Rebel Wilson, who just made her debut in the West End production of Guys & Dolls at the storied Savoy Theatre in London, steals scenes right and left in every comedy she appears in, but that wasn’t always the case.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Wilson attributed her success in comedy to her weight. She first realized this could be her edge up on others when she noticed a castmate in a play she herself had written was getting more laughs from the audience.
“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. 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,” she said.
Wilson also mentioned that she’s able to gain and lose weight quickly because of a hormonal imbalance. “I’ll take six months off, and just do a total transformation. But then, so many people go: ‘Don’t you do it!’ But I think: ‘Why not?’”
Of course, Wilson also deflected a personal question by joking her family is comprised of drug dealers, and that Idris Elba asked for her phone number after she flirted with him onstage during the BAFTAs but has yet to call. It’s hard to tell if she was being entirely serious in her remarks about gaining weight, but what she’s saying speaks to a larger issue at hand, which is that people find it easier to laugh at a person who’s overweight than see her as a dramatic or romantic lead, aside from the hypersexuality of a character like “Fat Amy” in Pitch Perfect and its sequel. None of that seems to bother Wilson, who added, “I saw my size as being an advantage, whereas so many women see it as a disadvantage.”
Wilson, who sued Bauer Media for defamation over articles that accused her of lying about her age, had plenty to say about ageism. “Hollywood IS age-ist. That’s why people do crazy s— to their faces — out of desperation to look younger. But I think my career is based more on my personality, so it doesn’t really matter.” You tell ‘em, Rebel.