, Louis Tully. The very same year, he played the smarmy manager and boyfriend of Ellen Aim (a sultry Diane Lane) in Walter Hill’s oft overlooked classic, Streets of Fire . The 80s were something of a legendary run for Moranis, as he worked with Mel Brooks (Spaceballs), Harold Ramis (Club Paradise) and even starred in his own Frank Oz-helmed musical (Little Shop of Horrors).
Then, in 1996, he just disappeared.
For eighteen years, the once prolific, bespectacled actor has steered clear of the spotlight, only popping up occasionally to do some voice work (Disney’s Brother Bear series) before vanishing again into the proverbial mist. According to IMDb, his last screen credit was in 2006, marking him as absent from the moving picture business for nearly a decade.
Moranis has just now popped up again, getting the attention of his long time fans. In an interview with THR, Moranis talked about opting out of appearing in the Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot; as well talk of possibly coming out of retirement.
On Ghostbusters, Moranis had this to say:
“I wish them well. I hope it’s terrific. But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago? … [It] didn’t appeal to me.”
When talking about remakes in general, Moranis says:
“It’s hard to come up with original material. Occasionally, they get it right or else they wouldn’t attempt to do these things. I’m surprised that Disney hasn’t done Honey, I Shrunk the Grandkids. But I’m happy with the things I said yes to, and I’m very happy with the many things I’ve said no to. Yes, I am picky, and I’ll continue to be picky. Picky has worked for me.”
Kudos to Mr. Moranis. That’s about the classiest and most polite diss. To the rest of the original Ghostbusters gang that are – not so secretly – making a cameo in the reboot, those guys are still acting, so saying yes to a single day of filming isn’t the same to them as it is to him.
For those, unaware Moranis retired from acting following the death of his wife, Ann Belsky, in 1991 after losing her battle with breast cancer. Moranis only made five more movies before hanging it up to take care of his children full time. Acting seems to have been simply a period in his life that he’s moved past, choosing instead to honor his late wife by enjoying the company of the greatest gifts they could bestow upon one another.
Given his time away from the camera and complete complacency with it, is there any chance this staple of 80s culture will return to the screen? To this, Moranis says:
“I took a break, which turned into a longer break,” he says. “But I’m interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role” — he’s repped by the Santa Monica-based endorsement firm Bailey Brand Management — “and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I’ll probably do it. [But Ghostbusters] didn’t appeal to me.”
Dammit Rick, after all these years you’re still just as amazing. Your point of view is to be respected, but damn, wouldn’t it be nice to see you again. Here’s hoping for Spaceballs 3: the search for Spaceballs 2