It’s been quite a year for Amy Schumer, and it’s about to get even better.
The “Inside Amy Schumer” mastermind is starring in “Trainwreck,” the latest comedy film from Judd Apatow (which she co-wrote). Set to hit theaters on July 17, early reviews have been extremely strong, and given Schumer’s popularity there’s every reason to think that her big-screen breakout will be a commercial success.
With the film’s premiere only a week away, Schumer and the “Trainwreck” team have been making the interview rounds. This morning, the New York Times published an in-depth profile of the beloved comedian, and it’s rich with intrigue and surprises. Read on below for the seven biggest highlights.
Her famed “Last F*ckable Day” Sketch was her “White Whale.”
The main sketch in the third season premiere of “Inside Amy Schumer” generated substantial attention. It featured Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Patricia Arquette and Tina Fey, with a premise — what if there was a single day on which an aging actress’s desirability evaporates? — ripe for discussion. But as Schumer recounts, the idea had been gestating since the show’s inception. “We just liked the idea that there’s this calendar: This is it, you’re not [lust-worthy anymore],” Schumer said. “We tried to get it made for three years, and actresses all said no.” Writer-producer Kim Caramele (Schumer’s sister) explained her relentless attempt to get it made by saying, “This was like the white whale.”
According to academics, she’s helping to change the cultural landscape.
“[Schumer’s comedy] is perfectly suited to a changing cultural landscape in which the word ‘feminism’ is slowly losing its negative connotations,” said Michele Schrieber, who teaches film and media at Emory University. “[She] dispels the most persistent point about feminists, which is that feminists can’t take a joke.” She also added that Schumer strikes the “very challenging” balance of the political and the funny, making her “sneakily, incredibly powerful.”
Her funny-political perspective evolved out of childhood.
“We were always raised to believe that we have worth and should express ourselves,” Caramale explained of her and her sister’s childhood. Further, Schumer told the Times that comedy was a necessary outlet for her after the family endured sickness, bankruptcy and divorce.
As for the political side of things, Schumer described her initial frustration: “My whole life, I felt like people wanted the girls to be a little quieter.” She attended Towson University in Maryland, where she honed in on her feminist perspective. “I’ve always been hos before bros,” she said. “Madame Bovary, I felt for her, the injustice. After I read ‘A Doll’s House,’ I was like, well, all is lost.”
According to Tina Fey, Schumer is setting a new standard.
“Women don’t exist only in relation to other women,” Fey explained. “Amy is raising the bar for all comedians … She’s ‘all the way’ funny. That’s what is inarguable. You can try to say a subject is off limits or too strident, but if the jokes are funny, it’s funny. End of conversation.” She added, in terms of her willingness to appear in “Inside Amy Schumer,” “The sketch where Paul Giamatti plays God is one of my favorite things in the last 10 years.”
Judd Apatow found her work ethic astounding.
“If I gave her notes, she would come back in like five, six days with a completely new draft,” Apatow explained, noting that she was simultaneously juggling her show and stand-up schedule. “I don’t know how she does it.” Indeed, Schumer “over-prepared” in doing background on the film. Though “Trainwreck” parallels her own life, she spoke with several journalists to get into character and actually researched surgeries to credibly write Bill Hader’s character, a sports medicine doctor.
Her “12 Angry Men” parody came from a very personal place.
Schumer conceived and scribed “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,” her lauded parody of the Sidney Lumet classic, because she didn’t think anyone else could do it. “I didn’t want it to be like, ‘Writers, bring in things that you think are wrong with my face and body,'” she said. “I was cooking up my own deepest insecurities.” However, she added that through it all, “I feel pretty invincible now, in terms of appearance stuff.”
“This is a dream I didn’t even know I had”
Schumer said that in relation to her opening for Madonna in September, but it’s a quote that could go for her burgeoning career as a whole.
Through the years, as the accomplishments continue to add up, Schumer has been experiencing a lot of self-discovery. “While I was writing [Trainwreck], I realized that I had a really hard time letting somebody love me, and felt like I didn’t deserve it,” she admitted. “And now I totally do. I think I’m a woman to love.”