Life & Beth is the new Amy Schumer-led series on Hulu, in which Schumer plays the title role of Beth, a woman who returns to her childhood home on Long Island after the death of her mother. The show, a dramedy, has Schumer’s signature sense of humor, but adds a layer of self-reflection to the mix.
The entire first season is now available to stream on Hulu, and Schumer has explained that while Beth is a fictional creation, a lot of her life draws inspiration from Schumer’s own childhood. Here’s what you need to know about the true story behind Life & Beth.
Is Amy Schumer’s Life & Beth autobiographical?
Speaking with USA Today, Schumer revealed that about 50% of Beth is autobiographical. “A lot about me personally was reflected, but then I took liberties with the other characters,” she said.
In the show, Beth (which is also Schumer’s middle name) is a wine sales rep in New York City, in a failing romantic relationship and struggling with a complicated relationship with her mother, who is divorced from her father. In the show, her mother (played by Laura Benanti) dies in a car accident the catalyst for Beth to return to Long Island.
In reality, Schumer’s mother is still very much alive, though she did divorce Schumer’s father after having an affair. Schumer told The Hollywood Reporter, “My mom was really destructive and did really harmful stuff, and also I felt so special and loved growing up… She’s been really fucking cool about all of it. She’s like, ‘I’m 73, I own my mistakes,’ and that’s the thing: My mom is insanely flawed and I also love her an insane amount.”
In the show, Beth returns to Long Island where she gets a new job working at a winery where she meets a man named John, played by Michael Cera, who is the groundskeeper at the winery. While John is not entirely based on Schumer’s real-life husband, Chris Fischer, who is a farmer and chef, there are aspects of his personality that Schumer based John’s character on. Schumer says that Fischer was diagnosed with autism as an adult, and that John too is “most likely on the spectrum.” Cera also shadowed Fischer to authentically portray his character’s farming skills.
In creating the show, which touches on several childhood and teenage traumas, Schumer says her goal was “to examine that time in my life, the teenage years when these big moments happen for you that can traumatize you or change you, and how that affects you as long as you let it.”