Amy Schumer Doesn’t Need to Lose Weight to Star in Her Own Movie

During her Comedy Central stand-up set, she joked about how preparing for her first lead in a feature film meant getting a trainer.
Mar 10, 2015·
Jennifer Swann is TakePart’s culture and lifestyle reporter.

When comedian Amy Schumer sold her first screenplay, for this summer’s forthcoming romantic comedy Trainwreck, she assumed someone like Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton would be cast as the lead character, a hard-partying magazine writer with a serious fear of monogamy. “I [thought] I would just be on set as the writer with a laptop and a messy bun,” she said, scrunching up her face while describing herself as a gnome caricature.

But Hollywood wanted Schumer to play the romantic lead. The only catch? She’d have to “stop eating,” she joked Sunday during a stand-up set for Comedy Central’s annual autism fund-raiser, Night of Too Many Stars, which also featured performances from Steve Carell, Louis C.K., Larry David, and Chris Rock.

“And then they got me a trainer—like, he trains Megan Fox and actual foxes—and he’s going over my new meal plan with me, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to stop you here. It sounds like from what you’re saying, at times I’ll be hungry. What’s that about?’ ”

Schumer, who cocreated and stars in the Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer, is known for comedy that parodies distorted body standards and gender norms. In one sketch, she portrays the unrealistic male fantasy of a woman: “a chick who is super hot but loves Xbox and pizza.” In another sketch, the female avatar in a war video game is forced to hang back in the barracks and fill out paperwork while the male soldiers go to war. A group of women meet for lunch in another sketch, gossiping about how bad they are for eating food. “Your thigh gap is like the envy of every thigh gap,” one woman jokes.

At last summer’s Gloria Awards and Gala, hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, Schumer gave an inspiring speech about battling her own body image issues in college, where she enrolled feeling empowered and radiant but quickly had her confidence demolished by guys who “wanted thinner, blonder, dumber” women.
“Now I feel strong and beautiful,” she said. “I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends.” But then, “in an instant, it’s all stripped away” by an interviewer’s comment about her weight, or a blogger’s rant about how a “chubby” girl would never be cast as the romantic lead in a feature film, or by a trainer’s command to stop eating in preparation for that role.

After all, Hollywood can sometimes feel like a big-screen, higher-budget adaptation of college, where all the thinner, blonder women have been cast to play the lead roles. But as Schumer declared in her gala speech last May, “I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story—I will...I stand here, and I am amazing for you. Not because of you.”

She echoed that refrain again at Sunday night’s Comedy Central show when she said, “But then I was like, ‘You know what, maybe I don’t need to do anything. They asked me to star in this movie. Like, am I maybe gorgeous?’ ”

As fellow Night of Too Many Stars headliner Ilana Glazer of Broad City might say: Yaas, queen.