Australian comedian Rebel Wilson stole every scene she was in in last year’s “Bridesmaids,” and now the outrageously funny star is set to do the same in this week’s “Pitch Perfect.” A hilarious mash-up of “Glee” and “Bring It On,” the movie takes place in the competitive world of collegiate a capella singing. Here, Wilson proves that she can not only slay us comedically, she can also belt out a song to rival Lady Gaga.
Rebel Wilson managed to channel some of that “Pitch Perfect” hilarity when she sat down with Moviefone, where she talked about everything from her gangsta persona “Rebelicious” to airport pat downs to Michael Bay bringing her flowers and lingerie.
I hear you did a bold cover of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” for your “Pitch Perfect” audition.
Yeah, because it’s a singing movie, I had to come in and smash something out with Jason [Moore], and he’s the real-deal Broadway director, so I knew I had to impress him. I did my own body percussion as a backing beat, and then after, he said, “Yeah, you’re a really good singer.” I didn’t need to sell them on the comedy. They knew I could be funny, but they wanted to see if I could sing.
By the way, the knuckle bling you’re wearing on both hands right now is pretty awesome. [The right hand ring says "Rebel" and the left hand’s says "Wilson."]
They’re custom. They were specially designed by this studio in Brooklyn.
Is this part of your gangsta persona, “Rebelicious”?
I like dressing for comfort, so maybe it wasn’t my first priority being gangsta, but sometimes dressing for comfort makes you look a little bit gangsta, if you get this style of tracksuit. But, I do like having a little bit of gangsta flava. I come from the rougher side of Sydney. I don’t know whether you can compare them to the projects , but in Australia, it definitely is the rougher side.
You were just tweeting that you got in some trouble with airport security because of your style. Did that really happen?
Yes, I got four full body pat downs. Not the quick ones, but the full-on ones. Plus, they drug tested me!
I’m standing there in, like, a massive gangsta tracksuit, and I did have my Louis Vuitton handbag, so it looks like maybe I have a little bit of money. And they’re like, “Well, how did that gangsta get money? Drugs.” I couldn’t believe it! People were being prejudiced to me because of the way I looked. I didn’t think I looked that ganster-ish, but I’ll never wear a super gangsta, superfly outfit to the airport again because you’re just going to get stopped.
Are we going to see more of your Rebelicious character in the future?
I love rapping. I do. My styling’s similar to Missy Elliott — I think she’s so dope. In a weird way, that’s how I first learned the American accent: doing American rap songs.
At first, they wanted you to do an American accent for this movie.
Yeah, I was cast as an American and that’s what I did for the original audition. And then during boot camp, I just couldn’t keep up the American accent the whole time. Jason Moore was like, “Hey, I think you should use your real voice in the movie.” It took me a few days to be okay with that because I’d really thought about the role and had this whole backstory that she was from Chicago and then we had to change that and make her Australian. But I think Jason was right and it makes the character super distinctive. She was going to be distinctive anyway, because her name was Fat Amy, but this way makes her really stand out.
Was your line “I wrestled a dingo and a crocodile” ad-libbed?
Yeah. I’m sure Australians will love the originality of the line.
At least you didn’t mention shrimp on the barbie.
I didn’t’ go that far. I didn’t say, “This is not a knife.”
I read that you love “Bring it On,” and now you’re in your own kind of “Bring It On” movie, except with a capella singing instead of cheerleading.
“Bring It On” was such a classic movie when I was growing up. This has a similar kind of competitive element to “Bring It On.” That’s one of the reasons I really wanted to do this movie. I could have done another movie instead, but I was like, No. This wasn’t made for a huge budget at all, it was kind of a smaller movie, but I just had a feeling it was going to be popular.
Are we going to see more singing from you?
Yeah, I would love to do Broadway, if it was the right role, because Broadway is a big commitment. But I’d also love to do more movie musicals. It’s just so fun. Sure, some days are really tiring and hard, when you’re doing those routines again and again to get the coverage, but I just love singing so much.
So I assume “Pain and Gain,” the Michael Bay movie you did with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, isn’t a musical?
No, it’s not a musical [Laughs]. Although, weirdly enough, I did sing in it. I improvised a song in a scene and I don’t know if it’s in the finished movie or not. I just felt the need to break into song. I don’t know if Mr. Bay will choose that for the final cut. It could be wildly inappropriate.
It’s what all his movies have been missing! He’s got a reputation for yelling at actors on set. How did you get along with him?
He brought me flowers and said I was doing a really good job with the movie. I also got a lot of free Victoria’s Secret underwear.
Michael Bay gave you lingerie?
Well, I don’t know if it was directly from him, but I think he has some kind of relationship; he films those Victoria’s Secret runway shows. We just got a lot of bras that were like, $ 80 a bra.
So tell me about your role in “Pain and Gain.”
I play a nurse who’s based on a real woman who was the girlfriend of one of the three guys in the gang. She actually went to jail, even though her involvement in their crimes was tiny.
So do you have your pick of projects now?
[Laughs] It is nice to have offers and not have to audition anymore. That’s cool. But I’m also writing and developing my own stuff, which is what I did a lot of in Australia. To be able to get my own gig would be cool.
What you’re developing, will it be for TV or the big screen?
I’m doing a TV pilot right now for ABC and we’ll see what happens with that. And I’d love to do a movie next year.
And then an album?
Yeah. I’ll drop an album, maybe. Yeah. Do a novelette.
Earlier on Moviefone: