In the months leading up to the release of an all-new Ghostbusters film in July of 2016, GBHQ will be giving you a look into the highly talented cast and crew that are involved in the film in an effort to familiarize fans with their work and background leading up to the film's premiere.
Up first, Kate McKinnon who plays Jillian Holtzmann in the new film.
McKinnon was born the same year as the concept of Ghostbusters, 1984. She originally hails from New York, where she was trained and a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. Ghostbusters fans should take note that she's an actual graduate of Columbia University. Her knack for improvization and impersonation caught the eye of casting directors on the 2007 Big Gay Sketch Show, which debuted on Logo. While the show failed to make an impact, McKinnon's were given the chance to go public. McKinnon made the move to Los Angeles and as a featured member of the CBS Diversity Showcase, an annual performance in Los Angeles intended to showcase new and upcoming comedic talent for casting directors, directors, producers and showrunners looking for new talent to star in their fall television shows. But before she could be swept into sitcom stardom, she caught the eye of Lorne Michaels as a potential candidate for one of his Not Ready for Primetime Players on Saturday Night Live.
McKinnon joined SNL in 2012 as a featured player, then later as a member of the regular cast. Spot-on impressions of Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber led to recurring sketch characters like a poor Russian woman on Weekend Update, and the lonely and love-starved Sheila Sauvage who prowls a bar right before last call for her prey. Just recently, McKinnon took over duties of characterizing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from Amy Poehler. It should be noted that portraying a president in office or presidential candidate is often considered one of the greatest honors for an SNL cast member. Upon her casting on SNL, McKinnon often drew comparisons to cast member Kristen Wiig (who was in the process of exiting the show for a career in films at the time), and was often faced with inquiries if she would be able to fill Wiig's shoes. The two are, of course, now co-stars in the upcoming Ghostbusters film.
In addition to her work on television, McKinnon has long been a voiceover artist, having provided voices for Simpsons, Family Guy, The Venture Bros., Toy Story of Terror, Moonbeam City and Robotomy. She is also multi-talented musically and plays guitar, piano, and the cello... much like a certain New York Symphony Orchestra performer who once turned into a dog.
McKinnon's character in the new Ghostbusters film looks to showcase the best of her talents. Her character, Jillian Holtzmann has a unique look and appears to have a unique and energy infused persona: an environment in which McKinnon excels.