NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comedian Amy Schumer has made a name for herself with her sharp wit and self-deprecating observations about romance, drinking and sex.
But Schumer, 33, says people have got the wrong idea about her new romantic comedy "I Feel Pretty," about a woman who suffers from low self-esteem until she bangs her head and believes she has become a supermodel.
An early trailer for the film, which opens in U.S. movie theaters on Friday, was heavily criticized on social media for appearing to fat-shame women whose bodies do not conform to fashionably slim and toned ideals.
Schumer, however, says the message of the film is female empowerment and self confidence, whatever one's size or looks.
"I think that we were real careful with staying on message, which was that it's not about how anybody else sees you. It's about how you see yourself and who you are," Schumer told Reuters Television.
"There was this kind of strange backlash at the trailer and it just made me excited for those people to see the movie and realize that that's not what we're doing," she added.
Schumer plays New York bachelorette Renee Bennett, who looks in the mirror and finds herself neither pretty, slim, attractive or cool enough. When she tumbles off an exercise bicycle, she falls unconscious and wakes to see herself as the woman she always wanted to be.
Although her outward appearance has not changed, Renee is suffused with newfound confidence and charisma, lands a great job, finds a boyfriend and even enters a bikini contest. But she later realizes her appearance never changed at all and comes to understand that true self-esteem comes from within.
Schumer, who chronicled her own issues with self-esteem in her best-selling 2016 memoir "The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo," said she enjoyed playing the role.
"Just living that out, playing that role, convincing myself that I was a supermodel - it was so fun. And yeah, I left feeling, I guess, the most confident I ever have," she said.
"I Feel Pretty" is Schumer's third feature film after a breakout year in 2015 when she brought her writing and acting talents from television series "Inside Amy Schumer" to the big screen with the comedy "Trainwreck," which she also wrote.
"I Feel Pretty" was written and directed by Abby Cohn and Marc Silverstein and co-stars Michelle Williams in a rare comedic role.
Reporting by Alicia Powell, writing by Jill Serjeant, editing by G Crosse