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Rebel Wilson

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Rebel Wilson
File:Rebel Wilson (6707611099) (cropped).jpg
Wilson at the Sydney premiere of
A Few Best Men, January 2012
Born Melanie Elizabeth Bownds[1]
(1980-03-02) 2 March 1980 (age 35)[2]
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Residence West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of New South Wales
Occupation Comedian, actress, writer, entrepreneur
Years active 2002–present

Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson[2][3] (born Melanie Elizabeth Bownds;[1][4] 2 March 1980[2]) is an Australian stand-up comedian, actress, writer and entrepreneur. After graduating from the Australian Theatre for Young People in 2003, she began appearing as Toula on the SBS comedy series Pizza and the sketch comedy series The Wedge. In 2008, Wilson wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride. The following year, she won the Tropfest best actress award for her role in Bargain and made a guest appearance in City Homicide. Shortly after moving to the United States, Wilson was cast as Brynn in the feature film Bridesmaids.

Wilson also appeared in A Few Best Men, What to Expect When You're Expecting and Struck by Lightning, leading Variety to name her one of their "Top Ten Comics to Watch for 2011". She also appeared as Becky in Bachelorette and starred in the musical films Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 as Fat Amy, a role that earned her several award nominations. She then created and starred in Super Fun Night, a television comedy that aired for one season on the American Broadcasting Company.

Early life and education

Wilson was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.[5] Her mother is a professional dog handler.[6] Wilson claims she was named after a girl who sang at her parents' wedding.[7][8]

Wilson grew up in the suburbs of Kenthurst, Parramatta and Castle Hill.[9][10] While attending Tara Anglican School for Girls she went by her middle names to avoid being teased.[3][11][12] Wilson completed her Higher School Certificate in 1997, including second place in the state in food technology.[13]

Wilson has three siblings; sisters Liberty and Annachi and a brother, Ryot.[7][8][14] Liberty and Ryot appeared on the first season of The Amazing Race Australia in 2011.[15] Wilson's great-aunt was Lillian Bounds, who was married to Walt Disney.[16]

Wilson's first career choice was mathematics. She told The Sydney Morning Herald, "I was very academic at high school and was always good with numbers."[17] She attended the University of New South Wales, where she graduated in 2009 with degrees in law and arts (theatre and performance studies).[18] A former Rotary International Youth Ambassador for Australia, she was based in South Africa for one year, where she contracted malaria.[19][17] Wilson claims the malaria caused hallucinations where she saw herself as an actress who had won an Oscar, convincing her to pursue an acting career.[19]


Wilson studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP).[20] In 2003 she moved to New York after winning the ATYP International scholarship, which was funded by Nicole Kidman. While she was in New York, Wilson trained with The Second City.[21][22] She appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company and performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.[20] She first came to the public's attention in 2002 with her stage musical The Westie Monologues, which she wrote,[23] starred in and produced in Sydney.[24] Her follow-up stage productions, which she wrote, produced and starred in include Spunks and Confessions of an Exchange Student.[17][25]

In Australia, Wilson is most known for her roles as Toula on the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) comedy series Pizza and as various characters including Lucy, Fat Mandi and Karla Bangs on the sketch comedy series The Wedge.[19] She played an Australian Idol mad schoolgirl in a series of Telstra advertisements shown during Australian Idol from 2004 to 2005.[26] She also had roles in the feature films Fat Pizza and Ghost Rider.[27] In 2008 Wilson created, wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride on SBS One and also starred in the improvisational Nine Network series Monster House.[19][27] In 2009 Wilson won the Tropfest Best Actress award for her role in the film Bargain.[28] She has made appearances on the improvisational comedy show Thank God You're Here and the comedy game show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation.[20][29] She performed stand-up on the television special The Breast Darn Show In Town.[30] Wilson guest starred in the Seven Network drama City Homicide and performed improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.[31][32]

