This down-to-earth Aussie comedy queen is the toast of Hollywood. Here’s how she made it big in Tinseltown…
Here in Oz, we already knew how awesome funny gal Rebel Wilson was, thanks to her hilarious turns in Pizza, The Wedge and Bogan Pride.
However, it was her brief yet scene-stealing appearance as the flatmate from hell in 2011’s Bridesmaids that made Hollywood sit up and take notice – a lot of notice – of our Rebel.
Since then, she’s had the A-list clamouring to work with – and befriend – her and she’s clocked up an impressive string of hit flicks to her unusual name.
Now residing in Tinseltown, she shares a plush pad with English funnyman Matt Lucas (who played her flatmate in Bridesmaids). The pair apparently have a habit of annoying the neighbours with their late-night sing-offs in the spa.
And when she’s not walking the red carpet in one of her sexy tracksuits, Rebel’s hanging with celebrity pals such as pop star Katy Perry (left) and Channing Tatum (right), her co-star at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.
To celebrate her hitting the big time, OK! looks back at Rebel’s awesomeness through the years…
Her (kind of) normal childhood
Rebel was born on February 3, 1986 and grew up in Kenthurst, north-western Sydney. The eldest of four siblings – sisters Annachi and Liberty and brother Ryot (the latter pair appeared on the first season of The Amazing Race Australia) – her parents were professional beagle breeders. ‘My family had this yellow caravan and we would drive around to all the dog shows and sell dog products,’ Rebel says. ‘I’d say we were one-seventh carnies [carnival workers].’ Despite the quirky hobbies and quirkier names, Rebel insists her background was relatively normal. ‘I’m always asked if my parents were hippies but, in fact, they’re very conservative,’ she notes. And yes, Rebel is her real name! She explains, ‘A girl called Rebel sang at my parents’ wedding, so that’s where my name came from.’
Dreams of success…
When she finished high school, Rebel landed a Rotary International Youth Ambassador role in South Africa. While there, a virulent strain of malaria put her in intensive care, but she credits the powerful antibiotics for helping to inspire her career! ‘I had this hallucination I was at the Oscars and I won. It was so real that, when I came out of hospital, I started saying to people, "I’m going to become an actress",’ Rebel says. ‘So I went back to Australia the next month and started uni – and going to theatre school.’
Play it for laughs
Rebel’s never been vain about her appearance on screen, even though industry professionals were dismissive of her when she was starting out. ‘At my very first meeting with an agent, they said, "We can’t really see you being on Home and Away", and they rejected me. So I had to keep being myself and prove that I was better than what was out there,’ she recalls. And Rebel soon proved the doubters wrong, saying, ‘Being fat actually helped my comedy career because I was happy to use my physicality to get laughs.’
For more on Rebel’s rise to Hollywood fame, pick up a copy of this week’s OK! magazine, on sale now!