News from the Locarno Festival

Open Microphone Trainwreck

“Trainwreck” Piazza Grande. From left, Kim Caramele Associate Producer, Amy Shumer actress


Actor, writer, comic and rising feminist icon, Amy Schumer has arrived in Locarno, Switzerland, for the premiere of her latest film, Trainwreck, which screens tonight in the Piazza Grande. Directed by US filmmaker Judd Apatow, Trainwreck has prompted largely positive reviews for its honest take on relationships, as well as Schumer’s lead performance and script. The drama-trained comic spoke on topics as far-ranging as gun control, the influence of money in US politics, and subverting the romantic-comedy genre. While she described the process of creating the largely autobiographical Trainwreck as “liberating”, the biggest issue on the agenda was gender and diversity in Hollywood.

Schumer expressed her distaste at being called a “female comic”. “It’s a very strange thing,” she said. “Nobody says ‘male comic’. Nobody says ‘black comic’ or ‘black actor’. So I find it very strange that people do that for women in the industry.”

Schumer said the same hypocritical double standards guided her decision to satirically set Trainwreck in a men’s magazine office. “Men’s magazines are all about ‘ten reasons why you’re awesome’. Women’s magazines are all about why you have to change, you’re disgusting, you smell. But men’s magazines are like, ‘why women are the problem’. It’s manipulative but it sells magazines.”

Asked if she was proud to be called a feminist icon, she said, “F*** yeah! Totally. I hope everyone in this room would call themselves a feminist. Though anyone who calls themselves an icon is mentally ill. But I recently had a phone conversation with Gloria Steinham, she’s a true feminist icon.”


“It was totally liberating to make this movie. I was really discovering these things about myself as I was writing it. At the table-reads, I would look up and think, alright, everybody here knows everything about me now. But then, yeah, it was liberating. I would say the most liberating thing I ever did was, I wrote and directed an episode my TV show Inside Amy Schumer which was a recreation of Twelve Angry Men, and its just them deliberating on whether or not I’m attractive enough to be on TV. And I had to write thirty pages of horrible insults about myself. And it got kinda painful at times but then it ended up being super liberating. And now I just don’t have any problems and I’m always really happy”.

“I like movies that can do both – make you laugh and cry. Richard Pryor can do that. He’ll make you laugh and then the next second you’ll be crying. The power to evoke any sort of emotion is exciting. You just don’t want to evoke indifference. I think people are surprised by the movie, that it is a heartfelt love story”.

“I love directing. I’ve only directed stuff on my TV show. I wouldn’t want to direct myself, I think that’s creepy. Kim and I just rewrote a movie [by Kate Dipold who wrote The Heat] that might get made”.

“I’m someone who seeks fun, I’m not like this sad clown. Everywhere we go, even when I was doing shitty comedy clubs on the road, I try to find the silver lining, and use the opportunity to help more people feel better and laugh. But in terms of the attention. It blows. It. Blows”. 

Lauren Carroll Harris
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