What has Rebel Wilson done before “Super Fun Night?”
—Shailene Hewitt, Boulder, Colorado
The Sydney, Australia-born actress first appeared in the U.S. in the hit film “Bridesmaids.” That was followed by roles on the TV series “Rules of Engagement” and “Workaholics,” before returning to the big screen for “Pitch Perfect,” “Struck by Lightning,” “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “Bachelorette” and “Pain and Gain.”
On her ABC series “Super Fun Night,” Rebel Wilson, 27, is a producer and writer in addition to starring as Kimmie, having sold the idea for the series to Conan O’Brien’s production company. The original concept for the show is based on real-life “Friday Night Fun Nights” that she spent with her sister Liberty.
“Basically, Liberty worked at a candy factory at the time, and she would bring home the off cuts, and we’d sit at home on the couch, eating and watching DVDs,” Wilson says. “I started to think, ‘Maybe there’s more fun than this,’ even though at that time I did think that was really fun. So, I strategically tried to go out into the world and force myself into social situations, and that’s where all the true stories come from in the show.”
While in school, Wilson — whose given name is really Rebel — was an outstanding student. Following high school, she attended the University of New South Wales, where she studied Law and Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies).
But fate stepped in and led her away from the law. While serving as a Rotary International Youth Ambassador for Australia in South Africa, she contracted malaria. While battling the disease, Wilson has said she experienced hallucinations in which she saw herself as an Oscar-winning actress. This led to her career change and roles in the Australian TV series, “Pizza,” “The Wedge” and “Bogan Pride.”
Wilson, whose favorite sitcom was “Roseanne,” because in addition to being funny, it had many serious episodes, hopes to emulate that with “Super Fun Night.”
“The purpose of the show to me is to really inspire girls, who don’t think they’re cool and popular or pretty, to get out there and discover that they can have fun and exciting lives, too,” she says. “I think 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. That often involves Kimmie getting broken up by a dude because he says, ‘You’re too fat.’ So there are some very sad storylines coming down the pipe, but I think we have to present that so that we can present the wins for my character.”