Amy Schumer said she seriously considered signing on to be the next Bachelorette in the ABC series after the enthusiastic response from her appearance on the current season. “I really was very tempted,” she noted when people suggested she take over; ABC exec Robert Mills even made overtures to her on Twitter. “But I think the franchise would be over.” Referencing the show’s current storyline, she added, “People got so mad that Kaitlyn f—ked one guy, can you imagine me (on the show)?”
Schumer was speaking to a packed audience of SAG members following a screening of her new film “Trainwreck” last Friday. She was joined by co-stars Colin Quinn, Vanessa Bayer and professional wrestler John Cena. The film stars Schumer as a hard-partying journalist reluctant to commit to a relationship until she meets a surgeon played by Bill Hader.
According to Schumer, it was director Judd Apatow who convinced her to write a movie, something “I don’t think I would have had the confidence to do,” she said. The script came about as “I was falling in love at the time and was really scared and not enjoying it.” While she toyed with different ideas of a story, she said, “Once I knew I was going to write about being in love, I wrote it in under two months.”
Schumer wrote the role of her father with Quinn in mind, though the actor almost sabotaged his shot. “He said, ‘I’m too young!’ And I said, ‘No you’re not, you’re very old!’” Schumer revealed. “And he’ll say he didn’t, but when he came to the screen test, he dyed his hair darker.” When Quinn objected, saying, “That’s just my hair,” Schumer retorted, “You looked like Raul Julia!”
“Saturday Night Live” star Bayer makes her film debut as Schumer’s best friend and says her audition was the most fun she’d ever had. “It was the first time I’d ever met Amy, and it was instant,” she noted of their connection. The only difficult part of shooting was keeping a straight face. “One day I was afraid we were going to get in trouble because we were laughing so hard. Judd got really mad at us,” Bayer revealed. Added Schumer, “It takes so much to upset him, so when he yells at you, you’re like, ‘Oh my God, Dad’s really mad!’”
Perhaps the most surprising casting in the film is WWE star Cena as Schumer’s fitness-obsessed boyfriend. Though his most notable credit on film to date was the 2006 flop “The Marine,” Cena proves to be a natural, stealing scenes from experienced comic actors. Said Schumer, “John came in and was the funniest guy at the audition, at the table read, and I think the funniest person on set — and I say that with only jealousy and resentment because everyone in this movie is a comic or a trained-ass actor and John came in and was brilliant. It’s really upsetting.”
Cena said the audition process wasn’t intimidating because “I knew I wasn’t going to get it.” But once he did, he felt comfortable. “I wasn’t doing a period piece or anything, it was something I very much felt I could accomplish,” he said. “And I was surrounded by extremely funny people who were kind enough to welcome me in and encourage me.”
Cena did say that shooting the over-the-top sex scenes with Schumer could get awkward. “I’m pressed on top of you and we have to stay there for a long time and my arms are giving up,” he recalled. “I have a piece of cloth over me but I’m very naked and a lot of people are there. At first it was a closed set but one by one — it was almost like a turnstile — people filed in. Before I knew it, it was full and people were hanging from the rafters!”
Schumer added, “But they weren’t there for me, and it really hurt my feelings!”
When asked if working on her Comedy Central hit “Inside Amy Schumer” prepared her for the big screen, Schumer said she actually found filmmaking easier. “The movie was actually less nerve-wracking than my show because on my show we have like $5 and we have to shoot three scenes in a day,” she noted. “On this, we would shoot a scene in two days so you really have time to figure it out.” And aside from being an accomplished standup, the audience learned Schumer is a trained actor; she revealed that she trained for two years at the William Esper Studio in New York.
Asked for advice on the business, Schumer said, “Be open to your dream changing. If you’re working and you realize, ‘I’m a really good producer,’ or, ‘I really like writing more but I told everyone I grew up with I’m going to be an actor’ — they don’t care, they’re worrying about themselves. I’m the same way. I enjoy acting but I also found I really enjoy writing and directing. I love laughing. I enjoy watching other people succeed.”
“Trainwreck” opens in theaters July 17.