Melissa McCarthy on Ghostbusters detractors: ‘I just hope they find a friend’

Melissa McCarthy Guardian

I love the photo above of Melissa McCarthy from The Guardian. I like because I think it is visually interesting but also because I am convinced Melissa is giggling under that ruffle. Melissa next has the highly anticipated Ghostbusters remake coming out on July 15th. As you know, it is creating a buzz not just among fans but also detractors. Whether it is because they don’t want to see one of their favorite films remade or they are critical of the all female recasting, people have been vocal in their dislike of the trailer, which I really hope does not come across in the box office receipts. Since her film, The Boss, is just about to open in the UK, The Guardian sat down for a nice in depth interview with Melissa. You can read the whole thing here but below are a few highlights.

On playing ‘crazy’ characters:
“People say to me, ‘These characters are crazy’, and I’m like, ‘Are they?’ Because I’ve seen three people in Rite Aid drug store act like that. I think when a female character acts more defiant, it’s seen as a little more crazy. There are women in the world like this, we’re just not used to seeing them portrayed. We generally just see The Pleasant Lady who stands behind her husband going ‘Oh, Jack.’ But I really love a female character who is not playing by the rules.”

On the critic who suggested her husband Ben Falcone ‘allows’ her to look bad in movies:
“I’m like, ‘Are you seriously saying that?’ There’s so much wrongness there.”

On her dad, Michael’s, influence on her:
“My dad’s attitude made me always like, ‘Why not you?’ So it just never occurred to me that being a woman, or from a small town, or not being some other being, made me not in the running. What’s better to give somebody than a sturdy work ethic and reasonable confidence? I hope to pass that on to my kids. Not that they’re perfect in every way, but they’ve got a shot at it, right?”

On not sharing her cousin Jenny McCarthy’s views on vaccination:
“No, my kids have been vaccinated. But, um, whatever your stand is, you can’t say that she hasn’t put autism in the forefront of everyone’s minds.”

On the hatred towards the Ghostbusters trailer:
“All those comments – ‘You’re ruining my childhood!’ I mean, really. Four women doing any movie on earth will destroy your childhood? I have a visual of those people not having a Ben, not having friends, so they’re just sitting there and spewing hate into this fake world of the internet. I just hope they find a friend.”

On the Leslie Jones’ character being the only non-scientist:
“I think originally Paul had written me as that part and then he switched, so she could have been white, Hispanic… It was truly just a coincidence. Honestly, Paul was not sitting there like, ‘Aha!’ Anyway, we’re not doing those original characters.”

On breaking the rules for plus-sized fashion:
Once she decided to launch her own line, manufacturers told her the rules: plus-size women want only dark colours; they don’t like patterns; they never wear sleeves. “I was like, ‘I’m the only woman in the room you’re referring to, and I disagree with everything you’re saying.’” As an unexpected bonus, she says, finally having a wardrobe she loves has helped her give up “those crazy diets”. “I’m not fun to be around when I’m on those. I’m cranky with my kids and I’m sharp with Ben. I feel healthy now. It’s allowed me to have fun getting dressed again.”

[From The Guardian]

Her answer about her cousin’s non-vaccination stance was a skillful avoidance of saying something bad about family. Speaking of family, she talks about her husband Ben throughout the interview and every time she speaks of him, it’s obvious how much of a team they are both romantically and creatively.

As for the Ghostbusters hate, it seems like Melissa is shouldering the brunt of these questions. I did a cursory check and saw that Kristin Wiig was asked in one interview and Kate McKinnon doesn’t seem to have responded to the criticism. Leslie Jones addressed the backlash surrounding her character (by the way, Paul Fieg confirmed Melissa’s assertion that he wrote the character for Melissa). But Melissa seems to get a question in every interview. I agree with Martin at DListed that calling the haters lonely internet trolls was not the best way to address the people who disliked the trailer. However it’s probably exhausting to to respond to those comments. By the way, Dan Aykroyd saw the reboot and loved it.

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Photo credit: Mary Rozzi for the Guardian and WENN Photos

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43 Responses to “Melissa McCarthy on Ghostbusters detractors: ‘I just hope they find a friend’”

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  1. I Choose Me says:

    I love her but I have zero desire to see the new Ghostbuster’s film. I think I have remake/reboot exhaustion.

    • joan says:

      Re: “Four women doing any movie on earth will destroy your childhood?” reply saying “No, four people doing a lazy, unnecessary remake of a classic comedy is what people have a problem with.” –

      YOU CHANGED THE QUESTION. Respond to the words that were used.

