Rebel Wilson has done what a lot of actresses would probably never think of doing – she got fatter in order to get more famous. In a world where everyone seems obsessed with being super skinny, it is a truly revolutionary act. The don’t call her “Rebel” for nothing.
— BBC News Ents Team (@BBCNewsEnts) June 30, 2016
Rebel told The Sunday Telegraph newspaper that she made the decision to gain weight around the time that she wrote her first play. During the performance, she shared the stage with a girl who was bigger than she was. The heavier girl was getting more laughs from the audience.
“And I was like, ‘Oh. That girl’s getting a lot of laughs, a lot easier than me. What is it?’ Because I don’t think there’s much difference in talent,” she said to The Sunday Telegraph. “And I remember distinctly thinking, ‘I think it’s because she’s fatter.’ And then, I don’t know if it was mega-conscious, but I thought, ‘How can I get more laughs? Maybe if I was a bit fatter…’ And then suddenly I was fatter, and doing comedy.”
The 36-year-old actress calls her pre-fame body as “athletic.” The hormonal imbalance that causes her to gain weight quickly helps a lot, Rebel said, but when she’s ready to take the pounds off, she does.
“Oh yeah! I’ll take six months off, and just do a total transformation,” she admits. “But then, so many people go: ‘Don’t you do it!’ But I think: ‘Why not?'”
— E! Online UK (@EOnlineUK) July 3, 2016
As E! Online notes, Rebel Wilson’s breakout role came in 2011 when she starred in Bridesmaids. But she would become best known for her role as Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect movies. Wilson set to reprise the role in the third movie in the franchise which will be released in 2017.
Where other women may see gaining weight as a hindrance to success, Wilson saw it as a way to get her foot in the door.
“I saw my size as being an advantage whereas so many women see it as a disadvantage,” she said
This is not the first time Wilson has spoken about her weight helping her to get roles in comedy. In 2015, she gave an interview to Australia’s Daily Life where she discussed the fact that heavier women tend to have more success in comedies than other film genres.
“Bigger girls do better in comedy,” she said. “I don’t know why. Maybe because people find it easier to laugh. It’s very hard to laugh at someone who’s very attractive, I think. And normally those people don’t have a great personality anyway.”
But when asked whether she would like to slim down eventually, Wilson admitted that she had thought about it but she didn’t think it was likely.
“I do have these dreams, like, ‘What if I just went to a health farm and lost 50 kilos [110 lbs.]?” she told Daily Life. “What would happen? Would it affect my career?’ But then I think, that’s never going to happen.”
While some may doubt that her weight brought her the success Rebel Wilson has today, you can’t deny the role her personality played. She’s confident in her ability and wants others to believe in themselves too.
“There’s a thing that goes on, with teenagers, where they try to downplay stuff,” she told The Sunday Telegraph. “Like, they’re not that smart, they’re not that good, they’ll just sit back and be mediocre. I hate that. Everyone has a talent.”
As The Telegraph notes, Wilson once sued the press for claiming that she was lying about her age. But in the same way she thinks about her weight, she doesn’t think her age is an obstacle to her success either.
“Hollywood is age-ist. That’s why people do crazy s— to their faces – out of desperation to look younger,” she said. “But I think my career is based more on my personality, so it doesn’t really matter.”
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]