*“Ghostbusters” director Paul Feig spoke about the controversy surrounding Leslie Jones’ character Patty Tolan in his reboot, saying the role was originally intended for Melissa McCarthy.
Jones’ role of a New York City subway worker was criticized as stereotypical, considering that the other white Ghostbusters (McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon) were all scientists and paranormal experts.
“Actually, when Katie [Dippold, Feig’s co-writer] and I wrote the script, we had written the role with Melissa in mind,” Feig told Empire.
Feig rerouted the role because McCarthy has already played “a brash, larger than life character,” in “Bridesmaids” and “The Boss.” But the opportunity seemed fit for Jones, who is “one of my favorite people on the planet,” he said.
“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,” he explained. “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.”