...the PR man is signalling I have one question left. Except I don't have any questions left, just a notepad full of scrawls about downloadable content and why movie tie-ins are rubbish and none of it seems relevant. So I scratch around in the depths of my brain, and somehow manage to come up with the worst interview question ever: "What's the best thing about being a Ghostbuster?"
"Hmm," says Hudson, while I attempt to pull my own head between my shoulderblades in shame. "I don't know if this is about being a Ghostbuster or an actor or whatever, but...
"Sometimes when I'm walking down the street, anywhere in the world, I see somebody on the other side of the street, and you can just tell his life sucks by the way he's walking. There's a cloud over his head. You see people who are homeless, who are having a hard time.
"They look up and see me, and they recognise me. And they go, 'Oh, sh**! Oh man! Oh wow!", and the cloud kind of disappears. They say, 'Wow, man, we're really happy to meet you.' Then they say - I get this all the time now - 'You're my mother's favourite actor. Can you sign this?'
"After that little exchange they walk away, but it's a different walk. That doesn't cost any money. And I think it's pretty cool."
Hudson seems to have a pretty good level of fame; he's well-known enough to be recognized, but not so well-known as to make it inconvenient for him to go to the corner deli. He's just famous enough that chance encounters with him make people happy, and that's not a bad thing at all. Underrated actor, too; he was excellent in HBO's prison soap, OZ.
My favorite Ernie Hudson bit, believe it or not, is his role in CONGO. If you have not seen CONGO, it is a *horrible* movie. Absolutely wretched. Even Tim Curry, who plays a bizarre European rich guy funding the expedition in question, is lousy in it; the movie just defeats him. But not Ernie Hudson. Hudson plays the professional explorer whose job is to get the cast where they're going and back again; the character describes himself, with relish, as "the great black hunter." It was at a point in Hudson's career where he wasn't much in demand, and I guess he figured that he probably wouldn't get a role like this again so he was going to take full advantage of the opportunity and chew scenery left and right. Which he does. To the point that he *out-Tim Currys Tim Curry.* There's a scene where Curry and Hudson are by a campfire, and Hudson is doing his thing, and Curry just gives him a *look* that I'd swear is the mask dropping. Like, "Where the hell are you getting this joy from, Ernie? Didn't you realize how much this movie is going to suck?" And Hudson just keeps on going.
Now they're paying him to be in and promote the GHOSTBUSTERS videogame. Good for him.