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Let’s Cast Kate McKinnon

What should the ‘Ghostbusters’ scene-stealer do next?

Getty Images
Getty Images

Ghostbusters is many things: a lightning rod for dumb controversy, a mad dash for IP, a trip to the Hemsworth puppy palace, a totally fine action-comedy. One thing it isn’t? The starring vehicle that breakout buster Kate McKinnon so richly deserves. With that in mind, Ringer staffers have taken on the roles of casting agents and picked McKinnon’s next move.

Hit the Beach

Sam Donsky: The problem with Ghostbusters, if there is one, is that we’ve already seen Ensemble McKinnon before: for almost five years now, on Saturday Night Live. As perfect as she is on SNL, and as much as it’s a thrill to watch her … it’s also not nearly enough. Kate McKinnon is a genius — and to maximize that genius, she needs room to run wild ’n’ free. So keep your rom-coms, keep your sitcoms, keep your “fleshed out SNL skit” vehicles. All I need is Kate McKinnon, two hours, some bad luck, and a beach. Oh, and throw in a volleyball.

Give me Kate McKinnon’s Cast Away.

Sign Up for Camp

Allison P. Davis: I think it’s been proven that every movie would have been better with Kate McKinnon, and she’s such a versatile character actress that she could play just about any role. So, I’ve been going back and recasting movies with her in various roles all day: I’d like to see her as Professor Trelawney in Harry Potter, Justin Bieber in Never Say Never, Miss Scarlet in Clue, horror movie aficionado with a heart of gold Randy in Scream, Billy Crystal’s Harry in When Harry Met Sally. Hell, let her take over for Bruce Willis in Die Hard.

But I think the dream McKinnon role for me is a remake of the John Waters classic Serial Mom, with McKinnon as the titular murdering matriarch. Not that Kathleen Turner didn’t slay — literally — in the part, but McKinnon’s got both the beauty and the natural ability to capture the pert ‘n’ perky blonde WASP on the brink of a total manic, homicidal episode. I totally believe McKinnon would bludgeon me to death if she caught me wearing white shoes after Labor Day — and I mean that as the highest compliment.

Hightail It to Cable

Katie Baker: I’d watch the hell out of Slap a Knocker: a weekly Vice series that follows the various Wednesday nights of this character.

Bet Big on Cackling

Robert Mays: When I think of Kate McKinnon, the first image that comes to mind is her leaning back in a chair, hoovering cigarettes, and describing her experience “full Porky Pigging it in a drafty dome” as Ryan Gosling sits three feet away and tries not to lose his shit.

She doesn’t have many worthy challengers for the bizarreness crown, and her turn in Ghostbusters was no different. Her character, Holtzmann, is a lot like Q — if Q smoked tons of meth and sold lab equipment out of a van. In one scene, McKinnon just … sits across a table, staring, for a good 90 seconds.

That ability to convey something crazy with nothing but your eyes is rare, and it makes me think that if we’re going to get 30 more iterations of the Joker, doesn’t McKinnon deserve her shot? I’m not here to tell Jared Leto how to do his job, but I’m pretty sure Kate McKinnon wouldn’t need to send anyone a used condom to teach herself how to play deranged. She can do that all on her own, and I’d like to see her try.

Go Indie

Alison Herman: Sony apparently neutered the, uh, gayer aspects of Holtzmann, so let’s give McKinnon her own lesbian rom-com. It’d have to be lower-budget and independent to guarantee freedom from a studio’s prying eyes, but she’s got her blockbuster bases covered for at least another year — it’s time to secure the “artsy cred” portion of her stardom. Think of it as her Obvious Child: clever, cutesy, and heartfelt, but more than anything else, a showcase for a comedian who’s clearly ready for an entire movie to rest on her shoulders, not just a quarter of one. Besides, McKinnon has been a de facto queer sex symbol for, like, half her time at SNL. It’s high time she played one.

Find Her Doppelgänger

Kate Knibbs: Looper was fine, OK? I’m not here to tell you that Looper sucked. But was Looper as good as it could have been? No, because Looper didn’t star Kate McKinnon and Justin Bieber. Doesn’t even matter which one is the old one and which one is the young one. Emily Blunt can stay put.

Or Just Go Full Madonna

K. Austin Collins: We know she’s running for president. We’ve seen her ruling daytime talk. She’s already made the greatest Calvin Klein ad of all time. She’s Carol.

Where else can Kate McKinnon go? Who else can she be? Who else is left but Madonna?

It’s not that they look anything alike, though admittedly I can’t help but see something of young Madonna’s laser-focused swagger in McKinnon’s recent red-carpet pictures. The jawline helps. The swooping hair helps. The ’80s-chic Lady Ghostbusting helps, too: Did anyone else shriek at McKinnon’s overall/cut-off look amidst her world-saving and geniusing in the movie?

OK, so maybe a Madonna parody, not a straight-up biopic. She’s a comedian, after all, and it’d be a shame to see her play straight. Still, McKinnon has a sense of style that, frankly, the world of comedy could use a little more of. Why not have her spoof one of the most stylish icons of all time?