Rebel Wilson Completely Nails Everything Wrong With The Bachelor

Photo: David Burton/Trunk Archive.
Navigating the Tinder-ized heat map of Digital Age dating can test a person’s stamina, not to mention self-esteem. The rate of failure is as astronomically high as the risk of humiliation. It’s hard not to cringe at the endless scroll of profile pictures of people enjoying lives of acrobatic sex, boozy brunches, and supreme satisfaction in their single status. Fortunately, we can all comfort ourselves knowing that nobody can possibly be having that much fun, right?

Nobody, except possibly Rebel Wilson — or at least the hard-partying hedonist she plays in How to Be Single, which hits theaters February 12. As Robin, Wilson is the movie’s thrill-seeking id, the hyper-sexual solo best friend to Dakota Johnson’s hand-wringing serial monogamist. (The romantic comedy is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Liz Tuccillo, co-author of He’s Just Not that Into You and a writer/story editor on Sex and the City.) Outspoken and supremely self-assured, Robin exudes a DGAF fearlessness — much like the 35-year-old Australian actress herself. “I’m very comfortable in my own skin,” she said during a recent chat in Los Angeles. “So I feel comfortable saying things other people wouldn’t say.”

Things like...calling out the Kardashians for being talentless or asking out Justin Bieber via Instagram. And the public seems to dig it. Google the word “Rebel” and her Twitter feed appears in first position, atop a list of hits referencing the Star Wars Rebel Alliance and ISIS. And her sphere of influence won't stop there: In addition to next year's Pitch Perfect 3, she'll soon appear alongside such comic powerhouses as Sacha Baron Cohen (The Brothers Grimsby, out March 11) and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, due July 1).

But don’t be fooled by the casually uninhibited bon vivant she plays on screen. Wilson may seem like she’s breaking the rules. But she’s playing to win. “I don’t know if I’m a positive role model, but I have worked really hard to get to where I am.”

Your character in How to be Single is the ultimate modern woman: sexy, self-confident and totally satisfied with being single.
"The philosophy of this movie is really great and it’s a philosophy I’ve always had in my life even when it was unpopular. People would be like, ‘Why don’t you want to be in a relationship?’ and I’d say, ‘I have to work really hard to get ahead in my career so I’m going to do that.’ But there must have been a cultural shift at some point because now a lot of people I know in long-term relationships really envy my situation."

Maybe people are seeing the value in learning to love and accept yourself before you’re relationship-ready.
"Yeah! Because if you can’t do that how can you love anybody else?"
Photo: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection.
Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson in How to Be Single.
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Do you ever see yourself settling down and coupling up?
"If the right person comes along, then you compromise. If they don’t, that’s fine as well. I think that’s a good message for young women out there."

Your character in this movie is a sexual adventurer. Is that part of who you are?
"I did kiss a lot of random extras while making this film. You don’t even see all of them in the movie. It’s really empowering for women to see that."

Is it important to you to play characters who send positive messages to girls about being comfortable in their skin? In Pitch Perfect, you memorably said, “You’re all pretty thin, but you have fat hearts.”
"Ah yeah, that line was mine. I think why I get hired is to bring that stuff to the table. I spend half the time as a writer, which not a lot of people know. So I have the ability to write my own material. So now they’re like, 'I’ll bring in Rebel, and she’ll do awesome with what’s on the page but she’ll also add extra stuff.'"

Did you work hard to develop the confidence to assert yourself on camera and off?
"In my first job, Bridesmaids, there was a real sense that anyone could contribute. So now, even when I’m working with Ben Stiller [in 2014's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb] and Sacha Baron Cohen, I’ll still put in my own stuff. Once I had an older male actor shut me down. He didn’t understand the concept of improvising. I also once had a male actor stop the scene and say: 'I don’t know what to do because she’s being funny.' I was just floored."

You work in an industry where people are notoriously political and protective of their public image. Are you ever concerned you’ll pay a price for being honest and outspoken?
"I’ll just say whatever, even when it gets me in trouble. I’ll get in trouble with movie studios, because I’ll announce things I’m not supposed to announce. On Pitch Perfect 3, they won’t even tell me the storyline. I’ve been banned."
Photo: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection.
Wilson, Johnson, and Leslie Mann in How to Be Single.
Has your candor ever backfired?
"I get in trouble all the time for saying things about other celebrities I shouldn’t say."

Like the Kardashians, for instance?
"Ah, yeah. But I was like, ‘It’s true. What’s wrong with saying it?’"

Did it freak you out that it became such a public feud, with people coming to their defense, including Oprah?
"Even when I was younger, I was a bit of a leader. So for some people, I’m a better role model, because it’s not like I go slutting it up around town to get a job. I use my talent and I use my brains to get ahead."

How did things get resolved with the Kardashians?
"I don’t know. Who knows? I don’t really know them so maybe I shouldn’t make comments about them. But it’s certainly not my style of entertainment."

You’re very adept at using social media. Do you worry about blurring the line between the professional and personal parts of your life?
"I’m just trying to shamelessly self-promote. I’m wearing my own clothing line today. It [came] out on February 7, Rebel Wilson for Torrid — which is a plus-sized brand. But the other girls [How to be Single co-stars Dakota Johnson and Leslie Mann] don’t have social media, so I feel like it’s on me to promote the film."

Case in point: You tagged the film in your exchange with Justin Bieber when you Instagrammed him a note almost daring him not to go out with you.
"Oh my god! Kelly Osbourne and I were like, ‘He probably never gets asked out. So let’s just do it!’ So we did and it was just hilarious. Some girls would have been like, ‘How would you have the courage to do that?’ But it was frickin’ easy. It was like, ‘What up, Justin?’ And we chatted, had a lot of long hugs backstage. We were joking that he should take us out. I think he should. It would be good for his image, actually."
Photo: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection.
Johnson and Wilson in How to Be Single.
You also recently tweeted that the women on The Bachelor could learn a thing or two from How to be Single. What did you mean?
"Leslie [Mann] and Allison [Brie] are big fans of the show. And I’ve seen the show. But why are there, like, 30 girls fighting over one guy? It’s like, don’t put yourself in that position. That’s a bad position to be in. Know your self-worth. And if the guy — the amazing bachelor — wants to come to you, then he does. But it’s crazy how these girls carry on. Obviously, it’s entertainment. I would never do that. No way! He’s like kissing the other girls. He obviously doesn’t love them all."

There’s never been a better time to be a woman in comedy. What’s your fantasy all-female comedy remake role?
"I’d love to work with Amy Schumer. I met her once and I think us two would do a really funny comedy together."

It would be amazing to see a mash-up movie where your character from How to be Single spent a debauched night out with her Trainwreck alter ego.
"We would party it up!"

Is there anything you're afraid of doing on screen or off?
"I’ve never done full-frontal nudity. Because I’ve always felt in comedy there’s really no need. But for the right Oscar role, I totally would do it!"
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