Let us tell you something: (Ghost)bustin' makes everybody feel good!
That's what made Monday's virtual "Ghostbusters" reunion on Josh Gad's "Reunited Apart" YouTube show such a special occasion. While raising funds for the Equal Justice Initiative, Gad gathered the stars of the 1984 supernatural comedy: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts, plus the film's director, Ivan Reitman.
Reitman's son, Jason, who wrote and directed "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," due out in 2021, was also on hand to share memories — he was 7 when the original film was being shot! He recalled being entranced by the "circus" life of all the movie people, along with "the special effects and giant bags of fake marshmallow they dumped on everybody."
"Eighty percent (of the comedy) was improv," said Aykroyd.
That included some of Potts' costume: She'd come down to the firehouse set to watch filming, and when director Reitman spotted her, he said she should just get in the scene. So she grabbed the costume designer's oversized "Coke bottle" glasses, put them on and sat down to be filmed. "I was stuck with them — I was, like, blind — for the rest of the film," she said.
Weaver also brought some improv chops, in part because she wanted to play a dog. (There are several key scenes where doglike demons get to chew a lot of scenery.) "Sigourney said during the audition that ... 'my character should become a dog at some point.' And we didn't have that (in the script) at that point," said the director. "She said, 'I really should be possessed and become a dog myself.'"
"I was willing to become a dog for the whole show," added Weaver.
Everyone revealed how much they missed actor-screenwriter Harold Ramis, who died in 2014 at 69.
"Harold was always the guy who helped me make sense of what was happening and what was going on and I give him a lot of credit for how I've been able to sustain myself in this industry," said Hudson.
"This was a hard movie to make and he could stand enormous amounts of discomfort," noted Murray, who wore a sailor's hat in homage to the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.
One surprise to many in the room: John Candy was originally approached for the role Rick Moranis was eventually hired for, the nosy neighbor who has a crush on Weaver's character. "He didn't really get it," said director Ramis, about Candy. "Kept wanting to play him with a German accent and with a couple of German shepherd dogs, too."
And the stars and creators weren't the only ones who dropped by; Gad brought on board several actors who'd held smaller roles: William Atherton (EPA representative Walter Peck), Steven Tash and Jennifer Runyon (who played students Murray tested for ESP), Michael Ensign (the snooty hotel manager) and Timothy Carhart (who played Weaver's violinist boyfriend). Not only that, there were special appearances from "superfan" Kumail Nanjiani and musician Ray Parker Jr., who performed the iconic theme song!