LATIMES.COM – There aren’t many actresses who’d be excited about playing a character named “Fat Amy.” But when Rebel Wilson was offered the role of an a cappella singer who threatens to finish competitors “like a cheesecake” in the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, she didn’t think twice.
“I know 95% of actresses wouldn’t want to do it, but I thought she was the funniest character,” said Wilson, 29. “When you do comedy, you have to use what you’ve got — whether you’ve got a big nose, you’re super tall, super short or whatever — you’ve gotta use it because that’s all you have.”
Four years after moving to West Hollywood from her native Australia, Wilson looks just as she did when we first saw her in “Bridesmaids” that year — without the Mexican drinking worm tattoo. One thing is different, though. Sitting in the lobby of the Chateau Marmont a few weeks ago, she wore a nice dress, because she’d come from a photo shoot. Otherwise, she said, she would have arrived wearing sweatpants. Always sweatpants. She loves them so much that they’re going to be the cornerstone of a plus-size clothing line she’s creating with the Torrid label out this fall. “It’ll be like, glamorous sweatpants,” she said with a laugh. “A few diamantes. They call it athleisure.”
After Wilson appeared in 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” it seemed her career was primed to take off. Her Fat Amy — initially billed as one of the film’s lesser roles alongside Anna Kendrick’s lead — ended up as the movie’s most quotable character. She was tapped to host the MTV Movie Awards and created ABC’s “Super Fun Night,” in which she also starred. But the television show was panned by critics and canceled after just one season; Wilson said the rigorous schedule also kept her from accepting roles in the films “Snowpiercer” and “Into the Woods.”
“My movie career was really burgeoning, and I had to go away from that for over a year, which was really disappointing,” she said. “So now it’s awesome, because I think I’m back on track.”
Indeed, Wilson has a handful of projects lined up: She recently wrapped production on “Grimsby,” a comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen, as well as “Kung Fu Panda 3,” in which she voices a female panda. Plus, she’s about to go to New York to start filming “How to Be Single,” a romantic comedy about two best friends co-starring Dakota Johnson.
But first, of course, comes “Pitch Perfect 2,” out May 15. Wilson has a lot more to do in the sequel, which begins with her front and center, hanging Cirque du Soleil style from the ceiling during a performance with her college a cappella group, the Barden Bellas. The stunt goes awry when Fat Amy accidentally exposes her bottom half to the audience, which includes the president of the United States.
“I stretched every day to be able to do that,” Wilson said of the aerial stunt she performed 27 feet above the ground. “I’m afraid of heights, so I said I’d only do it three times. I told them, ‘I’ll do it three times. I’ll crush it, so turn all your cameras on.’ And I nailed it.”
Before joining the “Pitch Perfect” series, Wilson was no stranger to a cappella. She was part of a group at her suburban Sydney high school — 12 Voice Choir, in which each girl wore “very long velvet skirts and button-up blouses.”
“It was supremely dorky,” she said. “I went to a Christian school, so we’d sing religious church hymns at weddings and funerals. It was a bit stupid.”
She partook in school musicals too, such as “Grease,” but never landed the lead role. So performing in “Pitch Perfect” has helped her scratch that musical theater geek itch. Not that everything on the set of the sequel was always in perfect harmony. For one thing, shooting took place in the middle of summer, and Wilson was constantly dripping with sweat and swatting away bugs. And Elizabeth Banks, who makes her directorial debut on the sequel, apparently took little pity on the cast.
“I thought because she’s a fellow actress she’d be easier on us, but in a way she was harder on us,” Wilson recalled. “She was like, ‘You don’t need a makeup check.’ I was like, ‘I do! I’m sweating!’ She was a taskmaster.”
The budget was also bigger this time around — Wilson estimates triple the $14 million the first was made for — and the cast was more well known. Louisiana locals often showed up to the set and even to the film’s wrap party, seeking out Wilson and co-star Kendrick.
What hadn’t changed, Wilson said, was the way she felt about herself. She still ate carbs on set, even while her co-stars barely ate lunch.
“Kendrick and Brittany Snow both have waists like that,” she said, scrunching her index finger and thumb together. “They’re ridiculous. They don’t eat much at lunch — put it that way.
“Just because other people are taking Adderall to lose weight — most actresses in town are on that stuff — if I want to eat dessert every night, I’m gonna do that. …I don’t want to encourage anyone to be unhealthy, like binge eat or get a whole bag of chips and eat it — eat the whole cheesecake. I’m not promoting that.
“But people shouldn’t be so obsessive and try to starve themselves, because they think, ‘Oh, that’s what you do in Hollywood.’ It’s not. You don’t have to do that. There are plenty of girls who aren’t like that.”
FEMALEFIRST.CO.UK – Rebel Wilson is one of the new faces to join the cast list of Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, as she took on the role of English security guard Tilly.
The actress talks about the film, the character of Tilly, and the opportunity to work with both Ben Stiller and director Shawn Levy.
