Ernie Hudson at the Ghostbusters premiere

Ernie Hudson Talked to Us About the Power of ‘Quantum Leap’ for the Revival Series

There are two quintessential parts of the ’80s that are about to come crashing onto NBC, and it’s Ernie Hudson and Quantum Leap. The continuation of the hit show, which ran from 1989 to 1993, starts airing on September 19, and the search for Scott Bakula’s Sam is on. (Bakula is not confirmed to be in the series yet.) Hudson is playing Herbert “Magic” Williams, a character who was briefly in the original series played by Christopher Kirby. Now, Hudson is playing him, and he’s the de facto leader of the program trying to use Quantum Leap to find Sam.

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For Hudson, joining the show stemmed from watching the original with his sons. “I’ve watched this show. I have two older boys, I was a single dad. And we would watch the show from time to time. I can’t say I saw it every week, but there was something we kind of enjoyed and the idea of leaping into someone else’s body and then having that experience, it sort of opens up a lot of discussion and it was always great for us to watch the show and then talk about it,” Hudson said about his relationship to the original run of Quantum Leap. “When I heard the show was coming back, I was really excited. My boys are definitely because they were big fans. I was really excited because right now with everything going on, especially in the country, people are so divided.”

“This is a show that I think anybody, doesn’t matter your political perspective, can really look at and the possibility, the empathy of walking in someone else’s shoes in that situation. It’s pretty exciting. I don’t know of anything quite like that, but what excited me is something that, it crosses generations, you know? Older people, young kids, I think, will really get a lot from this show. Also, I think it gives us a chance to kind of look back at the past. We tend to remember what we wanna remember, past situations, events, to look into what was going on with people. And so there’s a lot of real, real exciting possibilities.”

The talk of generations is fascinating because the original show was that way in my own family. I watched it during reruns as a kid in the ’90s, while my brother watched it live and loved it. Together, we went through the series and would talk about our love of Scott Bakula. I brought this up to Hudson and how his own career (Hudson is famous for playing Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters movies) will bring new audiences to the show.

Knowing his work, I asked what he loved about getting to bring Herbert “Magic” Williams to life in the new series. “I watched so many shows and I think sometimes they’ve gone a little dark or whatever. Sometimes the humanity seems to be lost. And this is character is a well crafted, well rounded character,” Hudson said. “He’s dealing with a lot of responsibility, but his humanity is there. And that was really important because I’ve done characters where, you know, he had to be tough or he had to be there. So, and I just didn’t feel it was well drawn or well rounded. And this guy really is, I mean, he’s a very spiritually intuitive man, sees the potential of the whole Quantum Leap and very instrumental in getting it back up and running. But he has a lot of responsibility on his shoulder, he assembles these people who might not have been accepted by other people, but this is his team.”

You can catch Quantum Leap on NBC starting on September 19th.

(featured image: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.