MOVIEPILOTFILM can officially reveal that after years of speculation and rumors about the gender of world famous green ghost "Slimer" from the Ghostbusters franchise, that "he" is officially a "she". At least in "his" most prominent feature film role in the 1989 hit Ghostbusters 2, where he was played by ROBIN SHELBY.
MOVIEPILOTFILM reporter KIERON ACKERMAN caught up with actor/producer SHELBY, the actor truly "behind the slime", who shares some of her favourite people to work with in the business, her advice for new actors and some of what she's been up to lately, including where to meet her at upcoming cons.
MPF (Kieron): You've been acting since a young age, what was your first role on stage or screen?
Robin: My very first role was a local children’s production of “The Wizard Of Oz” in the San Francisco Bay Area. I played a munchkin. I guess you could say I was bitten by the acting bug immediately.
MPF (Kieron): What made you want to become an actor in the first place? Were you inspired by anyone to take the step?
Robin: I think I became interested in acting watching sit-coms growing up. Shows like “Laverne and Shirley”, “Happy Days” and “Welcome Back Kotter” were inspirational to me, and a huge influence on my sense of comedy. What’s funny is I had to push my parents to let me audition for things and pursue acting. My parents quickly saw I was serious and that there was some ability there, and they became more supportive of the idea.
MPF (Kieron): You work with a lot of phenomenal people, are there any actors or directors who turned out to be nothing like you'd expected?
Robin: The talent I have been lucky enough to work is beyond unbelievable. I have also been lucky in meeting these people I have looked up to, and realizing they are as nice and wonderful as you hoped they would be. No surprises, and I love that.
MPF (Kieron): Working on Ghostbusters 2, what are your most memorable moments?
Robin: It’ s probably when we shot a scene after picking up Lewis on the bus, where Slimer gets off the bus to try and go with Louis to help. The energy we all had during and after shooting that scene was through the roof. This didn’t end up in the film, but as we wrapped that day we knew we had all accomplished something pretty remarkable. We also had an impromptu party at the end of the day when Bill Murray came to check out what we were doing. That is a very close second.
MPF (Kieron): How did you land that gig? Did you audition? Any bloopers?
Robin: I had worked on "Willow" at ILM about a year before Ghostbusters 2. I was the troll that was at the top of a bridge with Willow that gets torn in two by a very nasty looking two-headed creature. When they had lost the actor originally scheduled to play "Slimer" because of scheduling conflicts, they had remembered me from Willow and decided to call me in for an audition.
MPF (Kieron): What reaction do you get from GB fans when they meet you?
Robin: It ranges from “I didn’t know there was a person involved playing Slimer,” to a GB fan not knowing what to say because they are so happy to meet you. I have to say the GB fans are the best. They have really been so kind, generous and welcoming. And most franchises work so hard to do something good for charities in their community. You have to love that!
MPF (Kieron): When shooting your web series FAR FROM THE TREE what was the process like behind the scenes like? How were the other cast to work with?
Robin: The process was pretty relaxed. We had called in some friends of ours who we knew were extremely talented to be in the cast, and the atmosphere was just comfortable and relaxed. We are so grateful with the cast that we have had for the show…they are all fantastic actors and great people to be around.
MPF (Kieron): Where did the idea for FFTT come from? Any memorable moments?
Robin: Far From the Tree was an idea I had when husband and I were talking about creating a project because we wanted to stay busy and creative. He took the ideas and wrote some very, very funny scripts. We’re pretty proud of what was created. It’s very loosely based on some people and situations I know, and blown up to be much bigger than life to fit the idea we had for this crazy family.
MoviePilotFilm: Do you have a wish list of directors/actors you'd like to work with?
Robin: Some of my favorite actors I would love to work with are Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey, Jr. and Kevin Spacey. Some of my favorite actresses on my wish list are Amy Adams, Frances McDormand, Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock and Jodie Foster. A few directors who I would love to work with in front of the camera are Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, Bill Condon and Alfonso Cuaron.
MPF (Kieron): What's the best advice you've got from a fellow actor that you'd give to someone who is just starting out?
Robin: It’s a quote from George Clooney that is invaluable advice: “Actors tend to get in their own way a lot, as you will find in your life. A lot of times you will do things that will screw up your auditioning process. I loved auditioning but I was very bad at it for a long period of time. And part of it was because every time I went into an audition, I thought “God, I hope these guys like me” or “God, I hope I don’t screw this up”. And the truth is, having now sat on the other side of that couch, the producers and the director and the writers, they all go “God, I hope this person is the savior, I hope this person does it right!”, right? Every time you go on an audition, you are gambling with house money, right? From the minute you walk in: you don’t have a job. To the minute you walk out and you don’t have the job: nothing is different. The only thing that could be different is: you get the job. Period. And if you think of it that way, then you will take off all the pressure, and you will just go on to it, going: “The worst thing that could possibly happen tonight on this audition is: I don’t get a job that I don’t already have.”‘
MPF (Kieron): Living in Los Angeles, what is the local acting scene like?
Robin: As you can imagine, it’s very competitive. I have tried to surround myself with other actors who are supportive and encouraging. It’s important because you will hear so many “no’s”…you need others on your side who will encourage you to move forward and to never give up.
MPF (Kieron): Any tips for aspiring actors on how to get an agent, or impress on the day from a script?
Robin: Align yourself with other people in the industry, whether it’s a class or workshops or doing theatre. A referral from someone that has an agent is the strongest chance you have of getting your foot in the door. That being said, be ready when that door is open. Prepare for any audition to take any guesswork out of your mind. That is the easiest way to calm any nerves or doubt. I think that is the downfall with so many actors…not taking enough time to prepare.
MPF (Kieron): What projects do you have coming up?
Robin: I have just shot a webisode called “The Gloaming” which I am so excited about. I have also just found out that I will be working with a great team on a film called “Demonic Attachment”. Are you sensing a horror/paranormal theme?"
MPF (Kieron): Where can fans connect with you online?
Robin: You can find me on Facebook (f.com/RobinShelby), Twitter (@ActressRShelby) and my website www.robinshelby.net .
MPF (Kieron): Any personal appearances coming up?
Robin: On August 1st and 2nd, I'm going to be appearing at the Optimus Southwest Film and TV Convention in Torquay.
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All images © Robin Shelby / Ghostbusters 2