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Rebel Wilson Biography

Home > Actresses > W > Wilson, Rebel > Biography

Birth Name: Rebel Wilson
Born: 02/03/1986
Birth Place: Sydney, New South Wales, AU

Born in Sydney, Australia, Rebel Wilson was the daughter of professional dog showers who would ultimately name their other children Liberty, Ryot and Annachi. Liberty and Ryot would achieve their own level of fame years later by appearing on the first season of "The Amazing Race Australia" (Seven Network, 2011- ). After graduating from the University of New South Wales, Wilson traveled to South Africa for a year to serve as a Rotary International Youth Ambassador for Australia. When she contracted malaria, she had several fever-induced visions of herself as an Oscar-winning actress. When she finally recovered, Wilson took this as a sign and began pursuing acting as a career. After studying at the Australian Theatre for Young People, Wilson began to develop a reputation as a comic force to be reckoned with due to several stage productions she wrote, produced and starred in such as "The Westie Monologues" and "Confessions of an Exchange Student." She made her screen debut on the successful series "Pizza" (SBS, 2000-07), playing the demanding Toula, leader of the girl-gang the "Fat Chick 12." So successful was this project, she would appear in its "Fat Pizza" (2003) film iteration as well as in several TV specials. That same year, she won a scholarship with The Second City Training Centre and moved to New York City, which led to her also writing for and appearing on the Australian sketch comedy series "The Wedge" (Network Ten, 2006-07).

Wilson next landed a cameo in the Nicolas Cage comic book actioner "Ghost Rider" (2007) as a biker chick who gives reporter Eva Mendes a memorable interview. She saw her profile continue to rise when she was tapped to create, write and star on the Aussie series "Bogan Pride" (SBS, 2008), which followed a trashy teenager (Wilson) and her colorfully bizarre friends and family. For her role in the short "Bargain!" (2009), Wilson won a Best Actress Award from Tropfest and advanced her American career by booking a guest spot on the David Spade sitcom "Rules of Engagement" (CBS, 2007- ). Her global breakthrough, however, came the next year with the Judd Apatow smash "Bridesmaids" (2011). Originally reading for the character Melissa McCarthy would make her own, Wilson instead was cast as Brynn, the enormously confident and strange sister to Gil (Matt Lucas) and nightmarish roommate to Annie (Kristen Wiig). Stealing all her scenes with her off-kilter diction, timing and one-of-a-kind screen presence, Wilson earned raves for her hilarious work, which included icing her hideous "free" tattoo with frozen peas, reading Wiig's diary after mistaking it for "a very sad handwritten book," and eventually kicking Wiig out of the apartment, despite not being on the lease herself.

Although her screen time was brief, Wilson earned a massive career boost from this masterful comedic turn in what turned out to be the comedy of the year. Buoyed by her "Bridesmaids" success, the actress stepped in for Casey Wilson in "Bachelorette" (2012) and landed high-profile supporting roles in Chris Colfer's "Struck by Lightning" (2012) and the pregnancy powerhouse ensemble "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (2012), as well as lending her unique voice to the animated sequel "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (2012). Wilson went on to star alongside Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin and Brittany Snow in the surprise hit musical comedy "Pitch Perfect" (2012), directed by Jason Moore. The film focused on an all-girl a cappella group and featured Wilson as Fat Amy, the eccentric and irresponsible member of the group. With both the film and Wilson's performance being hailed by most critics, "Pitch Perfect" earned a staggering $110 million at the box office and became the second-highest grossing musical comedy of all time behind "School of Rock" (2003). Wilson stole the show once more in Michael Bay's action comedy "Pain and Gain" (2013), a real-life inspired kidnapping-gone-wrong film starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson.

By Jonathan Riggs