Amy Schumer hasn't slept around since college.
“I would say sophomore year, I got the numbers up,” says the Inside Amy Schumer star, who makes her major motion picture debut in Trainwreck, the new romantic comedy directed by powerhouse Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This Is 40) that hits screens next Friday, July 17. “It was when I was at my worst, at my unhealthiest.”
Still, she was never a total trainwreck, which she defines as having “track marks on your arm and like dry cum on your shoulder.”
In spite of her restrained IRL libido, the comic plays a sexual libertine in Trainwreck. Not that the character played by comedy's latest It Girl is much of a trainwreck, either. In fact, the ambitious magazine writer even flirts with the idea of having a conventional monogamous relationship after meeting and falling for a straight-laced sports physician, played by Bill Hader, while on a magazine assignment. Yes, that can be sexy, too.
“With Bill, if we had a sex scene, I'd be listening to Beyoncé beforehand and getting into it, so I would feel really sexy,” she confides. “Bill and I were not 9½ Weeks, but the chemistry between us … we just made each other laugh so much, so it was just fun.”
For Schumer, achieving sexual chemistry with a colleague or even a fan was imponderable when she first launched her standup career over a decade ago.
“Most male comics — the younger ones anyway — they get offstage, meet someone in the crowd, go to the bar, maybe have sex with a waitress or someone in the crowd,” she says. “But not female comics — none of my friends anyway. I've never gotten laid after a show. You just go back to your room and you're not looking to socialize because it can just be overwhelming. So it is kind of lonely.”
Instead of trying to turn audience members on in order to hook up with them later, she made one guy in the crowd cry — on a dare from her then-co-headliner, John Mulaney.
“He kind of dared me to say something to this guy in the audience,” she recalls. “I said it, and it was kind of mean. This was a 45-year-old, good-looking guy, and I could see it hurt his feelings, so I really regretted it. So unless someone's really going after me and heckling me, I'd never say anything to hurt someone's feelings.”
Today she strives to be less shallow and wants women younger than her, who've been raised on a steady diet of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Gossip Girl, to do the same.
“All of these girls today are like, 'I want a Bentley and extensions.' But I would rather people get confidence from the work they do and their friends and family and who they are. But it seems like today people are looking to get confidence from what money they have and how they look.”
Like all self-helpers, Schumer believes that validation shouldn't come from external sources, but from within. That's why she's stopped reading (or caring about) what random strangers tweet about her.
“I definitely don't feel any actual validation from the public,” she confesses. “It's just really about how you feel. I really feel good in my own skin, because, first off, I like myself. I'm proud of how I'm living. I feel good about my relationships, and also I get confidence from causing several erections.”
Teasing is evidently still okay for Schumer, but sexual promiscuity is a no-no.
“I think if anyone's ever sleeping around, they're not okay,” she declares. “Like if my friend was Samantha on Sex and the City, I would take her to the hospital.”
She pauses for a moment and appears to be rethinking her previous statement. Perhaps she feels she's being a little narrow-minded.
“I think you have to physically take care of yourself,” she adds. “You can't be getting wasted every minute. If you're physically healthy and don't want to be with just one person, that's fine. I don't know that I want to do that. I'd like to live in a Golden Girls house with all my girlfriends, and just have visitors come by like they do in this village in Japan. Just service you and leave.”
So is there a didactic element to Trainwreck? Is it a cautionary tale for sexually promiscuous women? The answer is yes, in part.
“For me, it's a moral for everybody,” Schumer says. “I want people to take what they're going to take from it. But I really hope that people laugh harder than they thought they would, feel better about their own behavior and more forgiving of themselves and others. Sometimes you have to go through that phase to realize it's not you. So a little less judgmental, I hope.”