Amy Schumer certainly isn't the first comedian to test out her more dramatic side. In fact, it's almost come to be expected that those who deal mainly in jokes will one day toss them aside. It remains to be seen whether Schumer is going to be dramatic one-hit wonder before going back to her comedic roots, or go full-on Steve Carell, but critical and audience reception to her turn in Thank You For Your Service.
The flick, which hits theaters on Oct. 27, is the onscreen adaptation of a book of the same name that follows an army battalion back home after the war in Iraq. Its written and directed by Jason Hall, who was behind the screenplay for the Bradley Cooper-starring American Sniper and whose own brother served in the Army in the 90's. In other words, this isn't exactly Snatched.
Schumer plays Amanda Doster, the wife of Sergeant James Doster, who is killed right before he is scheduled to return home from the battlefield. (And don't worry: That's not a spoiler). While most of the characters, like star Miles Teller, are trying to work through their own PTSD, Amy's character is grappling with questions about her husband's death.
Hall has admitted that he was initially hesitant to cast the comedian in the role, simply because it wasn't just a part more dramatic than she normally plays—the character is fully traumatized. She let the studio know she was interested in the part and ready and willing to take on a new genre, so they decided to have her come in and audition.
As the director has made clear, she had clearly put in a lot of preparation and practice.
"When she came in, she was raw and ready," said Hall. "There was a sense of her being present and carrying this grief...She just became Amanda, took on a different physicality and worked hard to help create an amazing transformation into this character."
And while Schumer doesn't have as much screen time as she may be used to in prior projects, everyone involved promises that audiences will be wowed. It starts with her appearance, as she got what can only be described as a makeunder (think plaid shirts and minimal makeup) and ends with a pivotal scene opposite Teller. Much of it is still hush hush, but Hall describes her monologue as "the defining lines of the film." No pressure, Amy.