Australian actor and comedy queen Rebel Wilson has come a long way from playing a proud bogan.
Her role in the Hollywood blockbuster Bridesmaids, and more recently as the loveable Australian expat Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect series, have seen her become one of Hollywood’s favourite comedians.
Appearing on Home Delivery this week, Wilson returned to her roots in Castle Hill, in Sydney’s north west, to offer an intimate look into what her life was like growing up in Australia.
From working at dog shows as a child, to hallucinating about winning an Oscar — here are 10 things you might not know about the star.
1. She scored 99.3 per cent on her HSC
Wilson was very studious at school and often spent her lunchtimes studying in the library.
“Every lunch time, like a total Nigel dork, I was in that library just sitting by myself with no friends,” she said.
But in Grade 12 her hard work paid off, with Wilson scoring a near-perfect result of 99.3 per cent on her Higher School Certificate (HSC).
“She worked incredibly hard, but see Rebel, she is one of those people who whatever she sets her mind to, she just works really hard at it,” her mother Sue said.
2. She was a shy child
Wilson said she was cripplingly shy as a child, but one day decided she wanted to change.
“I had read somewhere that if you don’t cement your personality by age 15, that’s it, you are going to be like that for the rest of your life,” she said.
“[I thought] ‘oh my God I am like 14’. If I don’t change I am going to be this way — this very shy girl who gets red in the face when she has to answer a question.”
She said she had to work very hard to make friends and be sociable, but eventually earned herself a reputation as a bit of a character.
“I think I really had to work on that side of things. I deliberately went out and tried to make friends,” she said.
“You just try every day. And then I kind of became known as a bit of a cheeky character around here.”
3. She went by a different name at school
During school, Wilson went by one of her middle names, Melanie.
“For a Christian girl’s school [Rebel] is not the best name to have,” she said.
4. She originally studied to be a lawyer
After school, Wilson originally studied to be a lawyer.
But after finishing her studies, Wilson decided the corporate life was not for her, and instead focused her efforts on becoming an actor.
Her mother Sue said she cried when Rebel told her the news.
“I cried when she said she is going to America,” Sue said.
“She was supposed to be a lawyer and she got an amazing mark.”
But Wilson said her skills were put to good use in Hollywood.
“In the early days I used to negotiate a lot of my own contracts,” she said.
5. She once hallucinated that she won an Oscar
While on a year-long exchange program in Africa, Wilson fell dangerously ill with a case of Malaria.
“I almost died … I was in intensive care for two weeks,” she said.
“I was the skinniest I have ever been. It was great,” she joked.