Wait, Amy Schumer Could Have Starred In 'Girls'?
If you're into reading articles by cool women doing even cooler things, you should sign up for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter. Simply put, it's a newsletter featuring feminist, empowering writing by a range of influencers and celebrities, and it's mailed directly to your inbox — like Christmas a few times a month, or something. Friday's Lenny Letter, for instance, made for a compelling read, particularly because it included an interview between two of the funniest women on the small screen, Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham. One of the biggest revelations? In a casual, offhand remark, Dunham revealed that Schumer once auditioned for the role of Shoshanna in Girls. Um, what?
This is huge. If you've ever seen the genius HBO series Girls , you'll know that Shoshanna is basically the opposite of Schumer: In Season 1, she's extremely vulnerable, a late-bloomer sexually, and not down with vulgarity. So, the thought of Schumer as Shoshanna is pretty mind-blowing. Like, if Schumer had nabbed the role, would the series' writers have ended up retooling lines to allow for a slightly more grounded Shoshanna? Would Schumer's version of Shoshanna have dressed like a cutesier version of a Gossip Girl extra, like Zosia Mamet's Shoshanna did for a few seasons? Would Alex Karpovsky (Ray Ploshansky) and Schumer have enjoyed the same insane chemistry as Mamet and Karpovsky do? The show could have been so different.
Of course, the role didn't go to Schumer — Mamet was cast, and as a result, I can't imagine anyone else as Shosh. And Schumer still ended up on the show, regardless: She portrayed the protective best friend of Adam's ex-girlfriend Natalia in Season 3.
I first met Amy Schumer almost six years ago when she came in to audition for the role of Shoshanna on Girls (trivia deep dive! Wild!). Everyone in the room was stunned by the detail and skill of her improv, the wild talent radiating off her (and I was personally intrigued by her breasts). It was clear Amy wasn’t meant to play an innocent Juicy Couture lover obsessed with emoji — even if her Meatpacking District club lingo was the funniest shit I had ever heard. But when she left the room, the vibe was very “Someone give that lady a show, STAT!”
The really fascinating aspect of this Lenny Letter interview how Dunham seems to have clocked how talented Schumer was from the beginning, even after just one brief audition. As the Girls creator later wrote in the piece, Schumer was in the middle of shooting her pilot for Inside Amy Schumer when she returned to play Natalia's BFF on Girls, so clearly Dunham couldn't have seen just how talented Schumer was via her hit TV show at this stage. Nope — Dunham's just wicked good at sniffing out talent, which I guess was already pretty evident from the fact that she cast Girls so beautifully.
It's crazy to think of how different the show would have been starring Schumer, but, considering Schumer went on to nab her own show and Mamet went on to play Shosh like literally no one else can, it seems things definitely worked out for the best.