Ernie Hudson is beloved by fans as Winston from Ghostbusters, but it took the actor a decade to embrace the film. In a new interview, the veteran star opened up about the “psychological” effect making the movie had on him as, initially, he felt “pushed aside.”
“It wasn’t an easy road,” Hudson told SiriusXM’s Gary Dell’Abate and Rahsaan Rogers on The Howard Stern Wrap Up Show.
The topic was brought up when Hudson was asked if Ghostbusters meant a lot to him as “the biggest role” of his life.
“No,” Hudson replied, explaining he “was the guy who was brought in” alongside big stars like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. “So finding my place in the middle of that — and they were all welcoming and inclusive, the studio wasn’t. And the studio continued not to be.”
Hudson continued, “So it made it very, very difficult because I was a part of it but then I very selectively was pushed aside. When the posters came out, I’m not on the poster. It took a long time. I went to the 30th anniversary release of the movie and all the posters are three guys. Now I know the fans see it differently, and I’m so thankful for the fans because the fans basically identified with Winston, especially young, I don’t want to say minority kids, but a lot of kids.”
The 77-year-old star was told early on that “if you get in a major movie from a major studio” and the film does well “it will change your career.”
“Well, Ghostbusters didn’t do any of that for me,” he revealed. “I was working pretty nonstop, I did Ghostbusters, and it was two and a half years before I got another movie.”
Hudson noted that “he’s so thankful to be part” of the Ghostbusters franchise — at one point, he called director Ivan Reitman “a brilliant man” whom ” I have just so much love and appreciation for” — but “it wasn’t an easy road.”
“Ghostbusters I would say, it was probably the most difficult movie I ever did just from the psychological perspective,” he added.
In the original script, Hudson said his character Winston was introduced in the “very beginning” of the movie.
“By the time we got ready to shoot the movie, Winston came in halfway through the movie. All those things… it definitely felt deliberate. And I’m still not trying to take it personally,” he continued. “Anything bad, if you’re African American in this country, anything bad happens to you, you can always blame it on ‘because I’m Black.’ … You don’t want to go there.”
Hudson concluded, “I got nothing bad to say about anybody, but it was hard. And it was hard for a long time. It took me probably… 10 years to finally get sort of past that and just embrace the movie and enjoy the movie. It was very. Ghostbusters was really hard to make peace with.”