The Time I Was In Ghostbusters 2

GhostbustersI was going through an old photo album last night, Modern Philosophers, and came across the photo on the left.  I thought it was time to share the story behind it with you.

That is me on the set of Ghostbusters 2, which was my feature film acting debut.  I’d acted in NYU student films, but this was my first Hollywood blockbuster.

As you can see, I was quite handsome and had some wild hair.  That’s clearly what caught the casting director’s eye.  Don’t you agree?

I’m not sure who the woman is in the photo.  Maybe a fan?  A Ghostbusters groupie?  There’s also the possibility it is the woman who would grow up to be my ex-wife.  Those wild acting days are a bit hazy right now…

My dorm at NYU was on the corner of Washington Square East, and Ghostbusters 2 shot a scene right outside its doors.  I was cast as “Screaming NYU Student Fleeing Ghosts”.  I didn’t have any lines, but in my mind, I had so many things my character wanted to say.  I’d also worked out a deep back story for him.

I’m still upset that I didn’t get an Oscar nomination.

Ghost castFilming GB2, as those of us in the cast referred to it, was a blast.  There was an electricity in the air as we gathered on Washington Square East in the wee hours of the morning.  I probably had a morning class, but what did it matter?  I was a Film Major starring in the sequel to the greatest Ghost comedy of all time.

I didn’t need to go to class.

My big scene consisted of running down Washington Square East, take after take, screaming, and looking back over my shoulder at the Ghosts that were chasing me and my fellow cast members.

There were no actual Ghosts at the shoot.  Apparently, they would be added in later.  No problem for me, though.  I was able to play the scene as if my costars from the afterlife were right there.  The challenge only evoked a stronger performance out of me.

I do wish I had gotten the chance to meet Bill Murray.  He is one of my idols and all time favorite actors.  I would have loved to have talked out the scene with him, gotten his thoughts on the best way to flee a Ghost, and seen if I could have forged a bond with him that would have led to my character being added to other scenes.

Ghostbusters2_logoAlas, there was no sign of Bill or any of the other Ghostbusters.  Again, I made that work for me.  I am certain that my character was the only one fleeing Ghosts in that scene, who was pondering where Dr. Venkman and the others were, and what I could do to find them.

Since I nailed my performance in GB 2, I decided that it was time to retire from in front of the camera, and focus my attention on screenwriting.

Sometimes, though, I still sense the Ghost of Acting chasing me wildly down the street…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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37 Responses to The Time I Was In Ghostbusters 2

  1. floridaborne says:

    Ghostbusters was one of my favorites. My daughter was an extra in some golf movie and she had the same thing to say about all the takes.

  2. Um…if you want to impress, omit the “2.”

    • Austin says:

      Second day in a row I disappointed you. Guess I just can’t win…

      • To be fair, I’m freakin’ awesome and my standards are pretty high.

        But I’m also easily bored and may check that movie out of the library soon just to spot you running and screaming like a little girl.

      • I was in the library today and they had an available copy of Ghostbusters 2. One thing led to another and now I have the damned thing next to my DVD tray. Obviously, I’m behind in my drinking.

        So, where do I look to witness this incredible feat of virgin acting? Give me the video count and what you were wearing and we’ll see if the stories are all true. I won’t say which stories, I’ll just let the evidence speak for itself.

      • Austin says:

        I’m wearing the outfit in the photo. Goof luck in your search.

      • I’ll give it five minutes, then I’m moving on to Unstoppable.

      • Verdict: I spotted you in about ten seconds without actually watching the movie.

        I read the plot on Wikipedia, scanned through the DVD’s chapter list, chose the chapter I figured the running and screaming would begin, fast-forwarded to a crowd running and froze it. At 1:19:59 into the movie, after the women’s fur coat comes alive and runs away on the sidewalk, the movie cuts to said crowd.

        You are immediately visible running in front of a yellow cab from right screen to left but another person blocks half of your special looking-back-over-your-shoulder-in-abject-horror moment. Your impressive height almost makes up for those nerdy 80s glasses. Your fame lasted exactly one and a half seconds so by my count, you’ve got thirteen and a half left to fill, get crackin’

        Tell me you got rid those glasses.

      • Austin says:

        Thanks for the review.

      • That was just an observation. For a review, there would be metaphors and vitriol, mostly stemming from the fact that there is an all-female Ghostbusters 3 in the works, further watering down the original’s potent tonic of savvy writing, acting chemistry, and sociopolitical impact. I’m a purist.

  3. D. Parker says:

    So now I now who I’m gonna call…and you look quite tall. 🙂 Now you know I’m a real fan of your blog, I’m going to watch Ghostbusters 2 and see if I can spot you. 🙂

  4. D. Parker says:

    Did you stop acting for any particular reason? Just curious.

  5. Lorra B. says:

    I’m impressed…very cool Austin! Not to many can say that!

  6. ofopinions says:

    This feels surreal. As a kid, I adored Ghostbusters – the films and the cartoons. Never would I have thought that some day I’d be reading the blog of someone involved in it!

  7. susielindau says:

    How cool are you????
    I’ll have to rent the movie and search the crowd for your handsome face!

  8. rowanaliya says:

    That’s awesome! I’m going to have to re-watch it sometime and keep my eye out for you.

  9. markbialczak says:

    I will watch carefully next time I get the chance. How exciting, Austin! Now keep writing and help me get casted as old guy with a beard flees from whatever Austin wants him to shuffle from in your screenplay, please and thank you.

  10. Pamela Edwards says:

    I thought i recognized you from somewhere. Now i know lol !

  11. My kids loved Ghost busters….till I was sick to death of it – I may have to put myself through it just one more time now. *sighs* – Still, on the upside…. I’m acquainted with a film star, who’d ave thunk it, a claim to fame 😉

  12. Well now I feel kind of bad for ripping on Ghostbusters 2. (But at least I wasn’t the only one.) And I don’t care how bad it was, I would have loved to be in it. Lucky you! 🙂

  13. kristianw84 says:

    This is so awesome!! Your good looks and wild hair were the exact reasons the casting director chose you. I’m surprised you weren’t awarded a bigger role! Seriously though, I love the look!

    It’s a shame you didn’t get to meet Bill Murray. He’s one of my favorite actors, too!

    I’m going to have to watch this movie again and try to find you!

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