– What kind of woman is Tilly? It looks like she was a lot of fun to play?
Tilly is the guard at The British Museum, the equivalent of Ben Stiller’s character Larry Daley, except that she’s never experienced any kind of magical events like he has in New York.
So she is basically sitting in a shack outside the British Museum all the time doing nothing and being bored and on the phone a lot. Then all of a sudden all the action comes to England when Larry arrives with the magical tablet and then Tilly gets a lot of action.
– Did you actually shoot any of the film on location in England?
I was in London for two nights and we shot one night at the front of the museum and that was really cool. But we were filming in late January of this year and it was freezing cold. I was lucky that my outfit actually consisted of five layers of clothing, which is good when it’s that cold. I had a hat on as well which helped.
– What was your inspiration for Tilly?
A lot of the inspiration came from British comedians I admire. I love British comedy and I’m lucky to share a house in LA with Matt Lucas, (the English actor and Wilson’s Bridesmaids co-star). He has played so many different characters; one of his characters I loved was Vicky Pollard in the TV show Little Britain.
So that was one of my inspirations. I’ve also always loved a character of Catherine Tate’s (the comedian) called Lauren Cooper, on The Catherine Tate Show. So I took a tiny bit from both of those characters and then I formed my own new character Tilly. She is a little bit ‘street’ but not really street. Also, one time when I was in England, I went on a trip out to a shopping mall in Watford (north of London) with my sister and I saw a few girls there who inspired Tilly.
Sometimes when I meet people in real life, I watch them and bank that information and think ‘oh, that could be a good character at some point.’ So it’s all those bizarre little elements which merged in my mind when I was finding the voice for Tilly.
– How did your role evolve once you were cast as Tilly?
Well originally my role was just going to be a tiny, one scene cameo, like Jonah Hill had in the second movie, when he also played a security guard in Washington DC at the Smithsonian. I think they liked my character so much that the role expanded. Ben plays two characters: Larry Daley and the Neanderthal character called Laaa, who the museum director Dr. McPhee, (Ricky Gervais) modeled on Ben as a prank.
He made one of the cavemen in the exhibition look a lot like Ben Stiller’s character. So of course Ben had to play the caveman because the character had to look like him. He’s kind of doing an Eddie Murphy thing [playing more than one role] I guess in this movie. Tilly falls for Laaa and we developed this romance, which got bigger.
PERTHNOW.COM.AU – ACTOR Anna Kendrick, 29, talks working with Australia’s Rebel Wilson, tweeting about The Gos and her impressive sweatpants collection.
Before shooting began for Pitch Perfect 2, we heard the cast members who are in the movie’s Bellas singing group went to ‘the Bellas Bootcamp’. Was it hardcore?
No, not at all! It’s like a rehearsal period.
We had a month to learn three [musical] numbers and it’s way too much time.
By the end, we wanted to claw our eyes out.
Even though we were there a month, [the filmmakers] tinkered with it at the last minute, so we were rehearsing the finale number the night before we shot it.
We were terrified – we’d only been given the choreography the day before.
I remember getting gallows humour, when you can’t stop laughing even though you’re afraid something bad is going to happen.
We were rehearsing at Rebel’s [Wilson] apartment and were all pissing ourselves laughing because we didn’t know if we were going to pull it off.
The next day, when we were filming, Elizabeth [Banks, the director] was like, “Guys, are the fingers spread apart or together?” and we were like, “You’re seriously noticing the fingers? We learnt this two days ago!”
How was working with Rebel?
My favorite thing about Rebel is how savvy and smart she is. She plays characters that are in another world. I think that people think she’s tumbling through life and doesn’t know what’s going on. That’s the most wonderful and surprising thing about her: how sharp she is. Nothing gets past her.
PRNEWSWIRE.COM – UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — A dream destination wedding becomes a Down Under disaster in A Few Best Men, a hilarious comedy from director Stephan Elliot (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) debuting on DVD and On Demand on May 5, 2015 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) and Olivia Newton-John (Grease) deliver massive laughs in this wickedly funny comedy about supporting your best friends “for better or for worse.” When David unexpectedly gets engaged during a whirlwind vacation, his best friends are determined to send him off into married life in signature style. But when they arrive in Australia for the ceremony, the nuptial plans go from bad to worse as the guys discover that unpredictable relatives, a cross-dressing sheep and a deranged drug dealer don’t necessarily add up to a match made in heaven. It’s going to be a day no one will forget in this hilarious film also starring Laura Brent (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), Xavier Samuel (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), Kris Marshall (Love Actually) and Kevin Bishop (Muppet Treasure Island).
And now when consumers purchase A Few Best Men on DVD at participating retailers, they will receive up to $7.50 in value to see more of Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect 2, in theaters May 15, 2015.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION – DVD:
Street Date: May 5, 2015
Copyright: 2015 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61126552
Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Technical Info: Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles