Dan Aykroyd Delivers Chilly Endorsement of Dylan O’Brien’s Portrayal of Him in ‘SNL 1975’

Dan Aykroyd Delivers Chilly Endorsement of Dylan O’Brien’s Portrayal of Him in ‘SNL 1975’

Dan Aykroyd didn’t seem entirely enthused when, at the premiere of Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, he answered a question about the casting choice that put Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien in the role of a young Dan Aykroyd in the upcoming historical dramedy SNL 1975. I guess the fourth completely unnecessary Ghostbusters sequel also froze Aykroyd’s heart.

It must be an unusual experience for an actor to watch another actor play a fictionalized version of them. Usually, when a movie studio decides to do a dramatized retrospective of the behind-the-scenes lives of important figures from show business history, they do it after the prominent players have passed away, like when Cate Blanchett played Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator or when Jack White did the best damn Elvis Presley impression ever in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Austin Butler be damned. So, when Aykroyd, Lorne MichaelsChevy Chase and the rest of the surviving original cast and crew of Saturday Night Live watch the upcoming SNL 1975, it would be completely understandable if they squirmed a little at the loosely dramatized depictions of their own personalities and actions from 50 years ago.

That said, Aykroyd could have at least pretended to be excited when he was asked how he felt about the actor chosen to play him in SNL 1975. Instead, he told the reporter of O’Brien’s casting, “We’ll see. You know what, I’m just glad the young actor got work.” He added, “If he’s compelled to play me, well, I’m glad he got work.”

Additionally, Aykroyd was abrupt in revealing that Jason Reitman, the director of SNL 1975 and the son of the original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, never once picked Aykroyds brain about his side of the events portrayed in the film about the lead-up to the premiere of NBC's Saturday Night on October 11, 1975. “His take on it is intact, and I dont think he wants any undue influence people who might say, Oh, this, that, I didnt do this, he didnt do that. … He wants to have free form on it,” Aykroyd said of Reitmans supposedly loose connection to historical fact in the film. 

Perhaps Aykroyds not-quite-an-endorsement of O'Briens casting was just a playful bit of teasing packaged with some self-deprecation, but its hard to know for sure how Aykroyd feels about SNL 1975 and its treatment of his legacy when his comments seem to betray a bit of unease about the project in which he was notably not included. Also, saying that hes “just glad the young actor got work” when OBrien has already put together an impressive IMDb page feels a little backhanded coming from a guy who counts Blues Brothers 2000 on his own.


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