Aykroyd plays Ben Bart, James Brown’s manager, in Tate Taylor’s Get On Up, the man who is credited with discovering Brown in an Atlanta nightclub. Get On Up tells the story of Brown’s rise from poverty to music stardom. Co-starring Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Jill Scott.
So, when Danny Ray came out and dropped the cape on James Brown on Please Please Please, that was a seminal moment for myself and my six friends, who squeezed into one of my friend’s mother’s Mustangs and all came down from Ottawa to see this show. And there was James Brown — his bolero heels like this far from our beers, dancing up and down the Esquire Show Bar. A full band, they had to pack on this small, little stage, but the horns, the rhythm. … So, really early on, I loved him.
Aykroyd plays Dr. Raymond Stantz, a parapsychologist turned ghostbuster who, along with his compatriots Dr. Peter Venkman and Dr. Egon Spengler, works to rid Manhattan of ghosts and poltergeists in Ghostbusters, directed by Ivan Reitman. Co-starring Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson.
I believe that 50% of Ghostbusters’ success is due to Sigourney, Moranis, Ramis and my writing and Reitman’s direction. And 50% was Murray and his presence as a leading man – he’s the greatest. He just brings such great energy and creativity and he brings the audience because they love that kind of hung dog who had such vulnerability. Really, I owe a lot to Billy.
Aykroyd plays Elwood Blues, brother to “Joliet” Jake Blues, who is fresh out of prison, in this comedy directed by John Landis. The pair set out to bring their band back together so they can raise $5,000 and save the Catholic home where they were raised. Co-starring John Belushi, Cab Calloway, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin.
The idea is based on two classic recidivist American characters. It’s based on a love of the city of Chicago and the music that came out of there.