Hailing from just outside of Sydney, Australia, even Rebel Wilson's own family felt a girl like her had no chance of making it in show biz. Not only is she not your average, stick-thin starlet, she also has an achingly funny nature that embraces and celebrates who she is. But, thanks to Judd Apatow and his brilliant decision to cast her in Bridesmaids, her star is the rise. Now, the comedian/singer/awesome-girl-with-amazing-opinions is teaming up with executive producer and fellow hilarious-person Conan O’Brien to star in her own show, Super Fun Night coming this fall to ABC.
Super Fun Night is aiming to be just that — a story about three besties who have spent so much of their lives staying in, they've finally decided to expand their social horizons. And, you can bet that Wilson's own brand of dry and observational humor will be in full effect. R29 chatted with the actress on everything from straddling Hollywood to Conan O'Brien's candid career advice.
You're the creator and coexecutive producer. It seems like so much fun.
“It is, especially filming that scene where I got my clothes ripped off. It was zero degrees when we filmed that scene, so yeah. That's why I wear Spanx underneath.”
Those scenes — did they come from your past or things that happened to you?
“Yeah, I used to do this thing with my sister Liberty called "Friday night fun night." Basically, she worked at a candy factory at the time, and she would just bring home the off-cuts from the candy factory, and we'd sit at home on the couch eating and watching DVDs. And, I started to think maybe there's more fun than this even though at that time I did think that was really fun. I kind of strategically tried to go out into the world and force myself into these social situations, and then that's where all the true stories come from in the show.”
How did you come up with the term "eye broccoli"?
“I said, 'What's the opposite of eye candy?' because I love candy...and it's broccoli. So, I just thought the bouncer of the club turns us away because, he says, 'We can't have eye broccoli hogging up the line.'"
How did you bond with the cast to make it so workable and believable?
“We did that thing on the first day where we had to get naked and jump around. Lauren and I went to the baseball the other day, because I'd never been to a professional match. It was 100-degree heat. We were given free T-shirts. So, we kind of put them on our heads to protect ourselves. I drank two things of soda that were both really big, and we were sitting there in direct sunlight for two hours. And, then we tried to stand up, and I almost spewed because I got sunstroke. We had to kind of try to escape before the end of the game before I spewed everywhere.”
What kind of story ideas have you come up with?
“I’m always pitching the saddest story lines, like, where I get punched in the face. But, the purpose of the show is to really inspire girls who don't think they're cool and popular or pretty and all that, to get out there and have fun and exciting lives too. In order to do that, you need to present a very realistic version of what it's like to be a girl who looks like me and is not the coolest. Kimmie gets broken up with by one dude because he says, 'You're too fat. I don't like it anymore,' and stuff like that. So, there are some very sad story lines coming down the pipe, but I think we have to present that, so that when we present the wins for my character, which are awesome, they are far more gratifying.”
Can you talk a little bit about your journey to Hollywood?
“Even my own family was like, 'No one would want you on a show.' What I found is that even though it was hard to get that first job and I was going into auditions for really big directors and, I think, nailing it, no one was really willing to cast me until the geniuses of Judd Apatow and Paul Feig. I was in there just improvising so hard that they couldn't ignore it. I didn't get the role that I went for, which was the role that Melissa McCarthy got, but they just liked me so much that they added me in. It took people who have the power to say yes to pull the trigger for me. Since then, I think it's been easier; I'm not like anybody else out there, with my skills and abilities and looks.”
So, what does Conan bring to the show for you?
“He's really annoying. Well, he kind of took us out for a free dinner the other night — all the writers. We ordered the lobster, because he was paying. Conan is really, really smart and he went to Harvard. One day when we're filming the pilot, I called him up and said, 'It's really hard, like, working over ten hours a day sometimes. What should I do?' And, then Conan gave me really good advice. He said, 'Start drinking.' Really smart advice to get me through the day.”