Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 15th 2015 Contents A39
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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A recurring feeling has accompanied
Amy Schumer s rapid ascent in show
"It s always: I walk in a room thinking
maybe I belong in here," she says over
a plate of meatballs at a Greenwich Vil-
lage cafe. "And then I get reminded
quickly that I don t. But then no one
really does. And I m going to do it again."
It s getting hard to find a room too
big or too prestigious for the 34-year-
old Schumer. In her rise to becoming
one of the pre-eminent stand-ups in
the country, Schumer has emerged as
one of the sharpest, wittiest commen-
tators on gender in America. Her
humour---satirical, raunchy, absurdist---
is built on a fresh and on-point fem-
inism, alert to both the injustices of
sexism and the helpless farce of the
She s turned her Peabody-winning
Comedy Central show, Inside Amy
Schumer, into a spinning collider of
gender roles, firing out weekly, instantly
viral parodies of men and women, in
bed and on screens.
In Trainwreck, a comedy she wrote
and stars in due out Friday, Schumer
wades into movies for the first time.
Her arrival in Hollywood, like many of
her punchlines, is well timed. Her voice
feels particularly valuable to a movie
industry wrestling with gender equality.
It s a conversation Schumer has
already joined, most notably in a sketch
about the expiration date of sexual
attractiveness for women in Hollywood.
In it, Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette
toasted Julia Louis-Dreyfus final day.
Schumer s introduction to the super-
ficiality of Hollywood, she reckons, has
already given her 20 minutes of new
material. The jokes have included her
expectation a more attractive actress, "a
Kate" (like Kate Upton or Kate Middle-
ton), would be cast in her place, and her
insistence that her Los Angeles experi-
ence has proven she ll never be a movie
"Definitely not," she confirmed in a
recent interview. "I m not doing it. I
don t like anything that comes along
with it. I don t like it so much that I
don t know if I would ever do it again.
I left the press junket like, Stand-up s
cool. " Yet Trainwreck, directed by Judd
Apatow, has already won glowing reviews
for its crude humour and sweet authen-
ticity. It flips the usual conventions of
a romantic comedy.
Schumer plays a serial dater and the
men (Bill Hader, flanked by his protective
friend, Lebron James) are the ones yearn-
ing for a second date. It wasn t a con-
scious inversion, she says, but is simply
true to her experience. One of her most
famous sketches, a full-episode version
of 12 Angry Men in which jurors weigh
whether Schumer is hot enough for TV,
also came from a blogger s comments.
"I m trying to do my part, just so
people can feel comfortable in their own
skin," she says. "I don t think we should throw
out all the hot people. But people are actually
OK with looking at people other than models."
That underlying message of self-acceptance
has made Schumer a kind of comic everywoman
candidly baring her anxieties and embarrass-
ments---and triumphs over them---for an under-
"It s you saying, Yeah, isn t it ridiculous I
had to go through this? And their laughter is
saying, Yes, that sounds horrible! " she says.
Schumer has given moving, personal speeches
("I say if I m beautiful. I say if I m strong," at
the Gloria Awards) and hysterically unapologetic
"I am really in it to talk to the women in the
crowd, if I m being totally honest," she says.
"But what I ve found is that the men want to
hear it, too. They re interested, and they want
to empower the women in their lives. And
women are just as much to blame as men for
why we re not able to understand each other."
Her talent has lured not just Apatow but
Chris Rock (director of her upcoming HBO spe-
cial) and Madonna, whom Schumer will open
for in September. In Manhattan, where the
Long Island-native lives, she s now constantly
recognised by passionate followers.
"It s not like You re the funny girl. It s like,
I love you, " she says. "I m always impressed
with people that find a way to do this work,
which is so difficult, and have a blast," says
Apatow, who contacted Schumer after hearing
her on Howard Stern. "She has a great team
supporting her and I think she s found a way
to be a great leader at that show."
Jessi Klein, the head writer of Inside Amy
Schumer, describes Schumer as an unusually
dedicated comic who will spend a day shooting
and then rush to perform a set or two at night.
Klein said the writers room (where Schumer s sister,
Kim, also works) is humming with a sense of limitless
material rife for parody.
"I don t think a lot of shows have tackled these issues
yet in a way that s funny and real," says Stein. "Amy,
obviously, is a really distinctive voice, and it feels like
we re talking about stuff that people haven t really
talked about so far, and that hopefully they will now."
More attention also means more scrutiny. A recent
column in the Guardian, citing a sketch from the show s
first season, claimed Schumer has a "blind spot around
race." Schumer posted online that the sketch had been
misinterpreted and that she wouldn t start joking about
"safe material"---a response she now regrets.
"I talked to Louie (CK) and Lena (Dunham) and Chris
Rock and they were like, Yeah, you can t respond, "
said Schumer. But the resulting headlines crystalized
the new challenges coming for Schumer.
"The pressure is that there are more eyes on me,"
says Schumer, a cousin of New York Senator Chuck
Schumer. "It is strange to be treated like a politician
all of a sudden."
But as Schumer finds herself increasingly on the
inside of Hollywood glitz, she s also recoiling---back to
New York, back to the stage. "I m glad I don t feel
comfortable there," she says of award shows. "I don t
want to become a part of that." (AP)
Amy Schumer in
a scene from
Schumer walks into Hollywood, leaves armed with material
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