After moving to the United States, Wilson signed to talent and literary agents William Morris Endeavor.[33] Her next film role came in the Judd Apatow film Bridesmaids, where she played Brynn, the sister of Matt Lucas' character.[33] Wilson then appeared in the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement and on the Comedy Central series, Workaholics.[34] She co-hosted the 2010 ARIA Music Awards and performed at the inaugural Variety’s Power of Comedy event in Los Angeles with Lucas and Russell Brand.[34][35] In early 2011, Wilson filmed A Few Best Men at Fox Studios Australia.[36] She also filmed a role in Small Apartments.[37] Wilson was named one of Variety magazine's "Top Ten Comics to Watch for 2011".[19] In 2012, Wilson had a role in the ensemble comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting, as Janice,[37] and co-starred in the indie film Struck By Lightning.[38]

On 19 August 2011, Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter reported that Wilson had replaced Casey Wilson in Bachelorette.[39] In 2012, Wilson voiced a character in Ice Age: Continental Drift[39] and played Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect. For the latter role, she received various award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress from the San Diego Film Critics Society and Best Actress in a Comedy from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.[40][41] She won the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and shared the Best Musical Moment award with her Pitch Perfect co-stars. Wilson was also nominated for Best Female Performance.[42] Wilson later won the Choice Movie Actress: Comedy award for Pitch Perfect at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards.[43] She was also nominated for Choice Comedian.[44]

In January 2012, Michael Ausiello of TVLine announced that Wilson would be writing and starring in Super Fun Night, a comedy that follows three friends on a quest to have fun every Friday night.[45] The pilot was picked up by CBS and Conan O'Brien became one of the executive producers.[45] The pilot was later turned down by CBS, but the ABC network picked up the project.[46] A series was ordered and the show began broadcasting on 2 October 2013.[47] The series was cancelled after only one season.[48] Wilson played Robin Peck in Michael Bay's Pain & Gain (2013).[49][50] She also hosted the 2013 MTV Movie Awards on 14 April 2013.[51] In March 2014, the American satellite television network DISH launched a marketing campaign for its Hopper DVR featuring Wilson as the voice of the eponymous computer animated kangaroo.[52]

In 2015, Wilson starred in the sequel Pitch Perfect 2, reprising her role. She has joined the voice cast for Kung Fu Panda 3, scheduled for release on 26 January 2016.[53] She will also appear in the action comedy Grimsby and a remake of Private Benjamin.[54][55] Wilson has been cast in The Social Life alongside Amanda Seyfried, and the ensemble comedy How to Be Single.[56][57]

Personal life

In July 2011, Wilson became a spokesperson for weight loss and nutrition company Jenny Craig in Australia.[5][58] In January 2012, Wilson revealed to James Wigney and Elle Halliwell of The Daily Telegraph that she had lost Script error: No such module "convert". since signing up to the program.[59]

Wilson revealed that the producers of Pitch Perfect had refused to let her lose any more weight during filming, as her contract stated she must stay the same size.[59] She said that once her film commitments were over, she would start her diet again to reach her target weight of Script error: No such module "convert"..[59] In February 2013, she confirmed that she had ended her agreement with Jenny Craig the previous year.[60]

As of September 2012, Wilson was a roommate of her Bridesmaids co-star Matt Lucas in West Hollywood.[61]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Fat Pizza Toula
2007 Ghost Rider Girl in Alley Cameo
2009 Bargain! Linda Tropfest Award for Best Actress
2011 Bridesmaids Brynn
2011 A Few Best Men Daphne Ramme
2012 Bachelorette Becky
2012 Small Apartments Rocky
2012 This Means War[62] Cameo
2012 Struck by Lightning Malerie Baggs
2012 What to Expect When You're Expecting Janice
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Raz Voice
2012 Pitch Perfect Fat Amy Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Actress: Comedy
MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Moment
Online Film & Television Association Award for Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress in a Comedy
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society for Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
2013 Pain & Gain Robin Peck
2014 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Tilly
2015 Pitch Perfect 2 Fat Amy
2016 Grimsby Filming
2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 Mei Mei Post-production
2016 How to Be Single Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2003–07 Pizza Toula Recurring cast; Seasons 3–5, Pizza World and Pizza World Record
2006–07 The Wedge Various characters Series regular; 48 episodes
2007–09 Thank God You're Here Herself/Various characters Episodes: "3.04", "3.09", "4.03" & "4.09"
2008 Bogan Pride Jennie Cragg Series regular; 6 episodes
2008 Monster House Penelope Webb Series regular; 10 episodes
2009 Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation Generation Y Guest Episode: "Series 1, Episode 3"
2009 City Homicide Sarah Gilbert Episode: "Dead Weight"
2009 The Breast Darn Show in Town Herself Comedy gala
2010 Rules of Engagement Sara Episode: "Les-bros"
2011 Workaholics Big Money Hustla Episode: "Straight Up Juggahos"
2013 Can of Worms Herself Episode: "Season 3, Episode 2"
2013 2013 MTV Movie Awards Host
2013–14 Super Fun Night Kimmie Boubier Lead role


