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Metro: Amy Schumer creates great roles for great comedians in Trainwreck

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.40.35 PMBy Richard Crouse – In Focus

In Trainwreck, a new comedy directed by Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer plays a promiscuous New Yorker who finds love.

It’s a side-splitting movie that will be Schumer’s big-screen breakout, but the film is also populated by a very funny supporting cast, many of whom are Schumer’s Manhattan comedy peers.

“I got to give my friends work,” Schumer, who also wrote the script, says, “and they did great in it.”

Colin Quinn and Dave Attell are two standups and friends who make big impressions in the film.

“I consider Colin to be like, in vampire terms, the maker,” says Attell.

Quinn, a legendary comedian and former SNL Weekend Update anchor, co-stars as Amy’s father, a cranky old man with an attitude and a possible drug problem.

“With actors, it’s not about the lines, it’s about the behaviour,” says Quinn. “With us, it’s just about the words. We love it, so if you come up with something funny and it’s quiet behind the camera and they yell ‘Cut’ and everybody starts laughing, that’s the best.

“In so many things it’s not about the words, but in stand-up, it’s all about the words, the order of the words. I feel more than any other art form, the audience matters so much. You have this contentious relationship with them, but they are so much a part of it. I feel like musicians get together and they jam with one each other. We need the crowd to jam. To rehearse.”

Attell is a club veteran, best known for his TV show Insomniac with Dave Attell and dark-edged lines like, “You know, men and women are a lot alike in certain situations. Like when they’re both on fire — they’re exactly alike.”

In the movie, he plays a homeless man who talks to Amy everyday.

“This is the character, of the four characters that I’ve ever played in movies, that is most like me,” he says. “That’s me in five years. That’s me after the last season of Last Comic Standing, physically and emotionally.

“I’ve been in like, three other movies, and this movie was the most fun. You show up and they want you to riff around and you go for the jokes and you keep going until you feel you got it. I love that, especially for people who aren’t classically trained actors.”

You get the feeling that as much as these guys enjoyed making Trainwreck, they are more comfortable on a stage in front of a crowd than they are on a movie set. Both agree that hostile audiences fuel them creatively.

“When it’s not going well, you still have to do the job and that’s what makes it a job,” says Attell. “That’s also often when you come up with the most enlightening stuff, in the tough crowd moment.”

Quinn may prefer live venues but according to Jimmy Fallon he may have more movie work coming his way. The Tonight Show host predicts an Oscar nomination for the comic’s work in the film.

“Why not?” Quinn deadpans. “I wasn’t expecting one but an Academy Award would not affect me now, because after I didn’t get nominated for Grown Ups 2 I feel like it’s a rigged game.”

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