Judd Apatow’s latest comedy, “Trainwreck,” which stars Amy Schumer as a lost thirtysomething journalist, premiered at SXSW on Sunday night as a “work in progress” to rowdy cheers and roars of laughter.
Schumer thanked the audience after the screening for the enthusiastic response. “Yeah, I’m emotional,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “Judd, what’s up?”
Schumer’s character (also named Amy) drinks and sleeps around, and she doesn’t want any of her flings to spend the night until she meets a charming doctor (Bill Hader). Schumer, who also wrote the “Trainwreck” script, said she submitted a different screenplay to Apatow. He encouraged her to try over with more autobiographical details. “This is pretty much me looking at what’s going on with me,” Schumer said.
She set the film in Manhattan because that’s where she grew up. “I was born and raised in New York City, and then we went bankrupt and moved to Long Island,” Schumer said. “I write everything I write in New York. I can’t imagine having a big kitchen.”
At the Q&A, a member of the audience asked Schumer where her confidence came from.
“I think I was just led astray as a kid,” Schumer said. “I just remembered this week, [my brother] reminded me, I didn’t lose my two front teeth until the fifth grade, but I had my period. I was a jack-o’-lantern with tits walking around—”
Apatow interjected: “Now you tell me! That would have been the opening of the movie. Why did you withhold that from me?”
“I looked like Pinocchio when he was transitioning to a donkey,” Schumer continued. “I didn’t know anything was possibly wrong with me until I was 30. I feel super-sentimental when I see that girl Sophia Grace on ‘The Ellen [DeGeneres] Show,’ young girls that think everything is OK. I held on to that longer than most.”
Apatow said he decided he first wanted to work with Schumer when he heard her being interviewed by Howard Stern on the radio. “I was sitting in my car in the parking lot, listening to the whole thing because I think she has stories to tell,” Apatow said. “I called her. She wrote back—”
“I’m super-busy,” Schumer joked.
Apatow, who has helped launch the careers of Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, James Franco and Seth Rogen, will likely have the same magic touch on Schumer. This is the comedian’s first starring role in a movie, which Universal Pictures will release on July 17. She’s really going to be a lot busier from now on.