When Amy Schumer released the trailer for her new movie, “I Feel Pretty,” in February, she was met with intense backlash from people who called the storyline shallow and anti-feminist. Now, days before its release, Schumer—who believes that the film is actually body-positive—is urging viewers to see it before they make a judgement on its message. One way Schumer is trying to change public opinion is by citing her favorite scene from the film: a bikini dance sequence.
In an interview with Glitters and Lazers, the 36-year-old comedian and actress opened up about why the film’s bikini scene—which showed her dancing in a water-soaked t-shirt with a line of thin women behind her—was so significant to her. However, Schumer revealed that the scene almost didn’t happen higher-ups who wanted her to simply “stand in a bikini,” rather than dance, drench herself in water, and show that she can be as equally sexy and confident as thin women.
“That is my favorite scene. It was written for me to just stand there and pose, and I said, ‘No. I’m doing a whole dance. I’m going to be belly out. Pour water on myself. The whole nine,'” Schumer said. “They honestly fought me on it and I said, ‘No.’ That was important for me to add.”
Though she believed in the scene’s message for curvy women, Schumer admits that she wasn’t initially confident to perform it. Took meditating, positive affirmations, and listening to Beyoncé (of course), to prepare for the scene where a majority of her was naked.
“To prepare for that, all I had to do was to do stuff to make myself feel good. I promised myself that going into filming this whole movie that I would do whatever I have to do to feel strong and beautiful and good,” Schumer said. “The music I listen to. Taking time, meditating, going for walks. A lot of Beyoncé. That was the only prep.”
In the end, everything worked out, with Schumer noticing that the energy of her cast and crew was significantly different because of her palpable confidence. “Everybody really responded to that of me feeling good and really wanting to bring it. All the extras and Rory [Scovel] were there for all the takes. It was a very powerful moment,” Schumer said.
The word is still out on how body-positive “I Feel Pretty,” which premieres on April 20, actually is. But at least for the film’s bikini scene, Schumer’s head seems to be in the right place.