The Ghostbusters are back: here's your guide to the all-female line-up


After months of controversy the new Ghostbusters movie has landed, with the all-female paranormal clean-up crew in action in New York City.

The reviews so far have been pretty positive, with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig winning plaudits for weaving together twisted humour, special effects and a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Here's a quick who's who of the new gang ready to take on the greedy green ghoul Slimer - or whatever else comes at them.

Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates

Reteaming with Paul Feig for the fourth time, Melissa takes on the role of Abby, a scientist with a passion for all things paranormal.

"Abby has always been the believer," explains 45-year-old Melissa. "It doesn't matter if people are making fun of her, which they always have. She's always believed in the paranormal. I love that she's stayed the course, no matter what."

Working with her long-time friend Kristen Wiig (both started out in LA comedy troupe The Groundlings) was also a draw for Melissa.

Of their characters' friendship, she says: "It's a little bumpy in the beginning, but you can tell the history is there. And that's easy to portray with Kristen, because I've known her so long and she's one of the greatest people I know."

Kristen Wiig as Erin Gilbert

Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Erin (Kristen Wiig), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Patty (Leslie Jones) in Ghostbusters. (Sony Pictures)

Like Abby, Kristen's character Erin believed in ghosts as a child, but as her physics career grew, she realised her fascination with the paranormal was holding her back and hurting her credibility.

"Erin wanted to live a life where she wasn't the weird one, so she left the paranormal world behind and went into academia, becoming a professor at Columbia University," she says.

"She finds Abby again and meets Holtzmann and Patty. As it turns out, they're these four misfits that find each other."

The 42-year-old star said she loved working with familiar faces from her time on Saturday Night Live, adding: "You really feel like you're with family."

Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann

Kate McKinnon at the LA premiere of Ghostbusters (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Kate's character, referred to as Holtzmann, has always been an oddball but the 32-year-old actress and comedian describes her as "a genius".

"I loved the idea of playing a scientist," she says. "I like playing a woman character that doesn't revolve around a romance, which is rare in a movie. I'm so glad to have been given that opportunity.

"She's the tech geek in all of this, which is usually the geekiest geek. She is in charge of perfecting the machinery that allows them to accomplish this mission."

And Kate - also known for her standout role on SNL - adds: "She's bizarre, she's freakish, she's full of joy. She is me! Yes, this is the closest character to my actual self that I've ever played."

Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan

Patty, who was born and raised in New York, is an avid reader when it comes to all things historical and paranormal.

Of her character, 48-year-old Leslie says: "Patty brings the normalcy - she reads a lot of books, she's a sponge for facts and keeps her mind open. It was important to me and to Paul that Patty is the one who says what people are going to say in the audience."

But the SNL star confesses being cast in the big-screen reboot still feels surreal and like "a great dream".

And Leslie is refusing to let her mood be dampened by the furore surrounding the all-female sequel, saying: "I don't understand gender controversy because there are two sexes, so why is there controversy?"

Now's the time to forget the controversy and just enjoy the slime.