Ernie Hudson, now 63, has been speaking with IESB about movies, acting and his thoughts on the third Ghostbusters movie.
IESB: When you hear all the rumors about the possibility of a Ghostbusters 3 for all these years, is that something you hope will eventually happen, or have you just become indifferent about it because you’ve been waiting for so long?
Ernie: We did the first Ghostbusters, and that was really trying for me, in a lot of ways. I worked really hard on the movie for four months, and then the movie came out and was very successful, but work didn’t necessarily come for me, as a result of it. And then, it took five years to get the second one ready, and that was a challenge, too. Now, it’s been 20 years since the second one.
I knew Bill Murray really loved the franchise, but he was the hold-out. The discussion with him has always been that he really wants to do something exceptional. We tapped into something that was really creative and different with the first one, so you want to be able to bring that challenge to it. The whole economic thing becomes an excuse to do nothing, so the tendency with studios is, “Okay, let’s just do something.” And then, because we have the audience out there, even if we do something bad, by the time they realize it’s bad, we’ll have made the money. But, I know that’s not what Bill Murray wants to do, and that’s certainly not something I want to do.
It’s a real catch-22 because you really would love to do another one, since the fans have been asking for it, but you also want to be able to stand by the work that you do. I’m really happy to have been a part of the movie. A lot of actors work for years and never find [something that special]. Ghostbusters is nice to have in my filmography. Wherever I go, people have seen the movie and love it, so that’s really nice.
IESB: So, you’d be happy to return for another film, if they get a script together?
Ernie: I would love to do the movie, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I’d love to get paid. So, when Bill Murray says, “I only want to do it if it’s something really extraordinary that we can really commit to,” it’s a little bit different than my thing. I’m saying that I only want to do the movie for that reason, unless they pay me a lot of money. I’m probably more conscious of that. But, the fans are there. Wherever I go, people are always asking about it. I think the studio wants to do it, but hopefully the script will be really good.
Harold Ramis is taking the lead in it, from what I’ve been reading. I hear about it like the fans do. I saw Harold at the opening of his film Year One in New York, so I know that he’s been putting together a script that everyone will be happy with. I talked to Bill recently, and I know that Danny [Aykroyd] has been wanting to do it since the day we finished the second one. We’re all up for it. It just has to be something we can be proud of and stand by. I’d love for it to happen. I think it would be very, very cool. But, it really needs to be something that makes sense. I don’t want to just do a cameo. If we’re going to do it, I want to be involved.
IESB: Did you enjoy returning to the character for the recent video game?
Ernie: I really was very happy with the game because the characters were very much there. My character was totally involved. It was a lot of fun to do the voice-over, and having all the guys back to do it was really cool. So, I’m hoping the movie happens, but I have not heard from Ivan Reitman or the studio, or anybody who signs checks. Until that happens, it’s still just speculation. They also came out with a whole new series of toys. Wherever I travel, or when I was doing the play, people show up with the toys for me to sign.