The new Vanity Fair profile on Amy Schumer, written by Bruce Handy, is fairly unremarkable (unless, like me, you’re shocked that a national publication would use the word “comedienne” and feign shock over a female comic working blue in 2016)—that is, until Schumer opens up about the tragic movie theater shooting that took place during a screening of her film Trainwreck in 2015.
Schumer tells Handy that she was in an L.A. hotel room, still on her Trainwreck promotional tour, when she received news that a man named John Russell Houser had entered a Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater on July 23, 2015 and opened fire on a Trainwreck audience, killing two women and injuring more:
“It really … I don’t know. It’s like when the Dark Knight shooting happened, and in Paris. The idea of people trying to go out and have a good time—you know, like looking forward to it?—I don’t know why that makes me the saddest.” She was crying now, but speaking in a steady voice. “So my publicist told me. And then I put on the news. I was by myself in a hotel, and I was just like, I wish I never wrote that movie.” She knew intellectually that she had nothing to do with the shooting, but friends who reached out and tried to comfort her, telling her the shooting wasn’t her “fault,” only made it worse. “I just felt helpless and stupid,” she said.
The shooting ultimately motivated Schumer to take a more active role—alongside her cousin, Senator Chuck Schumer (NY)—in advocating for stricter gun control.
“Every event I go to, you see the same people, and they’re wearing a button of their kid, or kids, or their mother, or someone who died and didn’t have to,” she tells Vanity Fair. “And they’re like, ‘Thank you. Please keep going.’ Because, unfortunately, someone with some celebrity brings more attention to it than a politician.”
Image via Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair.