The M Interview with Rebel Wilson: 'Most people think I'm stupid'
Newly single Rebel Wilson thinks her Australian accent makes people underestimate her
Would somebody please give Rebel Wilson a movie worthy of her?
Why is the Australian actress - so talented and smart - always cast as the loud, brash drunk?
We meet at The Redbury hotel in Hollywood to discuss her latest film, How To Be Single, a chick flick based on the 2008 novel of the same name and also starring Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann.
In the rom-com, which opens here tomorrow, the quartet play a group of single girlfriends trying to find love - and themselves - in New York City.
Wilson, of course, plays Robin, the loud, brash one who does nothing but drink, party and sleep around.
Did I mention how funny she is?
She is not making jokes or dropping punchlines when you talk to her, but her world view is so singular and with the way words come out of her mouth, everything she says makes you laugh.
And how could she not be the coolest person, with parents who are professional dog handlers and with siblings named Ryot, Annachi and Liberty?
Yet, we touch on how the 35-year-old, who graduated from the University of New South Wales with double degrees in law and the arts, always seems stereotyped in her How To Be Single character, especially coming after her breakout turn as Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect movies.
"Most people think I'm stupid," Wilson says with a laugh.
"I don't know, is it the Australian accent? I always feel like I'm underestimated.
"It always happens that people are, like, 'Oh yeah, she'll never be an actress' or, like, 'She'll never make it'. I keep trying to prove people wrong, I guess."
She adds: "Maybe it is a testament to the acting, with the characters that I play, that people believe them and I can hide my intelligence a bit.
"But in a way with comedy, you have to be pretty smart to be coming up with these jokes on the spot and if I didn't have that, I probably wouldn't be as funny, I don't think."
Actresses (L-R) Alison Brie, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, and Dakota Johnson attend the New York premiere of How To Be Single on Feb 3, 2016. PHOTO: AFP
So is she getting decent lead roles now?
"Yeah, but only like in the last six months, really. If I had got that role I went for in (2011's) Bridesmaids, which was Melissa McCarthy's role, my career would have exploded a lot quicker.
"But I feel like I've done it the right way. I got cast in a smaller role, and then I've been slowly building up over the past five years.
"Now I feel really proud of the fact that the movie studios are giving me the title that I can headline films."
Pitch Perfect 3 will be out in 2017 and it is, of course, another female-dominated ensemble movie.
"But then after that, all my other projects are, like, headlining ones, which is really cool. I feel like I'm playing in the big leagues now."
How To Be Single seems to portray young women in the Big Apple who are happy only when they are wasted. That can't be good, right?
"It is interesting because I guess my character is a functioning alcoholic in the film and she is portrayed as the happiest of all the girls, whereas she may get alcoholic dementia at age 60, the way she was going," she offers.
NEVER BEEN DRUNK
In real life, Wilson does not drink that much at all and has never in her whole life been drunk.
"Maybe because I'm Australian, a lot of people think I get smashed all the time, but I don't.
"If I do drink, it is red wine because I heard on (health talk show The Dr. Oz Show) that's the healthiest one to drink. And vodka pops, where they freeze it."
So don't expect her to be drowning her sorrows.
After breaking up with US comedian Mickey Gooch Jr last year, she is single again but quite okay with it.
"If the person is not the right one, I don't feel like I should settle. I've been single most of my life so maybe it is because I'm career-focused.
"Now, I'm trying to find the right person, but it is hard, especially in Los Angeles. There are not many eligible people. Or they're crazy."
But online dating is out for her.
"No way. I watch that (US reality show) Catfish and it fascinates me, the way people lie online. It is not even them in the photos.
"I know there are people who have met their husband on (dating app) Tinder or whatever. But a lot of my friends have had horror stories from online dating, like one where the guy just wanted to lick her armpits."
Is marriage on the cards down the line though?
"I've never fantasised about that. I think for me, winning a Golden Globe or an Oscar would be like the best thing for me."
Maybe it is a testament to the acting, with the characters that I play, that people believe them and I can hide my intelligence a bit.
- Rebel Wilson
Single ladies club
It's cool to be unattached in Hollywood - as long as you have fun gal pals in tow.
1. The Other Woman (2014)
2. Bachelorette (2012)
3. Spring Breakers (2012)
4. Bridesmaids (2011)
5. Sex And The City (2008)
6. The First Wives Club (1996)
7. Waiting To Exhale (1995)
The M Interview: Dakota Johnson's worst date?
In a business where the promotion of a movie is almost as important as the making of it, young Hollywood actors are given what is called media training.
This is to help them face the press during publicity junkets with confidence, answer questions without stammering or giggling, talk up the movie, field personal questions with poise, and give the journalists something interesting to write about.
The best interviewees are relaxed and at ease. They joke around, give detailed anecdotes about making the movie and when they deflect questions they don't want to answer, they do so in a humorous way.
Dakota Johnson missed the training.
Dakota Johnson (left) with Rebel Wilson in How To Be Single. PHOTO: WARNER BROS
Maybe it is because the 26-year-old US starlet, who broke out in last year's erotic drama Fifty Shades Of Grey and will reprise her role as BDSM rookie Anastasia Steele in the two sequels, grew up as showbiz royalty, always on mum Melanie Griffith's or dad Don Johnson's movie and TV sets, so studios thought she automatically knew how to conduct interviews.
But I am here to tell you they are wrong.
At a separate interview for How To Be Single held at The Redbury hotel, it is clear she is there only to fulfill her contractual obligations.
Johnson doesn't seem to realise that this is part of her job - which makes that of the journalist much harder.
Non-responsive answers painfully dragged out do not make for a good interview.
Yes, it has worked for Robert De Niro, but she is not there yet.
Starting with the obvious question regarding the movie, I ask the currently single Johnson, who split from her Welsh rocker boyfriend Matthew Hitt last year, if she needs a man to complete her life.
"I don't personally feel that way. I cherish my solitude and all of my focus is on my job at the moment."
I try with an easier question, again relating it to How To Be Single. Like her awkward fresh grad character Alice, has she gone to any crazy parties?
"There has been a lot of them. Just kidding. I'm not the type of person that goes to a lot of parties. I don't know. I guess I went to Glastonbury Festival, which is like a three-day party. Fun."
Perhaps she has a concrete opinion on the pressures of being single, with the explosion of dating sites and different ways of meeting people?
"I think the times are sort of being more inclusive of people having different experiences. I think there is less of a stigma on being single."
Would she try an online dating site? "For me, it freaks me out."
But then how do men approach her?
"Well, I feel that people might be afraid to talk to me or approach me. I don't know. You tell me the answer to that."
But there has to be a better answer, so I ask her again.
"I don't know. Luckily, I have such a distraction in my job at the moment that I don't think about men very often. I'm always in rooms like this. It is kind of hard to be around new people."
So what are the best and worst dates she has ever been on?
"I haven't really been on a lot of dates. I've only been in long-term relationships."
Can she come up with an example at least?
"I went skydiving once with one of my ex-boyfriends. I thought it was an interesting choice because he could have killed me."
"Well, I jumped out of a plane with him."
Okaaay. What about the worst one then?
"I got broken up with once when I was wearing a Halloween costume. I was Steve Jobs."
Finally, a laugh.
Given that men don't approach her and she lives alone in New York City, she does admit to "definitely" getting lonely.
"I think sometimes this industry has a tendency of being a little bit isolating. There are times that I feel lonely, but then I just watch movies and read books and I'm happy that I have alone time to do those things."
And she says the recent blizzard that shut the city down was the best day of her life.
"I couldn't really leave my apartment so I just watched French movies."