Ghostbusters star's bizarre story of losing own role in TV cartoon

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Feb 7, 2013, 3:27 PM EST

He might be one of our favorite parts of the Ghostbusters franchise, but apparently Ernie Hudson wasn't needed when it came time to make the Real Ghosbusters cartoon, even when he went and auditioned for the part.

It's not often we hear about live-action movie stars turning to TV to reprise animated version of their characters, but unlike his Ghostbusters cohorts, Hudson had a good bit of voice acting experience under his belt by the time The Real Ghostbusters was headed to the small screen. So naturally, hoping to carry on the role of Winston Zeddemore in cartoon form, he went in to read for the part. What happened next is at once bizarre, funny and kinda sad.

"Yeah, I did, and it was funny, ’cause they said, 'You don’t have to audition for the part, but the director wants to hear you read the material,'" Hudson said in an interview with The A.V. Club last year. "So I went in to read the material, and the guy said, 'No, no, no, that’s all wrong! When Ernie Hudson did it in the movie…' And I’m like, 'Well, wait a minute: I am Ernie Hudson!' [Laughs.] So when I left, they said, 'No, it’s not a problem, you’re gonna do the voice.' They called me about it—I was shooting a film; I can’t remember what film I was doing—and then I never heard anything from them. Then I found out that Arsenio [Hall] was doing it. I was very busy doing other stuff, but I was really disappointed because the thought of someone else doing Winston was not something I felt great about. Arsenio’s a friend, so there’s no disrespect to him. But they had me come in and read, and even though they said I wasn’t auditioning, I dunno, I guess I was just there to have the director get on my nerves. Who knows what happened there? Whatever the case, I didn’t get the part. Unfortunately."

Arsenio Hall voiced Winston for the first two years of The Real Ghostbusters, then Bernie Jones took over for the remaining three. Hudson did get a chance to voice the character for 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and he seems to also want to return for the long-rumored Ghostbusters 3, but way back when, even Ernie Hudson wasn't Ernie Hudson enough to play Winston.

(Via Spinoff Online)