When you need an executive producer for a life changing film, try Ghostbusters’ Ernie Hudson.
By Kate Matthews
Photography by Copper Chadwick
Ernie Hudson takes his eggs fried hard, his bacon crispy, his toast wheat, and his coffee black. Or at least that’s how he ordered this every-man’s meal at Eagle’s Bardenay. The 69 year-old actor sat down to brunch with Eagle Magazine to discuss his role as executive producer and supporting actor in the upcoming indie film The Deaf Kid, written by Idahoan Catrine McGregor.
Hudson is arguably best known for his role as Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters franchise (1984, 1989). But more contemporary audiences may recognize Hudson from his work on The Crow (1994), OZ (1997), and Miss Congeniality (2000). This dynamic and talented actor (who happens to have a Ph.D) has over 190 acting credits to his name on IMBD and will soon be adding that of The Deaf Kid’s Pastor T.J. to his stunning filmography.
Hudson joined The Deaf Kid’s writer and producer Catrine McGregor, along with director Gregory James Green, and co-star Cynda Williams at the Watersedge Event Center this past November for a fundraiser to support the filming, post-production, and distribution of McGregor’s film. Slated to be shot in its entirety on-location across Idaho, The Deaf Kid is, without a doubt, a labor of love for this veteran actor and a film he supports so strongly that he was willing to provide financial support to ensure the project reached completion.
The Deaf Kid
The Deaf Kid follows the fate of hearing-impaired adolescent Darrell, a clean-cut, law abiding nature nerd living in the midst of inner city gang violence. After witnessing the brutal murder of a local gang’s leader, Darrell is kidnapped by the leader’s lieutenant to finger the killer.
When the right man cannot be found, an innocent bystander from the rival gang’s clan is abducted instead and, along with two potential initiates, the group heads into the surrounding hills to extract revenge. As they do, things go terribly awry and it is up to Darrell to use his Boy Scout know-how as his guide and rely on the unlikely teamwork of his companions to serve as his “ears,” to guide the youngsters through the wilderness and back to safety.
All the while, Darrell’s community is in turmoil over the abduction of its children and the brutal murder of the gang leader and its unintended consequences. At the heart of the loss is Darrell’s hardworking father, Pastor T.J., (played by Hudson), who is asked to guide his flock through these troubling times, while he himself struggles with his faith and tries to find the courage of his convictions.
The film is both heartwarming and heart wrenching in equal turns, and McGregor has captured the complexities of the youth dynamic, as well as the crisis faced by the community in the wake of its collective loss.
When asked what it was about this particular film that drew him in, not just as an actor, but as an executive producer, Hudson gave an unlikely response.
Hudson views The Deaf Kid and its message as something that needs to be made as part of a higher calling. This calling is not religious per se, although he acknowledges that for some it could be, but instead he feels a universal responsibility to touch the lives of people who need this film the most.
Hudson feels that The Deaf Kid has the potential to transform those in need when they least expect it. He hopes the film will remind people of all ages and walks of life to “let go” of the fight (whatever fight it may be) and empower viewers to release their own ego-based fears in favor of a deeper and more personal connection with one another and their communities. Community, Hudson feels, is paramount to the success of both the society and the individual.
Should all go according to plan, Hudson and the cast of The Deaf Kid, including friend and The Millers (CBS) co-star Beau Bridges, Cynda Williams, and Todd Bridges, will return to Idaho this summer to begin filming. At present, locations are set for Caldwell, the Wilderness Ranch area, and Yellow Pine, among others.
Both McGregor and Hudson are excited to bring the filming of The Deaf Kid to Idaho and are looking forward to working with Idaho filmmakers and crewmembers on the principal photography and production.
For more information on The Deaf Kid, including updates on the nation-wide talent search for Darrell, visit the film’s Facebook page.