Last week, we had the chance to speak with Alexander Hammer, the Director and Editor of the new HBO docuseries Expecting Amy, which offers an intimate view into Amy Schumer’s long and difficult HG pregnancy amidst the planning of her comedy special and tour. In our conversation, Hammer offered his perspective on HG awareness and advocacy, saying he hopes the docuseries “finds the balance of entertaining and educating.”
Recently, Hammer was also interviewed by Entertainment Tonight, and the director spoke on how he pieced together a cohesive story using iPhone footage captured by Schumer and her husband, Chris Fischer. Hammer recalls that Schumer did not begin filming herself with the intention of documenting her experience with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Rather, the all-star comedian started filming her pregnancy on a whim, only later discovering she would be vomiting for hours on end and soon be diagnosed with hyperemesis. To this, Hammer believes that, “…the project became bigger than what they had expected.”
In retrospect, Hammer recognizes the immense significance behind the platform the docuseries provided for HG, and consequently, the HER Foundation. In his interview with ET, the director speaks on the way the docuseries captures HG: “There’s a lot of information in [the series] that you might get by accident — you’re not going in for it, but you’re going to walk away with a lot — and I think there are women, if they get in that position, they’ll know that they’re not alone.”
We are excited to have HG been brought to light in the media again in such a raw and real way, so its impact can better be understood to those not close to one suffering. Hopefully, the vast resources and support of the HER Foundation will be utilize by even more women thanks to Expecting Amy.
All three episodes of Expecting Amy are streaming now on HBO Max. (You can watch with a free trial but trigger warning to HG moms – very raw and real graphic scenes of HG.)
Alexander Hammer is a respected Director, Editor, and Producer. In addition to directing and editing Expecting Amy, he has been working with Beyoncé for 10 years. He has also worked with artists such as Lizzo, Madonna, Taylor swift, Katy Perry, Nikki Minaj and more. Recently his project, Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé, won a Grammy for Best Music film.
HG is hyperemesis gravidarum: a potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease that may cause malnutrition, dehydration, and debility due to severe nausea and vomiting, and may cause long-term health issues for mom and baby.