Amy Schumer on Finding Her Self-Confidence, #MeToo and 'I Feel Pretty' Backlash
"We all struggle with self-esteem, and when they see the movie I know they'll understand," the actress told Gayle King, as she fired back at critics who claim the movie has a "body shaming" message.
Amy Schumer is happy in her own skin and proud of her new film, as she explained during a sit-down with CBS This Morning's Gayle King on Thursday.
In her latest comedy, I Feel Pretty, set to hit theaters Friday, the actress plays a young woman named Renee, who struggles with insecurities and self-doubt. Things take a turn when Renee wakes from a head injury and acquires a new outlook and confidence she never embodied before.
The film's premise has received backlash since the first trailer debuted, and people have argued that Schumer is sending a false message on confidence that focuses on body shaming. Critics have also implied that the film wants viewers to believe that a woman needs a brain injury in order to feel confident.
"You know what, that’s a huge exaggeration and a metaphor," Schumer told King, firing back. "Basically we all struggle with self-esteem, and when they see the movie I know they'll understand."
Though Schumer quipped that she is currently "too comfortable" in her own skin, the actress explained that her role in the film was personal and conveys her former struggles with body shaming.
"The last couple of years, I've really felt good about myself and have never tried to adjust," Schumer said of her confidence now but explained that it wasn't until she received "so much hate online" did she acquire a new outlook on herself.
"Being a woman who uses her voice and expresses views that people disagree with, immediately they go to your appearance. I think a lot of women, they don't use their full potential, their full voices, because they're afraid of being insulted," Schumer told King.
Schumer, who said she refused to be retouched in the film, hopes viewers and women understand that her film is portraying a moment in her life when having great self-esteem wasn't as simple to embody as it is now. "I think the things that start out as the most painful or humiliating are what you turn into comedy and material," the actress explained. Schumer reiterated that gaining confidence is a "constant battle and journey and process."
Schumer also addressed controversial material from her stand-ups, something she has altered in the wake of the #MeToo movement. "I don't want to risk setting anything back. I don't want to risk hurting their feelings," Schumer said, who emphasized that she used to project a "character" onstage that wasn't truly her.
"Now I'm as close to myself as I ever was onstage," Schumer said. "Once I realized I was running the risk of people laughing for the wrong reasons, then I completely changed my tune. … I don't feel like I need to dress like a housewife at a reunion anymore."
I Feel Pretty hits theaters Friday.