A rowdy, sold-out crowd at South By Southwest warmly greeted Director Judd Apatow, who showed off his promising, still-in-progress comedy, Trainwreck, with his entertainingly foul-mouthed star and writer, Amy Schumer.
The audience reacted very strongly to the film, with big applause, and looks like it has a great shot at being a big success. The film itself is quite funny with lots of film and TV references.
It’s the first movie that Apatow has directed but not written. The film features a magazine writer played by Schumer who was raised by a ne’er-do-well father to distrust monogamy. She leads what she thinks is a pretty good, if commitment-free, life in New York as an adult, until complications creep in when she starts dating, and falling for, a sports doctor played by Bill Hader, who appeared before the screening but didn’t take part in the panel.
The film also features NBA star LeBron James in more than one scene as a close confidante of Hader’s character, as well as a scene with pro wrestler and actor John Cena as one of Schumer’s many short-term dates.
Apatow said he reached out to Schumer to work on the project when he heard her on Howard Stern‘s radio show.
“While listening to it, I thought, ‘I think she has stories to tell,'” Apatow said. “I contacted her and she called me back.”
Schumer did indeed have stories to tell, at one point fending off a fawning fan question by saying, with a laugh, “Stop trying to f*** me.”
She went on to say,”It’s a personal story for me and getting to work with my sister (a producer) from the first day to the last was great. At the end we drank tequila together, just the two of us.”
Among the changes for Apatow as a result of the collaboration: a film of his is set in New York instead of Apatow’s usual Los Angeles backdrops.
“Everything I write is in New York,” Schumer said. “I can’t imagine having a large kitchen. Judd was nice enough to leave his family for two months for 90 degrees and Chinatown weather.”
But the script-writing process ended up being more cathartic and internally focused than Schumer initially expected.
“I sent the first script to Judd and I was all proud of it, and Judd said, ‘Why don’t you really take a look at what’s up with yourself?'” Schumer said. “So this is really me looking at what’s going on with me.”
Schumer, who projects a very big personality, was asked how she became so empowered, and answered: “I didn’t lose my two front teeth until 5th grade but I had t**s and my period,” she said. “So I was this jack o’ lantern walking around… You’re allowed to be a human being.”
The film is set for release July 17. Universal is distributing.
Also one last thing: An audience member asked the two to look into the camera he was holding and say hello to his wife, who was working and couldn’t atend. Apatow said, “Keep working really hard and you can help Robert Durst get off…”