      No one’s childhood gets destroyed by a silly movie. Just relax.

  2. Saraya says:

    “Four women doing any movie on earth will destroy your childhood?”

    No, four people doing a lazy, unnecessary remake of a classic comedy is what people have a problem with. The ‘destroy my childhood’ stuff is hyperbole meant to convey an important point: Don’t attempt to exploit people’s childhood memories to try to make an easy buck.

    I hope this movie bombs hard, because if it doesn’t, those remakes of Jaws, Back to the Future, and The Princess Bride will surely be on their way. Why create when you can just recycle, right?

    • Lurker says:

      I agree that I’m tired of remakes and reboots and sequels, but nobody had a problem with Tranformers, or Teenage Mutant Nija Turtles, or Footloose, or 21 Jump Street, or Starsky and Hutch, or The Amazing Spider-Man….

      All of THOSE films, and many many more, were allowed to come out with no backlash, and succeed or triumph depending on their merits.

      The fact that this trailer is the most disliked of all time, that the ladies are getting shocking hate and bile spewed at them online (Leslie got sent videos of black people being executed, for crying out loud!), and that the only real talking point surrounding this movie is about the genders of those involved and the hate-on that people have …. it all speaks to a dislike, not of reboots, remakes or sequels, but a dislike of women.

      Wild dogs couldn’t stop me from going to see this movie, and telling everyone how amazing it is, because I want more women – more interesting stories – on my screens.

      • cr says:

        @Lurker, oh there was plenty of criticism/backlash about the movies you mentioned.
        But yes, there is definitely a gender element to the truly over the top dislike of this version.
        This does overshadow those who just aren’t interested in the movie because they’re not interested in the movie, not because they’re misogynist twits.

      • Saraya says:

        None of those films were remakes of a cultural touchstone like Ghostbusters, so you’re not comparing apples to apples here.

        Regarding the “it’s all just sexism” charge, I’m pretty sure if Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade were starring in a remake of Ghostbusters, the reaction would be positively apoplectic. The reason the sexism charge is such a talking point is because Sony, Paul Feig, and others have made it one. It’s just like last year when Josh Trank and gang tried to whip up some anti-racist indignation over a few tweets complaining about the casting of Fantastic Four. It’s a cheap way to deflect legitimate criticism of a lousy movie.

      • Lurker says:

        @cr, not before they released IIRC – or at least, not as widely, with this much hatred heaped on them before anyone saw them.

        @ Saraya, not cultural touchstones to you maybe. Starsky and Hutch was huge in the 70s, and Footloose had more of an impact that Ghostbusters did, I’d argue. Also, the Guardian articl references Jurassic World and The Karate Kid – nobody was “tired of reboots” when they were released.

        I’d also argue that the comedians you mentioned are not known for doing good movies, in fact, excepting Chris Rock, they’re widely viewed as terrible comedians. Melissa McCarthys films are all successful (they are made cheaply, and easily make back their money plus profits), and the other three are SNL stars. I don’t think you’re comparing apples to apples either.

        In fact, I think if Chris Pratt, Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans were starring in a Ghostbusters reboot, the whole world would be dying to see it – men, women and children. It’s women starring in it, so now it’s all about reboot fatigue, and people’s childhoods.

      • Saraya says:

        Adjusted for inflation, Ghostbusters is one of the highest grossing movies in history. Comparing it to Footloose or The Karate Kid just isn’t appropriate here. And Jurassic World wasn’t a remake/reboot.

        Melissa McCarthy isn’t known for making good movies either (only two “certified fresh” RT scores since her Bridesmaids breakthrough).

        And the whole world would be dying to see the four interchangeable Chris guys in a Ghostbusters reboot? Okay, you’re just trolling me now. Bye.

      • Josefina says:

        Everytime a new remake is announced, half the comments on every article about it on the internet revolve around Hollywood’s lack of originality. This is not the first remake to be thrashed on the internet, nor is it the one to receive the most thrash.

        I know well a lot of people specifically had a problem with the female leads. But, in all honesty, for every blatantly sexist comment I’ve read about the cast, I’ve read 2 or 3 comments saying the only reason people are not excited about this is because of the female leads. Because the casted actresses are the only thing we could possibly dislike about this idea?

