Ghostbusters’ Kate McKinnon, X-Files, & why prominent female characters are important
The new Ghostbusters isn't for everyone but it will be everything to someone. Paul Feig explains why he feels it's important for young girls to see themselves on screen and a blast from Kate McKinnon's Halloween past will show you why.
I'm sure most of you have seen this by now but if not, please gaze upon the adorableness.
THIS IS WHY FEMALE LED FILMS ARE IMPORTANT pic.twitter.com/DsCj0NlHvg— trudie (@hoItzmanns) July 10, 2016
Speaking with Vulture about the immense pressure of making a $150 million movie, Feig spoke on why he personally feels it was important to take the risk:
“I wanted for little girls to be able to see themselves up on the screen,” Feig says. “The original one exists, so you can see boys doing it, but how fun for girls to have this experience!” That’s why he pushed so hard for new Ghostbusters action figures. “There was some resistance,” he says, “because there’s a fear that boys wouldn’t buy toys from a movie starring girls. But guys have such great feelings of nostalgia because the original had a lot of gear. I’d like girls to be able to put on a proton pack and run around.”
He then tells me about one especially bright moment that arose in the midst of all the misogyny, when he checked his Twitter and saw a photo of a 6-year-old girl wearing a Ghostbusters uniform that she and her dad had made. “This little girl, she looked so tough and cool,” he says, “and I burst into tears, because I was like, ‘That’s why we’re making this movie!’?”
Not everyone sees blockbuster films as being "important" but as Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed us last year, they certainly can be. In my review of Paul Feig's Ghostbusters I touched on how refreshing it was to see that the obstacles in the way of the main characters didn't revolve around their gender. Equally important in my mind was its depiction of friendship and women working in STEM fields.
To that end, a few years ago Kate McKinnon guested on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She shared a childhood picture of herself as Dana Scully from The X-Files, another STEM character who's been influential to many.
(screencap via Tumblr by way of NBC)
Sadly, I can't find the video online anymore to hear what she said about it but my heart has swelled ten times for this woman. Not the least of which is because I also dressed as Scully for Halloween back in 1998.
There are already new Ghostbusters costumes for sale and I can't imagine what it will be like for McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig when they start seeing young girls dressing as their characters. No matter how you feel about Ghostbusters, you can't deny these women and their characters will make a lasting and powerful impact to so many people.