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Inside “Trainwreck”: An Exclusive Interview with Amy Schumer

    There’s funny, and then there’s Amy Schumer.  Having only a little under ten years in the mainstream comedienne world, Amy’s popularity has skyrocketed after the success of her show Inside Amy Schumer (whose fourth season was just officially signed) and grabbing gigs liking hosting this years MTV Movie Awards.  All this, of course, is well-deserved: watching one minute of any of her material attests to that.  And lucky for those of us who love the big-screen, this summer is Amy’s very own film debut.

   Directed by Judd Apatow and written by Ms. Schumer herself, Trainwreck follows the (slightly autobiographical) story of a woman named Amy (played by guess who) whose “loose” ways are no longer cutting it.  It has laughs; it has cries; it has Tilda Swinton and LeBron James. 

    Not sold?  How about if we cross-our-hearts promise this film is incredibly, incredibly hilarious?  And how about if we also told you that, honors beyond honors, Her Campus NYU was granted a one-on-one (for real, though: it was us in a tiny room alone together) with Amy herself?  Read on!

HC NYU One of the best things about this film was that it portrayed guys in a softer fashion; they’re not the usual sex-crazed jerks like they are in other movies.  Do you think that guys, like girls, sometimes get a bad rep when it comes to media portrayal?AS I just wrote it honestly, it wasn’t about flip-flopping the roles, even though I can totally see someone having that experience with it.  I think there’s a total misconception that men are these sex addicts, and that women are just waiting to get hurt.  But I’ve definitely hurt people, and I’ve been hurt.  I’ve also known guys who’ve gotten hurt a lot—my friends are, like, total softies—and I’ve known some guys that are sex addicts.  But then I know a lot who don’t have a libido, and I know some girls that want to have sex more than guys.  I think it’s a strange and sort of unfortunate stereotype that’s made its way all throughout media.  And it was fun to get to tell this story because it does have a lot of guys who have the opposite. 

HC NYU Tilda Swinton—how was it working with her?  It was such a surprise to see her in this film because the role is just so different than what she usually plays.AS I know, right, you’re like “What?”  She looks totally different!   She was the greatest.  We just completely fell in love with each other; we’re crazy about each other.  She was just so—amazing.   She really made me feel that she valued my opinion and wanted to help me tell the story and tried to make me feel like an equal, which is ridiculous, because she’s Tilda Swinton.  But she was so kind and really present in the scenes, because you know you can do a scene with someone and feel very much alone, but with Tilda it’s like you’re really living it out with somebody.

HC NYU How did you meet her, out of curiosity? AS Just on the set.  I wrote it with her as the ultimate role, but I didn’t even think it was a possibility.  Then Judd [Apatow] just said, “Well, let’s just as Tilda” and I just went, “What?”

HC NYU That’s cool!  I was just curious because I saw she wrote you a poem or something?AS Well I got one of Time Magazine’s “Most 100 Influential People of the Year” and they ask someone close to you, someone that’s usually a celebrity, to write something about you.  I guess it could be classified as a poem, but overall it was the nicest thing anyone could possibly say.  Not to mention the fact that it was her, and it was just such beautiful writing.  It made me cry; I couldn’t even finish reading it the first couple of times because I was crying.

HC NYU How did you get LeBron James on set too?AS I wrote it for him and he strangely said yes.  I don’t know why, but he is such a highlight of the movie.  I think he’s going to shock everybody who sees it, how funny it is.

HC NYU How come you decided to throw sports in there as part of the underlying plotline?AS I grew up growing to Knicks’ games and I grew up going to Mets’ games.  I don’t really care about sports; I’m not a sports-lover at all.  But—I don’t know, I think maybe I was just trying to get Judd to say yes?  I think I thought what’s a job a guy who would be good for me would have?  Something that’s flashy and interesting and not something that everyone does?  So then I thought it would be cool to involve athletes, and it happened! 

HC NYU Another thing was you do have some very sweet moments in your film, especially between you and your father (Colin Quinn).  And I feel like everyone asks every comedian about this at one point, but is drama something you’d like to get more into?AS I come from drama; I studied theater and I’ve done plays since I was five years old.  I studied theater in college and majored in it, then I went to the William Esper theater in New York.  After that I did a two-year intensive at Meisner with Bill Esper, and I have a theater company call The Collective in New York with a lot of people that came out of Esper, so I’m a total drama kid.  I started stand-up later.

HC NYU How’d you get into stand-up?AS I just gave it a shot.  I was class clown; I was always funny and I tried it and liked it. 

HC NYU After Trainwreck, do you think you’ll stick to films now or are you going to always stick to TV?AS Well we just picked up for a fourth season of our TV show [Inside Amy Schumer], we found out today, which was really excited.  And I’d just like to keep doing stand-up and my TV show; I’d love to do movies and I like writing.  I just like creating stuff—I like having something to say and it seems like I always have something to say.   

HC NYU So date, marry, kill: Bill Hader, Ezra Miller, LeBron James?AS Lebron James.  For all of them. 

Trainwreck opens in theaters everywhere on July 17th

 

Along with hummus, coffee, and Jon Hamm, Claudia's interests also include writing. She wishes to pursue a career in the editorial world and has experienced several previous editorial internships. She is currently studying Media, Culture and Communications at N.Y.U. along with an Italian minor.
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