Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Honor Roll 2012: 'Bachelorette' and 'Pitch Perfect' Breakout Rebel Wilson On Picking Up the Roles "Other Actresses Don't Want"

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire December 28, 2012 at 10:24AM

Honor Roll 2012: 'Bachelorette' and 'Pitch Perfect' Breakout Rebel Wilson On Picking Up the Roles "Other Actresses Don't Want"
5
"Bachelorette"
Radius "Bachelorette"

Honor Roll is a daily series running throughout December that features new or previously published interviews, profiles and first-person stories of some of the year's most notable cinematic voices. Today, we're re-running an interview we did at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival with one of 2012's biggest breakout stars, Rebel Wilson, before "Bachelorette" and "Pitch Perfect" opened.

Since breaking out with a scene-stealing turn as Kristen Wiig's roommate from hell in "Bridesmaids," Australian comic Rebel Wilson has made good on her early promise by landing roles in a slew of Hollywood projects, including Chris Colfer's well-received screenwriting debut "Stuck By Lightening" (which premiered at Tribeca), the musical comedy "Pitch Perfect," and the scathingly hilarious "Bachelorette" (out on VOD now and in theaters next month).

"Bachelorette," which marks playwright Leslye Headland's film debut, follows three bridesmaids (Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan) as they reunite to celebrate the upcoming nupitals of their high school friend Becky (Wilson), an overweight woman they once dubbed "pig face" back in high school.

For Wilson, Becky marks a change of pace for the actress, who until now has served as the comedic supporting player. She gets to let loose as Becky's wedding spirals out of control, but the character comes out as the sanest and most level-headed of the bunch, and serves as the dramatic anchor for Headland's film.

Following the comedy's world premiere at Sundance earlier this year, Indiewire sat down with Wilson to talk about her "Bridesmaids" role, how she broke into the American market and the film she's most excited to share with her ever-growing fan base.

"Bachelorette"
Radius "Bachelorette"

So in reading up on you, I was surprised to learn that you studied law in university.

Yeah, two degrees.

And you also had a thing for mathematics. Well, according to IMDb.

Well, I was super academic. I don't know where a lot of it comes from. All my family has very good mathematical abilities -- like, so dorky. I was the dork then in school -- on any maths exams I’d get 100%. I just knew how to do maths and most people would hate it but for some reason it just came. I actually first wanted to be an actuary.

Forgive me for sounding dumb, but what’s an actuary?

An actuary is someone who works for big companies and works out mathematical equations and stuff about statistics and tells them what they should do. I think comedy is way better. But then I got into debating and public speaking when I came out of my shell a bit, so I thought I'd be kickass lawyer. And at the end of high school in Australia, I got into the best law school in Sydney.

Yeah, University of New South Wales, right?

Yeah. When you finish high school you get scored out of 100. And you need to get over 99 to get into that law school. I'm competitive. But instead of going straight to law school, I was a youth ambassador and lived in South Africa for a year spreading goodwill.

For a whole year!

Yeah, because I really do think law or politics was where I was headed. You went on lots of different tours as part of your job. On one tour in Mozambique I got malaria really bad which kills people all the time in Africa.

"I hallucinated that I was an actress and that I won an Oscar and instead of doing an acceptance speech, I did an acceptance rap and the crowd loved it."

You didn’t get shots before going down?

No, because some strains are resistant to the pills and the pills can do terrible things to you, and so I didn’t. I went to a hospital in Johannesburg and the way they treat you is with very, very powerful drugs and intensive care. I lost my hearing for two weeks! I was in the hospital bed hallucinating on drugs. I hallucinated that I was an actress and that I won an Oscar and instead of doing an acceptance speech, I did an acceptance rap and the crowd loved it.

What was the rap? Can you recite it?

I can actually kind of remember it, it was like: "Listen up y’all, I got something to say, it’s about this award, that I won today…"

It went on, I don’t know how I can remember, because I was gone. I was very, very ill. I recovered a few weeks later and went back to Australia and started acting classes. And I still did law school during the day and did acting at night and thought -- I thought it was a sign. And people thought I was crazy…

Yeah, I bet.

I told my family and they’re like, "What?! You're going to be a great lawyer." And I would have been. I would have been excellent. They could not believe it. Nobody thought I would be good [at acting]. I thought I’d be really bad, and I probably was when I started. But then very quickly, I just took to it. I became a writer/performer because I quickly realized no one’s going to cast me as an actress. So I started writing my own plays.

Did writing just come to you naturally?

I went for a few auditions for local plays in Australia, but they wouldn’t think twice about casting me. I thought, I’ll write my own play for myself and put myself in it and everyone can see how funny I am. And it worked! The first play I wrote, I wrote in two nights and it was a big hit in Sydney. It had four seasons in the first year.

This article is related to: Honor Roll 2012, Interviews, Rebel Wilson, Bachelorette, Bridesmaids






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More