  1. ^ a b Fowler, Tara (20 May 2015). "Rebel Wilson Real Age and Name Confirmed". People. Retrieved 21 May 2015. The Australian Electoral Roll lists her real name as Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, though she later changed her last name to Wilson, as has been previously reported. Last year, however, she told The Australian Women's Weekly that her real name was in fact Rebel, and that Melanie and Elizabeth were middle names she went by at school to avoid being teased. 
  2. ^ a b c Aubusson, Kate (20 May 2015). "Rebel Wilson's birth date revealed in ASIC documents". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 May 2015. Business records filed with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) list the date of birth for a "Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson" as March 2, 1980 
  3. ^ a b Miller, Megan (19 November 2011). "The Q&A with actor Rebel Wilson". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times). Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bownds, Mrs Sue". Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
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  6. ^ "Nangunyah". Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Rebel Wilson on Her Family". The Ellen DeGeneres Show. 11 November 2013. NBCUniversal. I've got two sisters, Liberty and Annachi and my brother Ryot...and what's her [mother's] name? Sue. 
  8. ^ a b Field, Melissa (6 November 2011). "Winning Laughs and Losing Weight". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited). Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
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  13. ^ "Food Technology 2 unit". boardofstudies.nsw.ed. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  14. ^ Rebel Wilson, Craig Ferguson (3 June 2011). The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Worldwide Pants Incorporated). 
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  18. ^ "Leaders". Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
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  25. ^ Bragge, Lily (9 April 2005). "Comedy". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  26. ^ Knox, David (2 October 2008). "Bogan Pride". TV Tonight. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
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  33. ^ a b "Our Rebel Wilson is Matt Lucas' secret sister in next movie Bridesmaids". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited). 24 May 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  34. ^ a b Knox, David (21 October 2010). "When Rebel met Joan". TV Tonight. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
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  41. ^ "'Lincoln' leads the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards nominations with a record 13 noms". Broadcast Film Critics Association. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
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  51. ^ "Rebel Wilson named as host of MTV Movie Awards". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). 21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  52. ^ "DISH Launches New Marketing Campaign Featuring Voice of Award-Winning Actress Rebel Wilson as Hopper the Kangaroo". DISH Network. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  53. ^ Luoma, Sarah (10 April 2013). "Bryan Cranston, Mads Mikkelsen, Rebel Wilson join Kung Fu Panda 3". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  54. ^ Billups, Andrea (9 May 2014). "Rebel Wilson to Star in Private Benjamin Remake". People. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  55. ^ Kroll, Justin. "Rebel Wilson Joins Sacha Baron Cohen in Sony's 'Grimsby' (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  56. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (17 April 2014). "Sony Buys Lauryn Kahn Spec 'I'm In Love With The DJ' For Gary Sanchez". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  57. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Kit, Borys (29 January 2015). "Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Dan Stevens Joining 'How to Be Single' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  58. ^ "Rebel Wilson seeks to slim down for career". Herald Sun (The Herald and Weekly Times). 19 July 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
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  60. ^ Christie, Joel (19 February 2013). "Rebel Wilson talks on split with Jenny Craig". The Daily Telegraph (News Limited). Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  61. ^ Wightman, Catriona (3 September 2012). "'Bridesmaids' Rebel Wilson, Matt Lucas live together, annoy neighbours". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  62. ^ Huver, Scott (September 4, 2012). "Rebel Wilson: From "Bridemaids" to "Bachelorette"". NBCUniversal/NBC Bay Area (San Jose, California). Retrieved May 22, 2015. 

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