“Psychologically, it was probably the hardest movie I’ve ever done,” Hudson said.
Ernie Hudson knows who to call when it comes to how he’s been treated in the “Ghostbusters” franchise.
Hudson, who starred alongside Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis in the sci-fi classic, revealed on “The Howard Stern Show” that the studio did not “include” his character, Winston Zeddemore, in marketing materials.
“I was the guy that was brought in, and that’s how I found my place in the middle—and they were all friendly and accommodating,” Hudson recalled of the casting. “The studio was not, and the studio still was not. So it made it very, very difficult because I was a part of it, but then they were pushed aside very selectively.”
“Ghostbusters” was produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures and directed by Ivan Reitman.
“Ivan was a really, really brilliant person, and I really like and appreciate him,” Hudson said, while noting that the script changed after he was brought on board. “The original script, Winston, was at the very beginning of the movie. As we were getting ready to shoot the film, Winston came in halfway through the film. All of those things… it definitely felt intentional.”
Hudson continued: “When the posters came out, it’s not me on the poster. This took a long time. I went to the 30th anniversary screening of the movie and all the posters show three guys. Now I know the fans see it differently and I’m very grateful to the fans because the fans basically identified with Winston, especially the young, I don’t want to say minority kids, but a lot of kids.”
The ‘Quantum Leap’ star added: ‘It hasn’t been an easy road. It was probably the hardest film I’ve ever done, purely psychologically… And I still don’t try to take it personally. Anything bad if you’re African-American in this country, anything bad happens to you, you can always blame it on me because I’m black. You don’t want to go there. That’s the last thing I want to do. I can’t say anything bad about anyone, but it was hard. It took me 10 years to get over that and enjoy the movie and just embrace the movie. ‘Ghostbusters’ was very hard to come to terms with.”
Even starring in a blockbuster like “Ghostbusters” didn’t immediately help Hudson’s career.
“When you start a business, I’ve always been told that it’s almost impossible to succeed. But when you get into a big movie from a major studio and it comes out and it’s number one, it changes your career,” Hudson said. “Well, ‘Ghostbusters’ didn’t do that for me.” I worked non-stop, I did Ghostbusters, and it was two and a half years before I got another movie.
Hudson reprized his role in the 1989 sequel, “Ghostbusters II,” and is also being approached to appear in a reboot of the franchise. “We’re still in talks for a new movie that’s going to start shooting in March, and I’m like, ‘Guys, there’s a spot… I’m not an extra,'” Hudson said. “So if I do it, it has to make sense.”
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