Rebel Wilson (born 3 February 1980) is an Australian actress, writer, entrepreneur, and stand-up comedian. She began appearing as Toula in the SBS comedy series Pizza from 2003 and sketch comedy series The Wedge. In 2008, Wilson wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride. The following year, she won the Tropfest Best Actress award for her role in Bargain and made a guest appearance in City Homicide. Shortly after moving to the United States, Wilson was cast as Brynn in the feature film Bridesmaids.
She also appeared in A Few Best Men, What to Expect When You're Expecting and Struck by Lightning, leading Varietyto name her one of their "Top Ten Comics to Watch for 2011". Wilson also appeared as Becky in Bachelorette and starred in musical-comedy Pitch Perfect, where her role as Fat Amy earned her several award nominations. Wilson created and starred in Super Fun Night, a television comedy that began airing on the ABC network on 2 October 2013 and was cancelled on 9 May 2014 after only one season.
Early life and education
Wilson was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Her parents were professional dog handlers and named Wilson after a girl who sang at their wedding.
She grew up in the suburbs of Kenthurst, Parramatta and Castle Hill. While attending Tara Anglican School for Girlsshe went by her middle names to avoid being teased. Wilson has three siblings; sisters Liberty and Annachi, and brother, Ryot. Liberty and Ryot appeared on the first season of The Amazing Race Australia in 2011. Wilson's great-aunt was Lillian Bounds, who was married to Walt Disney.
Her first career choice was mathematics. Wilson told The Sydney Morning Herald, "I was very academic at high school and was always good with numbers." Wilson attended the University of New South Wales, where she studied Law and Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies). She is a former Rotary International Youth Ambassador for Australia and was based in South Africa for one year, where she contracted malaria. Wilson had hallucinations in which she saw herself as an actress who had won an Oscar. This then convinced her to pursue an acting career.
Wilson studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). In 2003 she moved to New York after winning the ATYP International scholarship, which was funded by Nicole Kidman. While she was in New York, Wilson trained with The Second City. She appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company and performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She first came to the public's attention with her stage musical The Westie Monologues, which she wrote, starred in and produced in Sydney. Her follow-up stage productions, which she wrote, produced and starred in include Spunks and Confessions of an Exchange Student.
In Australia, Wilson is most known for her roles as Toula on Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) comedy series Pizza and as various characters including Lucy, Fat Mandi and Karla Bangs on the sketch comedy series The Wedge. Wilson played an Australian Idol mad schoolgirl in a series of Telstra advertisements shown duringAustralian Idol from 2004 to 2005. She also had roles in the feature films Fat Pizza and Ghost Rider. In 2008 Wilson created, wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride on SBS One and also starred in the improvisational Nine Network series Monster House. In 2009 Wilson won the TropfestBest Actress award for her role in the film Bargain. She has made appearances on the improvisational comedy show Thank God You're Here and the comedy game show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation. She performed stand-up on the television special The Breast Darn Show In Town. Wilson guest starred in the Seven Network drama City Homicide and performed improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.
Upon moving to the United States, Wilson signed to talent and literary agents William Morris Endeavor. Her next film role came in the Judd Apatow film Bridesmaids, where she played Brynn, the sister of Matt Lucas' character. Wilson then appeared in the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement and on the Comedy Central series,Workaholics. She co-hosted the 2010 ARIA Music Awards and performed at the inaugural Variety’s Power of Comedy event in Los Angeles with Lucas and Russell Brand. In early 2011, Wilson filmed A Few Best Men at Fox Studios Australia. She also filmed a role in Small Apartments. On 11 July 2011, it was announced Wilson had joined the ensemble comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting as Janice. She has also joined the upcoming Indie film, Struck By Lightning. Wilson was named one of Variety magazine's "Top Ten Comics to Watch for 2011".
On 19 August 2011, Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter reported Wilson had replaced Casey Wilson in Bachelorette. In 2012, Wilson voiced a character in Ice Age: Continental Drift and played Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. For the latter role, Wilson received various award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress from the San Diego Film Critics Society and Best Actress in a Comedy from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. She won the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and shared the Best Musical Moment award with her Pitch Perfect co-stars. Wilson was also nominated for Best Female Performance. Wilson later won the Choice Movie Actress: Comedy award for Pitch Perfect at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. She was also nominated for Choice Comedian.
In January 2012, Michael Ausiello of TVLine announced Wilson would be writing and starring in Super Fun Night, a comedy that follows three friends on a quest to have fun every Friday night. The pilot was picked up by CBS and Conan O'Brien became one of the executive producers. The pilot was later turned down by CBS, but the ABC network picked up the project. A series was ordered and the show began broadcasting on 2 October 2013. The series was cancelled after only one season. Wilson played Robin Peck in Michael Bay's Pain & Gain (2013). She also hosted the 2013 MTV Movie Awards on 14 April 2013. In March 2014, the American satellite television network DISH launched a marketing campaign for its Hopper DVR featuring Wilson as the voice of the eponymous computer animatedkangaroo.
Wilson has joined the voice cast for Kung Fu Panda 3, which will be released on 25 December 2015. She will also appear in Pitch Perfect 2, the action comedyGrimsby, and a remake of Private Benjamin. Wilson has been cast in The Social Life alongside Amanda Seyfried, and the ensemble comedy How to Be Single.
In July 2011, Wilson became a spokesperson for weight loss and nutrition company Jenny Craig in Australia. In January 2012, Wilson revealed to James Wigney and Elle Halliwell of The Daily Telegraph that she had lost 10 kilograms (22 lb) since signing up to the program.
She revealed that the producers of Pitch Perfect had refused to let her lose any more weight during filming, as her contract stated she must stay the same size. Wilson said once her film commitments were over, she would start her diet again to reach her target weight of 80 kilograms (180 lb). In February 2013, Wilson confirmed that she had ended her agreement with Jenny Craig the previous year.
As of September 2012, Wilson lives with her Bridesmaids co-star Matt Lucas in West Hollywood.