When I signed on to Zoom to speak with Ghostbusters: Afterlife star and OG Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson and costar Celeste O’Connor, Hudson remarked excitedly, “There are Black girl nerds?” I assured him there were a lot of us, and we loved him in the movie.
We’re living in an age where fandom is no longer defined by one race or gender. Black fans, female fans, and fans of every background are being recognized, and we’re starting to see more diversity in projects that historically excluded us.
“How I got the role was kind of a funny story,” Celeste O’Connor explained about booking the role of Lucky, a teenager who works at the local diner. Lucky gains the attention of Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and somehow gets corralled into the plan of Phoebe (McKenna Grace) to save the day. “I got the audition and it was just a mysterious Sony film. The role just said, ‘Teen Girl.’ I was in school at the time, and I had an exam I had to study for. I messaged my agents if it was okay to pass on it, and they were like, ‘No, you should really do this!’” O’Connor’s agents were usually fine with the actor turning down a role, especially for school. O’Connor was attending the prestigious Johns Hopkins University pursuing a medical degree. When their agents asked them to drop their studies for this role, they knew this had to be a big deal.
“I was like…okay!” O’Connor continued. “I came home from the library and sent in the tape and then you know, amazingly, they loved it. I did a couple of rounds of auditions, and then I went to LA to meet Jason [Reitman, the director] and Finn. Then from there, well you know, we made magic happen.”
I asked Hudson how he got involved with this reboot.
“I see it more as a continuation,” he explained as we tried to find the best phrase for what the movie was. Was it a reboot? A sequel? “The movie five years ago with the ladies, I think they tried to put it in another universe. It was confusing to the fans because it wasn’t an extension. But this directly connects. One of the grandchildren is from…