Pitch Perfect actress Rebel Wilson wins fans with her lack of hang-ups about her plus size

Pitch Perfect actress Rebel Wilson wins people over with her easygoing nature and lack of hang-ups about her plus size

There is no getting around it: Rebel Wilson is adorable.

If they are not already fans, reporters who interview the Australian comedienne are often instantly won over the second they meet her and that includes Life! and other press who spoke to her in Los Angeles recently about her new film, Pitch Perfect 2, which opens in Singapore tomorrow.

Whereas many successful comedic actors often prove to be somewhat awkward off camera, an aura of genuine, easygoing sweetness seems to envelop her and quickly infect those around her, as evidenced by all the smiles that appear when she enters the room at the end of a long press day for the film.

She then reels everyone in as she starts making those gently outrageous, utterly deadpan wisecracks that have become her trademark - first with a claim that she has stalked fellow Australian actors Chris and Liam Hemsworth (who star in the Thor and Hunger Games movies respectively) in an unsuccessful attempt to get them to work with her.

"Aw, yeah, I've already tried to work with the Hemsworths. And they're, like, um, really busy. I was like, 'Guys, we're all Australians, can't you just not do the other Hunger Games and do a movie with me?'

"Like, that's not even a joke, I have tried."

The actress - who in the movie plays Fat Amy, one of the members of an all-girl a cappella group known as the Bellas - says she has even approached Gladiator star Russell Crowe about collaborating.

"Even though I've made really terrible jokes about him, he still likes me. I'd love for him to play my dad in something - I think that'd be like really funny."

Wilson, 29, was one of the breakout stars of the original Pitch Perfect, a musical comedy about an all-girl university a cappella group that became a sleeper hit in 2012.

"It was really physically demanding," she says of the sequel, which saw her and fellow cast members Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Hailee Steinfeld performing even more elaborate song-and-dance routines.

Wilson herself had to do one of the movie's toughest stunts for the opening sequence, which sees her character suffer a terrible wardrobe malfunction while hanging from the ceiling upside down.

She knew that if she did not agree to do this herself, the scene would have been cut from the film because no one else could do it.

"I trained for five weeks with my coach, who's been in a large number of Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. And I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but if I couldn't do it, they couldn't get a stunt double who's my size - they're all skinny minnies," she recalls.

"And so it was either I do it or that's not the opening of the movie, so I chose to do it, even though I'm afraid of heights and... not that flexible," she says with a tiny grin. It helps that Wilson - who first got Hollywood's attention playing Kristen Wiig's hilariously obnoxious roommate in the 2011 comedy Bridesmaids - does not seem at all self-conscious about her body.

This is why there is no danger of her doing the Hollywood thing and suddenly losing a ton of weight now that she is a star. How does she maintain her weight despite living in Los Angeles now and having to train for films such as these?

"It's actually pretty easy. Did you see the brownies out there?" says Wilson, chuckling.

She has previously revealed that she was contractually required to maintain her weight between the two Pitch Perfect films, in the interests of continuity.

On a more serious note, she says that while she is "obviously larger than most actresses, I'd never want to promote being unhealthy".

Now, she just tries to stay healthy and strong so she has the energy to do her job.

"You have to have so much stamina in this job. On a movie like Pitch Perfect, you're singing and dancing for 16 hours. So I actually work out five times a week and have a personal trainer. Because if you're not physically strong, you can't have that energy on set all day."

Being happy in her own skin is, nevertheless, one of the principles she tries to stick to - and this is one of the reasons she believes she and these films have attracted a lot of young female fans.

"I think Pitch Perfect has a great girl power message. We're 10 girls in the group, we're obviously all different sizes, nationalities, all different backgrounds, and yet we come together to create something really great.

"And I have noticed I have a lot of young female fans. I think what they're tapping into is the fact that Fat Amy and myself are very confident in our own skin. And that kind of inspires them."

She believes her unlikely success has been inspiring too.

The fact that someone like her, from the western suburbs of Sydney, could become an actress in movies when she did not look like a regular actress "gives a lot of hope to other girls who are really creative, but don't necessarily follow the standard of what some people consider beauty to be".

"On a personal level, I'm all about what's up here," she says, pointing to her head, "and not what's on the outside. And I think that is a really good message, especially for young girls, to hear."

stlife@sph.com.sg

Pitch Perfect 2 opens in Singapore tomorrow.