Amy Schumer wants to be very clear: Her new comedy I Feel Pretty is about female empowerment and not at all about body shaming.
“I hope this movie reaches everyone, but I personally made this for my 12-year-old self and I hope you guys could heal your 12-year-old selves tonight,” she said at Tuesday’s premiere at the Westwood Village Theater in Los Angeles.
In I Feel Pretty, Schumer plays Renee, a young woman who suddenly has self-confidence after a freak accident during a SoulCycle class leads her to believe she looks like a supermodel. Some people online bashed the movie when the first trailer was released in March because they accused Schumer and the filmmakers for putting too much emphasis on body image.
Marc Silverstein, who co-wrote and co-directed the movie with Abby Kohn, told The Hollywood Reporter that he “wasn’t super surprised” by the trailer controversy because of today’s “climate where things tend to be pretty reactive with rushes of judgment.”
“But we had confidence in the fact that anyone who had seen the movie doesn’t have that reaction,” he said. “As soon as people see it, we know where our hearts are and where the movie’s heart is, so it’s not really an issue.”
Kohn said the movie is about loving yourself no matter what you look like. “The message of the movie is none of us really need to change at all about what we look like or who we are,” she said. “I know it’s hard out in the world, but if you could have confidence in yourself that could bring you everything you ever wanted much more than changing anything about what you are.”
Before the screening began last night, STX boss Adam Fogelson shared Oprah Winfrey’s reaction to the movie, which she gave during a podcast with Schumer that will be released Sunday.
While he warned he may not have Winfrey’s words verbatim, Fogelson said, “She said, ‘You know, you really walk out of that film and you feel what the definition of empowerment is, what the embodiment of empowerment is. You feel good about you, and you just can’t do better than that as an artist. You walk out and you feel good about you and less judgmental about other people. And if you could do that in a film and make people laugh, come on, Amy Schumer.'”
So, when do Schumer and her co-stars actually feel their prettiest? Here’s some of what they had to say …
“When I’m in sweatpants with family and friends and no makeup and I’m not even thinking about what I look like,” Schumer told THR.
For Busy Philipps, who plays one of Schumer’s friends in the movie along with Aidy Bryant, it’s all about soft cotton dresses with her “face really washed and cleaned and serumed.”
Saturday Night Live‘s Sasheer Zamata plays a SoulCycle employee in the film, and said “It’s when I’m just comfortable,” she said. “It could be when I’m in sweats and have a face mask on, or it could be when I’m dancing in a hot a dress. It’s whatever makes me feel good in the moment.”
Adrian Martinez said it wasn’t always an easy journey learning how to love himself. “There are a lot of reasons that people will try to make you not believe in yourself,” said the actor, who plays an IT worker at the cosmetic company where Schumer works. “You know, I’m a big guy and Latino so I had to fight all these obstacles, but every day I showed up for myself. I believe in myself. When I’m most pretty and when I’m most self-accepting, that’s when I kill things and I work.”
Producer McG didn’’t have to think a second about his prettiest moments. “Strangely, it’s when I’m listening to The Smiths’ ‘The Queen Is Dead’ and I’m in my underwear and I find my inner self,” he said. “That’s my truth.”
Meanwhile, Megan Trainor was on hand at the premiere to celebrate her song “Me Too” on the soundtrack. “They emailed me and they said, ‘We want to have your song in the film,’ and I asked, ‘What’s it called?'” the singer told THR. “They said, I Feel Pretty, and I was like, ‘Let’s go!’ I’ve been a huge fan of Amy Schumer since her early stand-up, and I always knew she was going to blow up but I just didn’t know when. So, this is a dream come true to be here. This is a huge bucket list thing for me.”
Also at the premiere were cast members including Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Lauren Hutton and Tom Hopper, as well as Amanda Peet, comedian Jeff Ross, model Tess Holliday, Colin Hanks and Gillian Jacobs.
An afterparty at Baltaire offered guests the opportunity to take a photo on a SoulCycle bike.