Leslie Jones assures us Ghostbusters will not inspire clapter. Yes, clapter, that polite hum of chuckling and light clapping audiences emit when they get a comedian’s joke but aren’t exactly moved by it. “Real talk: We’re not making people laugh right now,” says Jones, mid-diatribe and dead serious. “People right now are so busy trying to teach shit when they’re doing comedy. It’s just not funny anymore.”
It’s high time, then, for a reintroduction of legit funniness, and Jones and fellow Saturday Night Live cast member Kate McKinnon (and Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig) deliver in the long-simmering Ghostbusters reboot directed by Paul Feig. There is physical comedy. There is slime. There is awkward, winning camaraderie. There will be no clapter.
That the new crew of Ghostbusters is all women has certain butthurt dude-bros crying “affirmative action,” but it’s hard to imagine a cast with more bona fides than this one: Gumby-limbed Bridesmaids star and co-writer Wiig, late-breaking stand-up Jones (championed by none other than Chris Rock), unstoppable box-office force McCarthy. And McKinnon… “I’m the odd one,” she says, attempting to pinpoint her style both on the show and in the movie. “On SNL, I like to play characters that are”—she pauses—“shouldn’t be as confident as they are. Who are just on the fringes but not aware of that. The character I play in Ghostbusters is a spiritual continuation.”
McKinnon and Jones, now castmates on big and small screens alike, are seeing their anonymity fade in tandem. Jones in particular has already had it up to here with the ill-prepared photo seekers who stop her on the street.
“Have your phone ready!” says Jones. “Do it real quick. Say, ‘I love your work,’ and keep it moving. You know? I’ll be with my friends, and I’ve had people shove their phone into my friend’s hand and be like, ‘Take a picture!’ That happened to us in Boston, making the movie, so many times. And then they’ll turn around and be like, ‘Oh, you’re Kate McKinnon!’ And she’ll be like, ‘Yeah, motherfucker. You just shoved your fucking camera in my hand.’ ”
“Yes! And I loved that,” McKinnon says. “I truly loved that.” She smiles and considers the likelihood of Jones not being mobbed by fans in the near future. “I think Leslie is screwed.”