Actress, writer, and stand-up comedienne Rebel Wilson moved to the States from Australia just a few years ago, but her turn as Kristin Wiig’s bizarre roommate in “Bridesmaids” left everybody wanting more. With the smash hit film as her inaugural American movie, Rebel has quickly accelerated to the top of everybody’s Stars To Watch list ― and for good reason. She’s smart (she even has a law degree!), hilarious, and brimming with the kind of cheerful self-awareness that makes her a true stand-out. It’s worth getting to know Rebel a little better, because she’s not going anywhere.
1. Rebel was born and raised in Sydney, Australia by parents who were professional dog showers ― she refers to the career as “one step above carnies.” Two of her siblings, Liberty and Ryot, competed in the first season of “The Amazing Race” Australia.
2. Though Rebel is her real given name, she went by her middle names, Melanie Elizabeth, during her tenure at a Christian high school. She excelled at math, but decided to pursue an acting career after she contracted malaria in South Africa and experienced hallucinations in which she saw herself as an actress who had won an Oscar.
3. Wilson studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People and also graduated from the prestigious University of New South Wales, where she received a degree in both Law and Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies).
4. Matt Lucas, who played the brother of Rebel’s “Bridesmaids” character, is now Rebel’s actual roommate. The actors decided to move in together in West Hollywood after forging a bond on the set. They often receive noise complaints from neighbors for singing show tunes late at night in their new pool and hot tub.
5. Her biggest comedic influences are Jennifer Saunders, who plays Edina on English sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous,” and Tina Fey. She admires them as “true writer-performers.”
6. Rebel has a rap star alter ego called Rebelicious. Rebelicious says of accusations that she is “attention-seeking,” “That’s why I’m rapping and not, like, working in an office being boring and speaking proper-like and wearing un-elasticized pants like you.”
7. Almost instantly after “Bridesmaids” hit theaters, Rebel was booked for films for the next year. After appearing in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” voicing a kangaroo in “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” working alongside Mark Wahlberg in Michael Bay’s “Pain and Gain,” and starring in “Bachelorette” and “Pitch Perfect” (in theaters October 5), Wilson is about to begin taping a TV pilot, “Super Fun Night,” that she will star in and produce with Conan O’Brien on board.
8. Rebel has a newfound love of reality TV. “It just fascinates me,” she says. “‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ is my new favorite, and ‘Dance Moms’ is my other favorite. Sometimes I watch it and I imitate them and I do their voices. It’s just good for coming up with characters … The more I know about America, the better I’ll be at performing American characters and American stories.”
9. Of playing a character called Fat Amy in “Pitch Perfect,” Rebel said, “As a comedian, I think, well, obviously I am overweight, and sometimes you have to use what you’ve got. Like if you’ve got a big nose and there’s a character with a big nose, you’re like, “Why not?” I’m not shy about playing characters like that. But I do like to mix it up, so I wouldn’t want all my characters to somehow be associated with being big.”
10. You can follow her on Twitter for real-time hilarity.