Interview with ‘I Feel Pretty’ star Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer was in town to promote her upcoming movie I Feel Pretty, and we sat down for an interview. Amy plays a woman, Renee, who works in a crappy job and is insecure, has an accident and hits her head. When she awakens, she believes she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. She begins to live her life to the fullest and fearlessly.
Mike: Hi Amy.
Amy Schumer: Hi!
So what attracted you to the part?
Amy: The message in this movie. I was supposed to make another film with that message, and it didn’t work out. I got this script, and I said to myself ‘this is everything I wanted it to say.’
What stuck with you the most while making this film playing Renee?
Amy: I really related to her across the board. Moments where I have had a complete lack of self-esteem, feeling invisible. There have been moments where my confidence was too high, so you have to back down and relax. So I really felt her. Anyone can relate to Renee because it’s a constant battle to feel good about yourself. You experience who you are through what other people say to you. You know it starts when you are young, people get into your head. Then at a certain point, you hopefully realize that’s not who I am.
What’s something different between you and Renee?
Amy: I can relate to every part of Renee from different points in my life, but a couple of years ago I made the realization that I should stop apologizing so much. I would start most sentences with ‘Sorry’ and then saying my idea. I started paying attention to that, so I can’t relate to her lack of using her voice and giving her opinion. I haven’t felt that way for years.
Since this film puts its an emphasis on sisterhood and friendship, how was your relationship with your co-stars Aidy Bryant and Busy Philipps?
Amy: Both girls are friends of mine. Aidy is one of my best friends. We all got along on set. It went very smooth. We were all normal human beings doing this job that we do. There was definitely a feeling of sisterhood on the set. There were a lot of girls wearing heels for a lot of hours. We tried to encourage each other between takes and keep moving forward.
Your directors, Abby Kahn and Marc Silverstein, also wrote the script, and there are a lot of comedians in the cast. Was there a lot of improv going on?
Amy: Oh yeah. There was so much improv within the guidelines of the scene. Dave Attell is in an un-credited part where he came up with the line ‘I didn’t ask for a podcast.’ Aidy was doing it all the time.
What was your favorite scene to film because there are so many funny moments in this movie?
Amy: I think I had the most fun doing the bikini contest. I was terrified leading up to it. No one knew what to expect because in the script, it just says that I stand up on stage and poise in the bikini. I decided that I had to go nuts. While at first, I was hesitant to do it, once I was starting to get into it, it was really empowering. When I pour the water all over me, I was dying, and then they would have to stop and reset my makeup. However, it turned out great, and I did not let them retouch anything. I think it’s really important for the audience to see. They asked if I wanted them to take out some of the cellulite, and I told them ‘hell no!” You know I see women in magazines with perfect bodies that you know were photoshopped because no one can look like that without getting sick. That’s part of the movie. People want to see diversity in film. They want’ to see people of color, and they want to see diversity in body types too. I think we are ready for a change.
This movie from the first look seems to be aimed at a specific demographic, but when I watched the film, I could relate to Renee too. What are some scenes in the movie that everyone can relate to?
Amy: I think the whole message in the movie relates to men as well. In comedies, the men in those films usually have men who look like people you know. I think that my love interest in the movie, played by Rory Scovel, is more a normal guy who guys will be able to relate to. The message is so universal that everyone can relate to this movie.
Michelle Williams’s character is hilarious. Did she come up with the voice of her character?
Amy: Her character is written to have this voice. I went into her trailer before we started shooting. I told her that her character’s voice was very high and kind of childlike. She said she had been working on something, and she started talking in the voice, and I was crying because I was laughing so hard. She went full throttle and committed to it. I loved what she did; I was blown away by her performance.
At first, I didn’t recognize her. I went, wait a minute, is that Michelle Williams?
Amy: Yeah, I think a lot of people aren’t going to recognize her through the whole movie.
Was it hard to play two totally different versions of the same character?
Amy: No, actually it wasn’t hard. I would think it would be, but I think we are all ready to be shattered at any time. It was fun to do.
Rory Scovell’s character is a little unconventional as your love interest. You have great chemistry with him. So talk a little about his character.
Amy: Marc and Amy wrote the script, and Marc is definitely like Rory’s character. For instance, Marc does Soul Cycle. He’s into kind of hipster indie bands, and he likes to look at his outfit before he goes out. Rory and I have been friends for fifteen years, both of us got started in stand up at the same time. He did my TV show a couple of times, so I knew he was a good actor. He and I have just total ease together. We had so much fun making the movie. I think it’s really important that the love interest in movies be more real, rather than the witty and charming all the time guy. By the way, when we are on the date in the park that Zumba class in the background was already there when we started filming. We thought it was so insanely perfect.
This reminded me of an 80’s rom-com. What’s your favorite rom-com?
Amy: I love classic rom-coms like Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase in Foul Play. I also like How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, that made me laugh. I love When Harry Met Sally. I like the rom-com with a message, where they examine human relationships. You felt the relationship.
Thank you so much, Amy. We hope the film is a big hit.
Amy: Thank you.
I Feel Pretty opens on Friday, April 20th nationwide.
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