Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire: Annie Potts On Janine’s Return, Suiting Up, And Missing Ivan Reitman

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

by Tom Ellen |
Published on

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is about to unleash all kinds of ghouls on New York City once more – with two generations of ‘busters ready to battle them, no less. As well as continuing the adventures of the young Spenglers – and Paul Rudd’s Gary Grooberson – the original gang is back in the Firehouse. Empire caught up with them for our world-exclusive Frozen Empire issue, getting the inside scoop on the film, the characters’ much-anticipated returns – and all other kinds of spooky business. Read Empire’s conversation with Annie Potts here – discussing Janine becoming an official Ghostbuster, the quotes fans always say to her, and making a Ghostbusters film without Ivan Reitman.

Originally published in the March 2024 issue of Empire.


EMPIRE: How did you react when you heard Janine was going to be suiting up for this one?

Annie Potts: It came as a real surprise. We were weeks into shooting and Gil [Kenan] came up to me and said, “We think it’s time... We’re gonna have you suit up.”

So it wasn’t in the script?

No, exactly. But I was thrilled. The chief Ghostbuster is now a young girl [Phoebe], with her mother [Callie] behind her, so it felt like a nice balance, generationally. With Janine there too, there’s someone for women of every age to cheer on.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

Did you get a kick from putting that flight suit on for the first time?

I have to say I did. Janine has served long and well, and I felt like she was finally getting her stripes, you know? She’s clearly stayed in touch with the guys [in the years between Ghostbusters II and Frozen Empire], and she’s really been the keeper of the flame at the Firehouse. The Ghostbusters are kind of superheroes, so it’s very nice to finally be seen in that way, too. I like to think Janine’s flight suit has been hanging in the closet all along. If so, thank God it still fits. [Laughs]

Just how often over the past four decades have you had fans yell, “Ghostbusters, whaddayawant?” at you?

I have honestly lost count. [Laughs] I fear it will be on my tombstone. That, or, “We got one!” But it’s nice to be part of something so iconic that you have these phrases attached to you.

I’m not sure I’d wear [the flight suit] around the house. It’s not all that flattering.

Do you believe in ghosts yourself?

I do. I had an experience when I was about four. When you’re very young, I think the veil between ‘here’ and ‘there’ is much more permeable. Anyway, my mother was very sick, in hospital, and I was staying at my grandmother’s house. It was a very old house, dating back to before the [US] Civil War. I was missing my mother and worried about her, and suddenly this lovely... being came into the room and sat with me. She held my hand and told me my momma was going to be okay.

That’s amazing. You weren’t scared at all?

No, there was nothing frightening about it. She came to me when I was in distress; she was clearly a benevolent spirit. Years later I found out that lots of people had seen her. She was from the original family the house had belonged to.

Going back to Frozen Empire, did it feel strange making a Ghostbusters movie without Ivan Reitman around?

Yes, but it was wonderful to see how thrilled Ivan was on Afterlife, watching Jason [Reitman] step into his role. I could see it made him so happy. What a way to wrap up your career — by seeing your child take the reins of something you’ve built.

Did you get to keep your flight suit?

I did not. I’m not sure I’d wear it around the house, anyway. It’s not all that flattering.

Empire – March 2024 issue – Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire – Cover 1

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire comes to UK cinemas on Friday 22 March

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