FEVER PITCH

REBEL WIL­SON'S CLIQUE IS BACK

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES WIGNEY

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

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