Neil Casey makes his major motion picture debut when Ghostbusters hits theaters on July 15.
Casey stars alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth in the rebooted comedy as villain Rowan North. A Hitfix review describes the character as “a very strange little man who has a plan for New York City” and is “hard at work turning New York into a supernatural hot spot.”
Another review on Pajiba describes Casey’s character as Reddit personified, “except without the cursing or rape threats.”
“He’s a bullying victim turned bully,” the Pajiba review states, “a man who thinks his intellect entitles him to obedience and respect from people he believes to be inferior to him in every way. When he doesn’t get it, he lashes out.”
In real life, Casey is a comedian, actor and Emmy-nominated writer who finds humor in the mundane. Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. He Was a Writer for SNL
The first sketch Casey got on the air starred host Louis CK and cast member Bobby Moynihan and was called “Hotel Fees.” It featured a hotel guest, who was in a hurry, having to listen to an employee go over every single charge on his bill before he checked out. The charges became more absurd as the employee went through the list.
In another sketch called “McDonald’s Firing,” cast members Moynihan and Cecily Strong worked at McDonald’s and hurled hilarious insults at their fellow employees when the manager announced she was going to have to lay people off.
2. He’s Worked With Director Paul Feig Before
Paul Feig directed, produced and co-wrote the new Ghostbusters film, but this isn’t the first time Casey and Feig have worked together.
Feig also created and directed Other Space, a 2015 Yahoo comedy set in 2051 about the inexperienced crew of a space ship.
“I’m a giant sci-fi fan, I have been my whole life,” Feig told IGN last year. “So, I was like, I don’t want to make fun of sci-fi; I want a comedy that takes place in a sci-fi setting where you can have the cool space ships, and have the hardware, and have, kind of, science-based humor.”
Casey played Kent Woolworth, a science officer who had spent most of his life isolated under water and had gills for breathing. The character allowed Casey’s deadpan sense of humor to shine.
The show has since been canceled. In February, Feig tweeted: “Desist in losing hope. It will be back if I have to shoot it on my iPhone. But it won’t come to that. Hang tough.”
According to IMDB, some of Casey’s other on-screen television credits include The League and Veep. He has been nominated for two Emmys as part of writing teams for SNL in 2013 and Inside Amy Schumer in 2014.
3. His Parents Supported His Career Choice
According to Delaware Online, Casey was majoring in computer engineering at the University of Delaware when he had a change of heart. He told his parents, Tim and Dianne, who still lived in Wilmington, Delaware, when the story was published last year, about his new interest over dinner.
“I remember we were at dinner at the Szechuan Restaurant on Kirkwood Highway and he told us he was switching from computers, which he had a scholarship for, to English and drama,” Tim Casey is quoted as saying in the story. “We figured better do it now than wake up one day at 30 and realize that’s what you want to do.”
Casey graduated from college in 2003 and moved to New York to focus on comedy, Delaware Online reported. He had a regular show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre within a few months, and began writing and performing his own shows afterward.
“When he was in New York, Casey was generally considered the funniest improviser in the city, able to instantly inhabit highly original, specific, and hilarious characters,” Vulture reported. “Also, while in New York, Casey was a bit of a sketch guru, teaching classes and directing shows.”
4. His Twitter Is a Tad Bizarre
Aside from a couple retweets from Buzz Aldrin last year and three posts surrounding the death of Neil Armstrong — including a selfie video of Casey watching the Apollo 11 moon landing for the first time — Casey periodically tweets the same message: “F— yourself.”
Casey started tweeting the phrase in February 2009 and has tweeted it from time to time ever since. Sometimes there are hours between the posts, and other times there are months between them. The last time he tweeted it was May 13.
On Tumblr, UCB Comedy called Casey’s Twitter feed an “online performance-art piece,” stating it’s “something to behold, a piece of written comedy with a consistent message.”
His personal website is also tongue-in-cheek with quotes peppered throughout from books for actors about why they should have personal websites.
5. The Ghostbusters Reboot Cost $154 Million to Make
After a change in leadership, Sony trimmed the Ghostbusters budget from $169 million to $154 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While it’s unclear what Casey earned from the movie, the Reporter said Melissa McCarthy’s take was $14 million, and Feig’s was $10 million.
The Hollywood Reporter also said the movie is on track to bring in an estimated $40-$50 million in its North American debut over the July 15-17 weekend. That would beat Feig’s biggest opening at the domestic box office with $39.1 million for The Heat.
Casey already has his next gig lined up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’ll play Sam Adams in the Fox comedy Making History, which will premiere midseason on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. The show is produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the producers of The Last Man on Earth.