Paul Feig Defends Leslie Jones’ Character In ‘Ghostbusters’ With Some Behind-The-Scenes Info

With the arrival of the first Ghostbusters trailer, the critics of the film were given some new fuel to run on and made Leslie Jones one of the targets. Many pointed out that Jones’s MTA worker Patty seems like the odd one out with the rest of the Ghostbusters team in the film, something she took exception with on Twitter. This has gotten so heated that Jones is now looking at leaving the social media platform, as you’ll see below.

But she has one big defender and supporter in director Paul Feig. He’s been a fan of Jones since the movie was just an idea and revealed the original plans for Patty in a sit down with Empire Magazine, before he realized Jones would be perfect for the role:

“Actually, when Katie [Dippold, Feig’s co-writer] and I wrote the script, we had written the role with Melissa in mind, but then I thought I’ve seen Melissa play a brash, larger than life character. She’s done it in my movies before!” A big fan of Saturday Night Live, Feig thought of Jones, who’s been a regular on the show since 2014. “She’s one of my favourite people on the planet,” he says. “I don’t normally like comedy that’s big and loud, but she is able to pull that off in a way that feels real and it’s her. And when I make a movie, I want to find the funniest people I know and once I know what’s the funniest thing about them I want that to be the thing that I put on screen and let shine. This is the role that Leslie can shine comedically in. If you’ve ever seen her do stand-up, it’s just who she is. I wanted to unleash Leslie on the public in the same way we unleashed Melissa on the public in Bridesmaids, with a very showy role.”

Sounds about right. Empire points out that the controversy with Jones didn’t pop up online until after their chat with Feig, but that didn’t stop the director from holding up the defenses for her on Twitter:

It is definitely a role you could see Melissa McCarthy playing, likely with some foul language and at least one hot lava poo joke. Still not enough to change many minds about the Ghostbusters remake, but it might deflect some of this latest controversy.

(Via Empire Magazine)