Rebel Wilson

  • Born: March 2, 1980
  • Best Movies: Bridesmaids
  • Children: 1

For American audiences, actor Rebel Wilson’s sudden fame seemingly came out of nowhere after she starred alongside Anna Kendrick as Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect series of films. However, the Australian native has been working for two decades to perfect her comedy stylings, including stints as a sketch comedian and supporting player in well-known Australian television shows.

Beginning with an appearance in 2011’s Bridesmaids, Wilson started making a name for herself in the United States. She took several jobs in television and film and worked her way up to leading lady status. Recently, her personal life has been the subject of tabloid gossip, but the singer hasn’t seemed to let rumors stop her from becoming a high-profile producer to be reckoned with.

Here is a look at the life and career of one of the funniest people on the planet, Rebel Wilson.


Under the birth name of Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, Rebel Wilson was born and grew up in Sydney, Australia, far away from her intended work as an actor and singer.

Her parents are professional dog handlers, specifically breeding beagles to show in international dog show competitions. Over time, Wilson’s mom has risen to the rank of dog show judge on the international stage.


After changing her name to “Rebel Wilson” in 2002, she studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People and applied for and won a scholarship to move to New York in the early 2000s to continue studying acting. The scholarship was funded by fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman, as reported at the time by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Because of her scholarship and opportunities in New York, Wilson was able to train with The Second City before coming back to Australia to perform in various television shows and movies.

In Australia, Rebel Wilson costarred on the sketch comedy show The Wedge, as well as the series Pizza. Her appearance as Toula in Pizza made her widely known in the country, leading to a reprisal of the character in the spin-off feature film Fat Pizza in 2003. While still a fixture of Australian television, Wilson chose to write, produce, and star in her own musical comedy series called Bogan Pride in 2008.


rebel wilson
Rebel Wilson in Bridesmaids

After moving to the United States in the mid-2000s, Rebel Wilson had a breakthrough performance in front of American audiences after being cast in Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids. Appearing alongside her on-screen roommates, The Great British Bake Off alum Matt Lucas and Saturday Night Live veteran Kristen Wiig, Wilson stole every scene she was in. Bridesmaids was a massive success at the box office, grossing over $306 million against a budget of $32.5 million.

After viewers started noticing Rebel Wilson for her comedic work, acting jobs flooded the performer’s way. In 2012 alone, Wilson appeared in six feature films, including Bachelorette with Kirsten Dunst, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and the Elizabeth Banks-produced musical comedy Pitch Perfect.

Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect launched Rebel Wilson to superstardom alongside an impressive cast that includes Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Ben Platt, and Adam DeVine. The film about a collegiate acapella group was a hit with critics and audiences alike. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks Pitch Perfect as Certified Fresh with a Tomatometer score of 81 percent and an audience score of 83 percent. The movie launched two sequels that costarred Wilson in the role of Fat Amy.


rebel wilson

After a successful couple of years launching a career in Hollywood in high-profile movies, Rebel Wilson decided to try her hand at American television. Unlike other actors who attempted a film career after appearing on television, Wilson chose the opposite approach by creating and starring in her own sitcom, Super Fun Night.

The series about a fun-loving young attorney was executive produced by Wilson and comedian Conan O’Brien but was quickly canceled at ABC during the first season run.


After Super Fun Night failed to gain traction with American television audiences, Rebel Wilson returned to comedy films. Around the same time she made the sequels to Pitch Perfect, she completed a cameo appearance as a flight attendant in 2016’s Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

She later played the dastardly role of Fraulein Rahm in the Academy Award-winning World War II dramedy Jojo Rabbit, written and directed by Taika Waititi.

Rebel Wilson started producing many of the movies she starred in, which so far have included 2019’s Isn’t It RomanticThe Hustle, and 2022’s Netflix comedy Senior Year.

She has also lent her singing talents to stage productions of The Little MermaidGuys and Dolls, and Beauty and the Beast, which have been performed at The Hollywood Bowl and London’s West End.


Being an influencer on social media can be quite tricky, and Rebel Wilson seems not to be exempt from how difficult it can be to balance one’s personal and professional lives. Wilson has amassed a large social media following, particularly on Instagram, where she has 11.3 million followers.

Many of Rebel Wilson’s followers have noticed the actor has lost weight in the past few years, a fact that Wilson acknowledged in an Instagram post in 2020. Calling it her “Year of Health,” Wilson has been upfront with her fans about her body positivity journey and how she has recently prioritized her health. 

Senior Year was the first chance Wilson got to show off her slimmed-down physique, playing a cheerleader in the film.


As of 2022, Rebel Wilson has become more open about her personal life with her fans, most notably coming out of the closet to reveal her relationship with fashion designer Ramona Agruma. In a highly publicized post on Instagram, Wilson confirmed her romance with Agruma by commenting, “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince…but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess.”

The move was praised by fellow actors Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, and Jodie Comer, but the social media post’s timing had a darker meaning behind it. Andrew Hornery of The Sydney Morning Herald had threatened to reveal Wilson’s relationship status via an article for the publication, essentially outing the actor without her say in the matter. Wilson’s Instagram post preempted the article’s release.

The actor later confirmed on Instagram the birth of her daughter Royce Lillian via surrogacy, her first child. The choice to use a surrogate stemmed from Wilson’s polycystic ovarian syndrome diagnosis, which can affect fertility.

After two decades in front of Australian and American audiences, Rebel Wilson is looking forward to time with her daughter. She seems to be making specific choices with roles she’s playing in films, most notably her next project.

Wilson will next star alongside Leslie Mann in Rocking the Boat, a movie about longtime friends attempting to capture their youth while on a cruise ship hosted by a 1990s boy band.

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