Ernie Hudson is grand marshal of the Downey Christmas Parade, taking place Sunday at 1:25 p.m. on Downey Avenue. He will also make an appearance Saturday at Downey Federal Credit Union from 11 a.m. to noon for autographs and photos.
Q: What is your fondest Christmas memory?
A: My fondest Christmas memory was when I was 4 years old before I started school my grandma got me a toy airplane and she had to stand in line at the Salvation Army for 10 hours to get it. It really impressed me and was really special.
Q: How do you feel about being the grand marshal of the Downey Christmas Parade?
A: I participated in the Hollywood parade but was never asked to be the grand marshal. John Zander was my former publicist and our families have been friends for years. When he asked, I was more than happy to do it. And to be asked to be the grand marshal is a real honor and I am very excited to be there.
Q: Will fans be able to meet you?
A: I look forward to meeting the fans and being able to be part of the Downey Christmas is very exciting to me. John asked if I would stop by the Downey Federal Credit Union on the Saturday before the parade to do a meet and greet. I have been working a lot but to have the time to not just to be in the parade but to be in the city of Downey will be very exciting.
Q: What do you think of the Ghostbusters reboot?
A: I’m excited about it even though I was skeptical at first because for years I would hope we would get back together…the four original guys and then of course after Harold (Ramis) passed that was not going to happen but the all-girl “Ghostbusters” script is very, very funny.
I went in and did a cameo as well as Danny and Bill so it was nice to have been included and to be part of it. After working with the girls I’m really excited about it. The fans are going to be pleasantly surprised.
I am also happy to see the franchise move forward because it should have happened years ago. The fans are very loyal….I see a lot of people put a lot of labor and money just because they love the movie. It is a real honor….I think this movie will be very good.
Q: When you filmed Ghostbusters did you have any idea that it would become as popular as it did?
A: With any movie you hope it will be successful and be a hit. To have a movie open in the top 5 is an honor but “Ghostbusters” was a hit all summer of 1984. I wasn’t surprised it was a hit but I am surprised it had the staying power that it has sustained 30 years -- people are still excited about the movie, people grew up watching the movie, they know the lines of the movie. I’m just excited to be in something that people really appreciate.
Q: You tweeted that participating in 'Dancing with the Stars' would be fun. Did you mean it and when was the last time you danced?
A: You know I’m not a dancer especially at this stage in life but when I was younger I would go out dancing and hang out, but not ballroom dancing. I thought it would be a great way to get in shape and have some fun. I meant it at the time but I’m not so sure now…I’m a little bit older and little more out of shape so I haven’t been asked to do it but it would be interesting.
Q: What do you want from Santa Claus this year?
A: I have a lot of stuff. I’m good on stuff. I just want peace of mind, to see my children and my wife, the people that I love, to be in a good place and doing well and I’m just asking Santa to continue to bless us. It’s about relationships and peace of mind. In my career I have been very blessed and I’m very thankful. It is my dominant intent to be happy and I am very happy.
I have so many blessings…..and to come to Downey and to participate in the parade is truly a blessing and I don’t take that lightly.