      • mia girl says:

        Saraya – I disagree. Regardless of how much Ghostbusters made or how much I had to listen to the Ray parker Jr song – it was as much a cultural touchstone as Footloose, 21 Jump Street, The Amazing Spider-Man as even to an extent Starsky and Hutch (along with Charlie’s Angels). Each have had an impact on the pop culture of their times. I lived through them all!

        Listen, I love Ghostbusters, and as many of my fellow CBers will attest to, I am a huge fan of Bill Murray (I have even founded a religion in his name – LOL). But I don’t feel like by making a new movie (good or not) they are taking away any memory from my childhood. I mean the original lives on regardless.

        Remakes and reboots are a plenty these days, and often frustratingly so. But I just don’t get outrage taken to this level over this specific concept/trailer. I don’t even know how so many can claim it is a lousy movie based on a trailer.

        I like the actresses and will likely go see this movie to support movies with female leads. Is there a strong chance it may not be good? Yes – as it is with 75% of the movies released by studios these days.

        But will it forever tarnish my fond memories of the Stay Puft Marshmallow man? Nah. Even if it sucks, It’s not like this film is going to bring a disaster of biblical proportions. There won’t be forty years of darkness, human sacrifice or dogs and cats living together.

      • cr says:

        @lurker, no, the movies you mentioned haven’t been as vilified as Ghostbusters, but there was backlash, and lot of it. It’s quite common. You may not have paid attention, but any recent remake/reboot has gotten criticism at the beginning, even if the end product was alright. And the remake/reboot of Footloose got criticism, as did Jurassic World.
        As for the cultural touchstones, S&H was big in the 70′s, but isn’t held in the same nostalgic regard as Ghostbusters. Or even Charlie’s Angels.
        And if they got all the Chrises to do a Ghostbusters there’d still be criticism. I can assure you the whole world would not be dying to see it.
        So, to repeat, there is a misogynist element to the criticism, but a lot of it is also just because it doesn’t appeal to people. I loved the original, but right now, this looks like a pass. And this is based on my reaction to Paul Feig’s humor, which doesn’t match mine. So I’m not going to go see it just out female solidarity, not if the end product doesn’t appeal to me.

      • ichsi says:

        @Lurker
        Spot on.

        @Saraya We can split hairs over what the definition of a reboot is but it all amounts to the same thing: You take something that was successful a few years ago and rehash it ‘for a modern audience’, aka you run out of ideas and try to make a ton of easy money with a very familiar verse/storyline and people’s nostalgia. Which is what Jurassic World did.

        I did not like the original Ghostbusters movies and I had no interest in this reboot whatsoever until the haters came along. Now I wanna see it three times at least.

      • Lurker says:

        We’re mainly arguing over semantics at this point – the definition of a reboot, which films were more culturally significant, if a film got “some” criticism is that the same as a film getting “lots of” criticism.

        I still feel that the bile and anger directed at this film is disproportionate to the fact that is a reboot. Lots of films have been reboots. Their casts weren’t getting rape threats.

        We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one, I think.

    • Jenns says:

      Sorry that a remake of a movie where Dan Aykroyd gets a BJ from a ghost has exploited your childhood memories. Thoughts and prayers with you during this difficult time.

    • Erinn says:

      I thought Ghostbusters was a crap movie. Just putting that one out there. It’s not some cultural masterpiece to everyone.

      • CharlotteCharlotte says:

        My man’s never seen the original Ghostbusters movies, and he was actually the target audience age when they came out. I’m pretty sure we will go and see this one though (which is a huge deal to us because it means babysitter and going out like adults) because we are both huge fans of Melissa.

      • Trillion says:

        Thank goodness someone has come right out and said it! I can’t wait to see the new one though because I will see anything w/ Kristin Wiig. She singlehandedly saved that second Zoolander movie and she’s so understated/underrated in Walk Hard. The Leslie Jone’s lines in the trailer, however, are super cringe-worthy.

  3. Trixie says:

    I dislike the trailers for the new Ghostbusters movie because they didn’t make me laugh and so I think the trailers are boring. I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t judge on that, but the trailers are genuinely bad trailers. I’m not even a big Ghostbusters fan (I’ve seen it once a few months ago; it was alright).

    Something I am a huge fan of is Harry Potter, and yet I think the Fantastic Beasts trailers have been super boring as well.

    So yeah, not everyone who dislikes the Ghostbusters trailers are lonely internet trolls.

  4. hplupoi says:

    When was Melissa Mccarthy funny? When she was pooping in a sink at a bridal shop. That was original and funny. That’s what we need ORIGINAL stuff not another remake.

