REBEL WILSON'S CLIQUE IS BACK
For Aussie comedian Rebel Wilson, Fat Amy has been the gift that keeps giving.
Not only did all-singing, all-dancing Amy provide Wilson with her breakout role in the 2012 sleeper hit Pitch Perfect, but the larger-than-life (in all senses of the phrase), brassy, gaffe-prone character has become something of a calling card as well.
“I have been getting a lot of jobs from Hollywood directors because they have teenage daughters who love me,” says Wilson with a laugh from the West Hollywood house she shares with Little Britain star Matt Lucas.
Until Pitch Perfect, Wilson had been best known in the US for her small role with Lucas as Kristen Wiig’s creepy brother and sister flatmates in the hit comedy Bridesmaids. Before that though, she had honed her craft – and particularly her improvisational skills – in Australian television on shows such as Fat Pizza, Bogan Pride and Thank God You’re Here.
When Bridesmaids went ballistic, she booked a year’s worth of work in a week and was the first one cast in Pitch Perfect, the underdog story of a group of college misfits who band together to become a crack a cappella singing outfit.
Now, with a string of movies including What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Pain and Gain and Night At the Museum: Secret Of the Tomb, as well has her own US TV comedy Super Fun Night (which started brightly but was cancelled after one season) behind her, Wilson recognises how important her formative experiences in Australia were.
“Fat Pizza was actually the perfect training ground because I was ready to improvise 24 hours a day,” she says. “Paul Fenech would be there saying ‘Just do something’.
“If I had not had all that experience in Australia I could have bombed my golden opportunity in America.
‘‘But because I had done all that stuff, I felt very confident when I landed here and I was really ready.”
In a female-driven ensemble cast, Wilson’s Fat Amy and Anna Kendrick’s Beca emerged as the standouts of Pitch Perfect and when it took more than $120 million from its $20 million budget (and even more on DVD-digital) a sequel was inevitable.
In the second chapter, the Barden Bellas, triumphant at the end of the first movie, are disgraced when Fat Amy has a wardrobe malfunction in front of the US President.
Banished from the world of American a cappella, the Bellas have to rediscover their mojo in order to defeat German outfit Das Sound Machine at the world championships.
Having seen the outpouring of love on social media and meeting fans in the most unlikely of places, Wilson did not have to think twice about signing on.
“I think if anyone had any hesitation it would have been around what the story was but with me I was like ‘I just love being in the Bellas – so if there is more singing and dancing then I am there’.”
Pitch Perfect 2 opens today