Hudson played Winston Zeddemore, who joins the movie later than the other three actors, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis. The actor previously revealed that the character was supposed to show up much earlier in the movie with a significantly richer back story. At the time he noted that he had a love/hate relationship with the movie as a result.
However, speaking to Yahoo Entertainment in a recent interview, he’s since softened on that position.
“It’s never really been a hate [thing]. I’ve had some issues in terms of the production company,” Hudson told the outlet. “But I always liked Winston. He’s one of those cautious guys. ‘I’m here, I do my job, I’m loyal. But I don’t know what the hell this is all about.’ I love the take that a lot of fans came away with, just Winston being the normal guy who so many kids, especially little kids, related to. I was a little surprised by that. But now 35 years-plus later, I am just grateful to have been a part of this franchise.”
Ernie Hudson played Winston in the original ‘Ghostbusters’ films.
Hudson described his initial experience with the role in a 2014 article he penned for Entertainment Weekly, where he explained what attracted him to the script.
“I look back on Ghostbusters in a very fun way, but it’s got so many mixed feelings and emotions attached to it,” he wrote. “When I originally got the script, the character of Winston was amazing and I thought it would be career-changing. The character came in right at the very beginning of the movie and had an elaborate background: he was an Air Force major something, a demolitions guy. It was great.”
Speaking to Yahoo, Hudson admitted that he’s still not sure why the character’s original introduction was cut.
“I never did [get a reason]. I think they said for the story, you know, we got three guys who are really established in the industry and I was really just getting started. But I have no idea, honestly.”
Given the current conversation happening about systemic racism in America as well as show business, Hudson was asked if he thinks him being black played a factor in the reduced role.
Ernie Hudson talked about his role being cut in ‘Ghostbusters.’
“I think when you’re black in America, any issue that you have, you can blame it on race,” he explained. “And I think that’s [true] for a lot of people, but what I realized and what became really important to me to do early on is just to not attribute it to things outside of myself, because I can’t control that. And so I’m gonna give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were trying to sell a movie and this was how they felt they should sell it. Now, maybe the fact that I was black… For years they said you couldn’t sell a movie if it was starring an African-American actor. But you can’t be a victim in this stuff. Obviously, had it been Eddie Murphy, who’s black, that wouldn’t have been the case.”
Murphy was rumored to be the person initially considered for the role of Winston, but the “Saturday Night Live” actor was filming “Beverly Hills Cop” at the time.
“So there are a lot of factors,” Hudson concluded. “Like I said, I think you just try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially if it’s something you don’t understand. I know what I believe I can do, but not everyone knows that.”