    • Cindy Lou says:

      McCarthy is a goddess. She CA take anything and make it funny – even the not so good stuff. Every actor, no matter how skillful (and comedy is a skill, much harder than straight drama), ends up sooner or later in a movie that just is not any good.

      What I want to know is why isn’t anyone complaining about those constant annoying remakes of Hamlet, Sherlock Holmes, Macbeth, westerns in general (they are all the same), A Star is Born? My god people, let that dreck die a natural death.

      I crack myself up. My dog is staring at me.

  5. Lolad says:

    I grew up with ghostbusters and while I liked it, it wasn’t like milestone in my life or anything. So I’ll probably take my daughter to see it for some mild comedic entertainment. I thought rebooting Edith gals was a fun idea, and Dan akroyd was sweet to throw in his endorsement.

  6. lucy2 says:

    I’m looking forward to the movie, I think it looks like a fun summer popcorn movie, and I like everyone involved. The original is one of the cornerstones of my childhood – even if this one isn’t good at all, it won’t change that. Ghostbusters2 was pretty bad and didn’t destroy the original. If people disagree, they can simply skip it.
    I think there are a lot of people who genuinely didn’t like the trailer, but the film has also brought out a lot of sexist pigs who clearly object to the movie starring women. And it really sucks that in 2016 that is still happening.

  7. Mike says:

    Ghostbusters sucked in the 80′s so they can’t make it much worse. Early reviews have been positive so that’s good, I guess. I’ll see it if it gets good WOM.

  8. QueenE says:

    Why is it if you criticize anything, the response is ‘you need a life/friends’
    Stuff can and does suck Melissa, and I have plenty of friends

  9. PoliteTeaSipper says:

    The trailer looked like shite and I’m tired of reboots. That’s why I’m not seeing it and I have plenty of friends, whatever that’s worth.

    I’m sick of the “you’re just sexist” card when the issue is your product is utter crap and that’s why people want nothing to do with it.

  10. serena says:

    I love ghostbusters and I really can’t wait for this one! it has an amazing team of women (and Melissa whom I love), what to want more?

  11. Sam says:

    I can’t wait for this movie to just come out and go away. Is a lot of criticism of it misogynistic? Yes. But is there valid, decent criticism as well? Yes. I thought that James Rolfe’s criticism was decent – that the film is confused as to how it relates to the original, and the cameos are clumsy and not well-integrated. But people still attacked him as a misogynist for daring to criticize the film. So basically both sides are nuts.

  12. Mixtape says:

    I was disappointed in the trailer as well, but I’m definitely still going to see the movie. All four of the stars are immensely talented and I want to support both their careers and women in comedy in general. That includes Leslie Jones, a favorite of mine–I want her to get more features despite what may have been a writing/casting misstep. I’m surprised to see such hate on this forum of all things for a female-driven project that nobody has even seen yet!

  13. Mike says:

    I actually thought the idea of casting women in the remake of Ghostbusters was a really good idea and I did like the fact that Melissa McCarthy was going to be in it but the trailer was pure crap. I am not sure if this was supposed to be funny or a thriller or something but it was terrible. I did not laugh or chuckle once. Many of the ghosts look like the same ghosts that were in the original. Maybe the movie is going to be great but it this trailer is any indication it will be a massive bomb in my opinion

  14. Pandy says:

    Ghostbusters came out in my early 20s. It’s a movie, not a defining moment in my life. I’m hoping this movie is great as I’m a huge comedy fan and I love all the comics in this movie. The trailer might not be the best but I will go see it anyway most likely. I think MMcC is great with the right material, so looking forward to this being a good one.

  15. Ozzy says:

    I don’t really care about ghost busters, the original wasn’t that good imo, but I do hope that it does well. I just don’t want the MRA’s to have the satisfaction of seeing it tank and I just know that the second the film is out they’ll come out in droves to rate the film a 1 on imdb without ever seeing it.

  16. Jules says:

    I’m in love with Kate McKinnon, so I’m definitely seeing this. Love the original, saw it in the theater as a kid, don’t care that it’s a reboot. I’m actually more fatigued about people bitching and moaning about remakes and reboots. Also, there was news at one point they were remaking Ghostbusters with men. Not sure if that’s still on. Probably see that too.

  17. Jwoolman says:

    So maybe they just need to do another trailer.

  18. Goodnight says:

    So people who dislike this movie for whatever reason have no lives or friends?

    Whatever you need to think to get through the day, I guess.