The Ghostbusters are back, well, sort of. In the new film Ghostbusters: Afterlife, there is a new generation of proton pack-wielding heroes.
Fans have been waiting years for a true sequel to 1989’s Ghostbusters II, and no, we don’t mean Paul Fieg’s 2016 Ghostbusters film, a noble attempt starring Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig. With that movie behind us, stans of the famed movie franchise were happy to learn of a new film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, based on Ivan Reitman’s iconic films directed by his son Jason Reitman and produced and written by one of the original stars Dan Aykroyd.
The movie follows a single mom named Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two kids Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace), who moves to a small town after being booted from their apartment in the city. They inherit a creepy old farm from their estranged grandfather, Egon Spengler, one of the original Ghostbusters played by the late Harold Ramis. The kids quickly learn about their grandfather’s history thanks to all of the cool ghostbusting easter eggs left around the farm and eventually get into the family business. Along the way, they make some new friends, Phoebe, who is a direct clone of the grandfather she never met befriends, Podcast (Logan Kim), while Trevor has the young teenage feels for Lucky brilliantly played by Celeste O’Connor.
The foursome team up to take down the supernatural forces “accidentally” unleashed upon the town and embark on an adventure to save the world that will have fans shedding tears of joy in the process, trust us when we say this.
Cassius Life had the opportunity to speak with one of Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s stars Celeste O’Connor. During our conversation, we touched on her joining the project, using the iconic gadgets like proton packs, representation in the Ghostbuster’s films, and, of course, if she is terrified of ghosts.
Step into the interview below.
Cassius Life: Learning being cast in this film is exciting news. When did it really hit that you were in a Ghostbuster film?
Celeste O’Connor: I arrived in Calgary, where we shot the film, and we had a cast dinner the weekend before we were about to start rehearsals and shooting and everything. I was sitting at the table. Literally, I was sitting next to Ivan Reitman and Finn Wolfhard. Then Jason was in front of me, and it was just the most incredible group of people to be sitting at a table and having dinner with. I was like, “Oh, my God.” It hit me then for the first time. Then for the second time, when I actually got on set and saw all the gadgets and everything.
CL: Speaking of the gadgets, what was the feeling you got when you touched the proton packs and saw Ecto-1?
CO: Yeah, it was amazing. I stepped into one of the sound stages, and Jason took us on a tour of the prop world. We saw the props guys making the gadgets and hand painting things and screwing things. It was really cool to see the process of how they were working on things. I saw the Ecto-1 for the first time in that space. It was surreal. It was incredible. I was like, “This is the one from the movie that I saw when I was a little kid.” It was incredible.
CL: Representation is a big deal. There have been some issues with characters, particularly Black characters in Ghostbusters films, but we’re happy to say that it wasn’t a problem with your character, Lucky. What do you hope young Black and Brown boys and girls get from when they see your character on the big screen in the Ghostbusters movie?
. I think it was really important to me to be a part of this film as a young Black woman specifically because I love sci-fi and I love fantasy in the sense that it gives us permission to use our imaginations and dream bigger.
CO: Yeah, absolutely. I think it was really important to me to be a part of this film as a young Black woman specifically because I think I love sci-fi and I love fantasy in the sense that it gives us permission to use our imaginations and dream bigger and look towards the future and look towards the worlds that we want to build for ourselves as people of color. That’s something I love about sci-fi. It gives us room to use our imagination in a really powerful and creative way.
I think that it was just an honor to be a part of this story, and I just want younger people, even kids younger than me, to know anybody can be a Ghostbuster. Especially young Black kids, use your imagination, cherish your imagination. It’s literally what has kept me going, and I think it’s what the world needs. I don’t think that young black kids have to be everything to the world, and I don’t think we need to save the world, and I don’t think we need to be extraordinary. I think we just need to be able to feel free and have fun and use our imagination. That’s what I did here, and that’s what I hope that other young black kids do all the time.
Especially young Black kids, use your imagination, cherish your imagination.
CL: Great answer. Finally, the Ghostbusters song is a classic song. In the song, Ray Parker Jr. says, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” Lucky is very adventurous, and she isn’t afraid to encounter ghosts. Now in real life, if you stayed at a haunted house, would you be that brave? Also, have you ever had a paranormal experience in your life?
CO: My character Lucky is badass. She definitely goes after those ghosts. She’s not afraid. But I personally would be out of there. I would just have, minding my own business. I would’ve gone to the diner. I would’ve made myself a burger and let other people deal with that because I don’t know.
CL: You’ve never had a paranormal experience in your life ever?
CO: I never have. I never have. But honestly, if I did, I would just let the ghost do its thing. I would be like, “You know what? Make yourself at home. Make something to eat.” Like, “Have my bed, take it.” Like, “I’ll just be out of your way.”
CL: That’s the answer we were expecting.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife arrives exclusively in theaters on November 19.
Photo: Sony Pictures / Ghostbusters: Afterlife/ Getty Images