Rebel Wilson was born on March 2, 1980, in Sydney, Australia. Her career began with hilarious performances onstage and on television in Australia. She broke out in the United States with the 2011 blockbuster Bridesmaids as Kristen Wiig's roommate. Portraying boisterous singing coed Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect films made her an even bigger star. It also got her more film roles, a gig hosting the 2013 MTV Music Awards and a lead role in a short-lived 2013 television series, Super Fun Night.
Comedic actress Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson, born on March 2, 1980, in Sydney, Australia, didn't have the most conventional childhood. Her parents were professional dog handlers. The family constantly traveled across the country to sell canine products from a caravan, a lifestyle Wilson later compared to carnie life. Surprisingly, Wilson was a shy kid but great at people-watching, which helped her develop her comedy later on
Acting in Australia
After graduating from the University of New South Wales, Wilson went to South Africa as an Australian youth ambassador, where she contracted malaria. She claims that during a fever-induced hallucination, she saw herself winning an Academy Award and took it as a sign to act. Wilson studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People and became known for creating and starring in her own comedy theater productions. Her screen debut happened down under in the series Pizza (2003) as a girl gang leader. More television as well as film work followed in her homeland. Eventually, Wilson won a scholarship with The Second City Training Centre and moved to New York City.
After a cameo in the action flick Ghost Rider (2007) with Nicolas Cage, Wilson got her U.S. breakthrough role in the 2011 Judd Apatow comedy Bridesmaids. She auditioned for the Melissa McCarthy role but got the part of Kristen Wiig's hellish roommate instead. Wilson was an absolute scene-stealer with antics like explaining how she mistook her roommate's diary for a "sad handwritten book."
The starlet soon found herself along big-name Hollywood types in such movies as Bachelorette (2012), Struck by Lightning (2012), What To Expect When You're Expecting (2012) and Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012). Those led to her shining moment in the 2012 musical comedy Pitch Perfect with Anna Kendrick. Her role as choir-singing coed Fat Amy demanded plenty of physical comedy in addition to delivering unforgettable lines like "You guys are gonna get pitch-slapped so hard, your man boobs are gonna concave."
Wilson appeared alongside Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in the action comedy Pain & Gain in 2013. She also signed on to be a voice in Kung Fu Panda 3 with co-stars Jack Black and Angelina Jolie. And her charisma on the silver screen led to a hosting at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.
Wilson's ability to keep up with A-list actors in her back-to-back roles on film didn't go unnoticed. In October of 2013, she took on the lead role in the series Super Fun Night, with Conan O'Brien acting as the executive producer, along with the leading lady. After a rocky start—the pilot episode was scrapped after it received unfavorable reviews, which led to the show premiering with its second episode—the series premiere garnered more than 8 million viewers and was the No. 2 show among 18-49 year olds for the night.
In 2014, she appeared in another comedic role as Tilly, a museum security guard in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. She reprised her role playing Fat Amy in the highly anticipated sequel Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015.
Around the time of Pitch Perfect 2's release, Wilson found herself in the middle of a media maelstrom over her age. An Australian publication presented information that she was, in fact, a few years older than she claimed to be. Her real birth date was later confirmed to be March 2, 1980, which meant she was actually 35 years, according to People magazine. Wilson took to Twitter to make light of the controversy, writing "I'm actually a 100 year old mermaid formerly known as 'CC Chalice.'"
Wilson went on to star the 2016 comedy How to Be Single with Leslie Mann and Dakota Johnson. She also teams up with comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher and Penelope Cruz for The Brothers Grimsby. Wilson is also expected to once again play Fat Amy in the upcoming third installment of the Pitch Perfect films.
Wilson isn't just an actress; she could be a legal eagle. She attended law school as a backup plan to performing. In addition, she served as a Jenny Craig spokesperson in Australia and launched a cheeky plus sized fashion line in 2013. Her label, "Fat Mandi," first consisted of T-shirts with cupcakes and doughnuts strategically placed across the wearer's chest. In 2015, Wilson collaborated with Torrid stores to launch another plus-sized clothing line.
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