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Rebel Wilson on path to US success

Rebel Wilson has attracted the attention of US producers and agents thanks to her Bogan Pride series and is set to star as on-screen sister of Matt Lucas.

Writer-performer Rebel Wilson has landed a top US agent, a role opposite Matt Lucas and is working on a new comedy for Ben Stiller’s production company.

The success for Wilson, best known for appearances in The Wedge and Bogan Pride, puts her on the path to an international career after relocating to LA in late 2009.

The role opposite Little Britain‘s Matt Lucas sees her cast in a new Judd Apatow (Pineapple Express) film with the working title Bridesmaids.

“I will be playing Matt Lucas’ sister and Kristen Wiig’s (Saturday Night Live) roommate,” she told TV Tonight.

“I had to improvise at Sony Pictures for Judd and the director Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, The Office, Kath & Kim) with Kristen. I was all sweaty, because I was running late and had to run across the whole studio, I was wearing this ridiculous koala jumper. Then once inside I had to improv for about an hour. I pretended to do cocaine through my belly-button and that might have clinched it, perhaps?

“The next day they called, offering me the role. I couldn’t believe it! I think I film it in about 2 months time,” she said.

“The crazy thing is, is that I’ve always joked about one day playing Matt Lucas’s sister – because sometimes when I’m wearing a pink tracksuit, people have commented that I look like his character ‘Vicky Pollard’ who I think is just so, so hilarious.”

It was her self-devised SBS comedy Bogan Pride, in which she also performed, that first got her US attention.

“It’s bizarre, because the show didn’t get a lot of attention in Australia despite it rating well for an SBS series, but here in the U.S. all the people with great taste, I think, just seemed to absolutely adore it!” she laughs.

“They loved the writing, the characters and just the whole style of it.”

One of the first people to respond to it was Jeff Garlin, Executive Producer and co-star of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

“He called me up and invited me to perform live with him at L.A.’s hottest comedy theatre Upright Citizen’s Brigade. We improvised a 90 minute show, it was sort of scary. It reminded me of how it feels to be backstage on Thank God You’re Here. It was so much fun -I brought nun-chukks!”

Wilson then landed prestigious agency William Morris Endeavour who represent top writer-performers including Ricky Gervais, Sacha Baron Cohen and Chris Lilley.

Through William Morris Endeavour, she has met US comedians Amy Poehler, Jason Segel and Jonah Hill.

“I just feel so, so lucky that they chosen me, a feral-bogan girl from Sydney’s western suburbs, to be a part of their crew,” she said.

“I’ve also been working with Ben Stiller’s production company Red Hour on the development of a new narrative comedy series, which has been a great experience and introduction into the U.S. comedy scene. My partner-in-creativity on that project is Stuart Cornfeld who produced Tropic Thunder, Blades of Glory, Dodgeball and Zoolander. So I’m in excellent hands.”

But Wilson says she would also love to write and perform another TV series in Australia.

“I’d love to do a sketch comedy series because I feel like now that I know more, I can do way way better than some of my really early stuff from The Wedge.

“I’m also writing my first feature script which I’m planning on selling in the U.S. in the next few months…and who knows what else will come up on the acting side of things? It’s quite exciting, I feel very, very lucky.”

19 Responses

  1. Wow – shocked at all the negative comments. Bogan Pride was a fantastic showcase for Rebel and she deserves every success in Hollywood. She has a much shrewder business mind than you think.

  2. Her bogan schtick is a little grating, but I’ve always been drawn to her and find her to be rather likeable.

    She’s certainly not the most versatile comedienne out there, and her improvisational skills on TGYH leave a bit to be desired, but she has an idiosyncratic style that works for her.

    It’s always nice to see the underdog find success, and I’ll look forward to seeing her in less bogan-centric roles should her career continue to blossom. Good luck out there, Rebel. =)

  3. I once bagged her on this site for being a one-trick pony with the whole bogan thing. I’ll now happily eat my words and say well done, congratulations and all the best to her.

  4. JBrown – really AFI or logie? she’s talented but even in the weak comedy years we’ve had they haven’t been that weak. You can’t excuse bad comedy for personal taste – if it’s laboured, obvious from a mile away and derivative of every decent show of five years ago than it’s just bad comedy. the best performer in the world won’t change that. but anyway best of luck to her. I think she’ll do really well and on a domestic upside it means no bogan pride series 2.

  5. Gosh, this is great news. I personally loved her show Bogan Pride and didn’t understand why it didn’t get nominated for a Logie or an AFI. Do some people not like her just because she is female?
    For the people who say they didn’t like this show, then I’d like to see you do better writing, producing and performing in your first series!
    Keep up the good work Rebel, you have so many supporters!

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