In some ways, Amy Schumer’s debut film Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow, is an extension of her standup routines. (There’s a baby shower scene in particular that feels pulled directly from her “Connecticut Friends” bit.) But really, Trainwreck is a story we haven't seen Schumer — or any other woman — tell yet, at least in such a meaningful way.
Schumer plays a woman named Amy — a decision she says was made out of “pure laziness” — who’s a writer at a men’s magazine. All her friends are getting married, having kids, and generally living a more adult life than she’s managed to do. “It’s a story about a girl whose behavior is catching up with her, and it’s not cute anymore,” Schumer told Refinery29. “And, I say that and I think, well that doesn’t sound very funny.” But, it is funny, because it’s the raw, relatable kind of comedy that’s seemingly plucked from your own life. The same brand of comedy that makes Schumer and her blunt delivery of truth so irresistible in the first place.
If you don’t know the comedian from her standup, you may know her from Inside Amy Schumer, her scripted series on Comedy Central that’s achieved such feats as saying “pussy” uncensored. “If people watch my TV show and they see the interviews at the end of the show, the segment called ‘Amy Goes Deep,’ that’s me. I think people [who watch that segment] have gotten to know me a little bit, but I’d say [this role] is a hybrid of everything you see in the show,” she says. “I think everyone is partially a trainwreck. I’m just for some reason more willing to share that with everybody. It’s a way more vulnerable side of me than people have seen.”
While Schumer herself thinks the film is a departure from her eponymous series, Trainwreck continues the bold approach of IAS. This isn’t just a two-hour comedy. It’s a narrative about the pressures and challenges women put on each other. It’s about pouring all the things people expect of you on the floor and picking out which ones really matter.
That’s why Schumer wrote parts specifically for women who could help masterfully deliver the story. “I have a lot of really hilarious women I’m close to, and I wanted to write them roles the way I thought would best showcase what they do,” she says. “I need to do my best to facilitate them showcasing how hilarious they are, trying to find their specific voice rather than trying to fit them into an idea.”
It’s not lost on Schumer, though, that the most important voice is her own character’s. That’s where Apatow comes so crucially into play. “It’s so important to me that the specific voice of this character is heard and not misrepresented. I feel like people get it wrong a lot, and no one’s gonna know this girl better than I do,” she adds. “[Apatow] knows how important it is to me, and it’s important to him.”
Trainwreck hits theaters July 17.