Amy Schumer interview: ‘The Humans’
“She’s gotten a real dose of reality but she still has some hope,” Amy Schumer shares about her character in the A24 film “The Humans.” In Stephen Karam’s family drama, Schumer plays Aimee, who has faced a challenging year as she loses her job at a law firm, breaks up with the love of her life, and struggles with ulcerative colitis. It is Aimee’s resilience that appeals to Schumer, who says, “I just love this character. I aspire to be more like her. She is such a peacemaker.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“The Humans” is adapted for the screen by Karam from his Tony Award-winning play. Schumer has extensive experience in the theatre, from participating in a two-year Meisner intensive after college to performing on Broadway in Steve Martin’s “Meteor Shower,” for which she earned a Tony nomination in 2018. “All the theatre really prepared me for this role,” Schumer notes, as the film is an incredibly faithful adaptation of the stage drama, and especially because “this was a different project than anything I’ve done before.”
Karam not only wrote the screenplay for “The Humans,” but also directs. Though the film is set in a claustrophobic bi-level New York City apartment, Karam often shoots scenes from a distance, with the cast not always knowing the position of the camera. Schumer admits that she “was worried the first couple of weeks” about this approach, but says, “You really just have to give yourself over and trust your director,” calling Karam “such a talented director.”
One of the highlights of “The Humans” is a monologue Schumer delivers as she talks to her ex-girlfriend on the phone on Thanksgiving Day. Schumer says of the devastating conversation, “When you have your heart broken, the pain is physical, it hurts, it hurts to breath.” “I thought it was really important that I know exactly what was being said on the other end” of the phone call, she continues, sharing, “I also understand and connect to the desperation of that moment of weakness where you’re looking for any hope or comfort.”
Schumer is joined on screen by Richard Jenkins and Jayne Houdyshell, who play Aimee’s parents Erik and Deirdre, Beanie Feldstein as her sister Brigid, June Squibb as her grandmother Momo, and Steven Yeun as Brigid’s boyfriend Richard. Their chemistry as a family is vital to the film’s success, and Schumer says, “We all got really close doing this. Nobody went back to their trailers in between scenes, we sat together for hours just enjoying each other.” “We all just hit it off like crazy,” Schumer reflects, joyfully.