Amy Schumer’s outrageously hilarious feminist sketch series “Inside Amy Schumer,” on Comedy Central, brazenly lampoons gender norms, muscle-flexing machismo and, of course, Schumer herself. She is unabashed and unafraid to take comedy’s X-ray to herself and does exactly that in her upcoming “Trainwreck,” which she wrote and stars in, directed by Judd Apatow. (Universal, July 17.) Watch the new trailer below, and read the best of what she said at a SXSW talk below:
On getting started in standup, and why she loves it. “I never had a plan and I still don’t. I didn’t even decide to become a comedian. It still just kind of happened. “I love to lie. I love lying in interviews specifically. But when it’s someone who doesn’t know who you are. I was asked, What was your favorite scene to shoot last year? I said, ‘I was in Dubai hanging out with Wiz Khalifa and I pissed myself’ and they printed it and I was like ‘That’s so fun.’ There’s a lot of lies. I loved ‘Newsies’ growing up and I’m sure I said in some interview that I was a Newsie but that’s a lie. I’m a girl. I’ve always had ovaries. “As soon as I graduated college I moved back to New York, I was just waiting tables and auditioning and I joined an abusive improv group and I went to see one of the girls — ‘girl’? She was like 60 — one of the chicks in my troupe, she was doing standup and she just ate it so hard and I was like, ‘I could do that. I could bomb.’ I tried it and I loved it.”
On her stage persona and how much is real, or hyperbole: “My standup started out very much as a stage persona, like a deranged Stepford wife saying really racist things. That was a character and I’ve gotten closer to who I am. I’ll still throw a line in there where I’m playing kind of a dimwit but I’m getting further and further from that. On my TV show, I love playing a monster. I love playing the worst idiot I can think of. A lot of girls come up to me and say ‘I’m you!’ and I say ‘I’m making fun of this. That’s not good.’ I think you can point out the problems with playing a character like that. I’m either playing a total monster or a complete victim, and I think I’m both of those things. People know that it’s a major exaggeration. Or if they meet me they’ll realize that really quick. That’s the big difference between me and my character in the movie.”
On her Judd Apatow origin story. “Judd is like a fucking oracle. If you look at people that are huge stars now, he put them in movies before you knew who they were. He has a good sense. Not that I’m saying ‘Guys this is the last time you’re about to see me because I’m about to blow up!’ he’s not afraid to let people be themselves and be vulnerable. That’s what he heard when I went on Howard Stern. I was just trying to promote some road dates so this worked out way better!”
On why falling in love is like “feeling sick” and “being on drugs.” “I was falling in love when I wrote ‘Trainwreck,’ was scared out of my mind and wasn’t even enjoying it. I was feeling sick all the time. It’s like being on drugs. It’s not even fun falling in love. You don’t remember it until you’re going through it and then you’re like, ‘why did I ever want to be in love?’ It kind of sucks. I hadn’t taken a look at myself and my behavior until he encouraged me to do that. It was really hard, but it was good, it was overwhelming.
Read the rest of our story from SXSW here.