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Rebel Wilson kissed a woman months before coming out in her first theatrical role

So many Rebel Wilson lives are brand new.

The comedy superstar enters new territory with her first toplining drama, Almonds and Seahorses , Opposite Charlotte Gainsbourg , Trine Dyrholm and Celyn Jones, who co-wrote the screenplay (with Kate O’Reilly) and co-directed the film (with Tom Stewart kindness). Based on the O’Reilly play of the same name, it casts Wilson as an archaeologist exploring life with her husband (Jones) after he recovers from a traumatic brain injury. She finds comfort and more in an unexpected relationship with a woman (Gainsbourg) who faces the same challenges as her wife (Dyrholm).

IFC Films will be in theaters and on demand in December , less than two months into Wilson’s first child: She announced her has welcomed her first child, a baby girl, Royce Lillian, via surrogate. “This has been years in the making,” Wilson wrote in the announcement, months after she revealed she had formed a partnership with Ramona Agruma, a women’s fashion and jewelry designer. first relationship.

There’s more: Wilson will take a short break from the holidays before starting filming a new film in Italy next year, while working on pre-production for her directorial debut. How about the first of a season? Luckily, Wilson was happy to talk all of the above with The Hollywood Reporter. Pitch Perfect, Senior Year and The Hustle stars tell how to connect with Gainsbourg’s Kiss affects her love life, Robin Williams influential advice to her on set , and if she has more drama in the future work.

How is life as a new mother?

Very nice and really busy. This morning, I had to make a decision whether to eat breakfast or put on my makeup. I was just holding my beautiful little girl and then I realized it was time to run out the door. not enough time. It’s been really busy juggling the baby with personal life and [work obligations]. But I’m lucky to have such a supportive family. My mom has been here and I have my girlfriend Ramona and she is amazing. Even with all of them here to help it’s still a lot.

In a way, I went from a single woman to an instant family. It’s definitely a big adjustment. Then, when it comes to work, it couldn’t be more busy. I have a lot of movies in development, I have The Almond and the Seahorse coming out, and then I have a movie to direct next year, so I start prep-production . It gets really busy, but that’s part of the adventure. Now really day by day.

When you announced the baby, you posted that it had been “years in the making,” so you had no control over your career and personal life when the baby came. You’re just doing what every mom does – try to fit everything in…

Yeah because When I went through the egg freezing process, I wasn’t sure if it would work. You just give it a try, but you don’t know. It’s hard to even plan and think, well, I’m not going to have any movies then because you never know when it’s going to happen. Luckily, I got little Rosy out of the process, which was great, but you can never plan it perfectly. We have to work this out and I’ll take her to the movies. She will be a very cosmopolitan baby.

I am happy to ask you about The Almond and Seahorse because, obviously, the title is that this movie casts Rebel Wilson in a way you’ve never seen her before – in dramatic parts. But that’s not surprising to you, since you started taking dramatic roles at a young age. Can you tell me about that time?

Yeah, I know that’s different because I’ve been doing all these glossy Hollywood comedies and I too Love it a lot, but when I started out as an actor, I thought I wanted to be a Mrs. Judi Dench type. That’s the kind of people I really wanted to emulate, so I did very serious plays — Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. The problem is no one in Hollywood has seen this production because it’s being played on an Australian stage, which is probably for the best. Only if I got a scholarship from Nicole Kidman I started to specialize in comedy. I used it to come to New York and then go to Second City to work from that angle. Strategically, this seems like a better move.

I didn’t think I was funny until then, but I don’t think you can come to Hollywood as an actress and say you do everything. I think this was a mistake. It’s better to come to Hollywood as an outsider and say I have a niche. But I really want to show people a different side of me. After doing so much film comedy and stand-up comedy, it’s hard to get back into it in a way. [For Almond and the Seahorse] It’s hard to get into those emotional scenes. For movies like Pitch Perfect, I kind of play a version of myself. It doesn’t take much acting, since you’re just having fun with your friends. [laughs] For a film like this, we shot all these intense scenes in the freezing cold of northern England, which was very different.

When your career is in full swing, do you ever have a moment when you can’t wait to try out some dramatic work?

I have a picture of this moment [because she was pointing at the camera]. I was on the set of [ Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb ]. It was a cold night in London and I was doing a scene with Ben Stiller just improvising and trying to The movie gets more lines, just gossip and jokes as the camera rolls. Then Robin Williams came over and asked me to chat. It was 2 in the morning and I was like, oh my god, of course I can chat, I’m Robin Williams! I wanted to chat with him but kept trying to be respectful and not bother him. We sat for about 40 or40 Minutes between camera rolls, he says I should do drama.

I was surprised because I don’t know how he saw the scene I just did and thought I should do drama, but he said, “You should 48 percentages are also acting.” It really bothers me. After his death, his daughter told me that he really enjoyed our conversation and that he had told her about it. I kept thinking, if Robin Williams thinks I can do it, I might as well give it a go. So we were looking for a project and then Almond and the Seahorse came along. It’s a very challenging script and very brave, so I thought, let’s give it a shot.

Rebel Wilson and Celyn Jones The Almond and the Seahorse from IFC Films. Courtesy of IFC Films

Robin William Robin Williams is a poster child for a comedy legend, and his plays are also critically acclaimed. Adam Sandler also comes to mind, along with many others. Is there any other comedian whose range of performances you really admire or have influenced you?

Olivia Colman does a lot of very wide comedy, that’s why she’s famous in the UK I remember at the Vanity Fair Oscar party Seeing her on TV, I was like, “Oh my God, I want to be you,” which probably freaked her out. You probably shouldn’t be going to someone at 3am and saying that. But I just think her career trajectory is amazing, she’s played so many incredible roles. There were many others, but she really inspired me.

Your character, Sarah, is in almonds and seahorses

, being a performer puts a lot of demands on you, and she is also a playable character. She’s an archaeologist trying to deal with this new reality with her partner’s brain damage, her having a relationship, her desire to be a mother, and more. As an actor, how do you prepare for such a role? How deep did you dig to find Sarah?

Celyn Jones, he’s me in the movie, we’re lucky because it’s based on a play, so it’s already dealt with Traumatic Brain Injury Nonprofit Creates Close Links. They have given us access to so many videos and articles showing what it is like to care for someone in this situation. In real life, I also dated someone with a traumatic brain injury. It’s not as serious as it is in the movie with my husband, but I can get something out of that relationship.

We did a lot of research, and the script is well researched, so it’s a great resource. This is much more common than what you would normally think of as a traumatic brain injury, you might just assume it’s football players. It happens to people all the time.

What was it like sharing scenes with Celyn Jones who also directed?

There are two directors, Celyn co-directing with Tom Stern, he is excellent. He’s one of the best cinematographers in the world and has done a lot of Clint Eastwood movies. It’s a microbudget movie, $2.5 million I think, so while there’s a lot going on, we had to shoot fast. But working with Celyn was really fun because he had a lot going for him as co-director, co-writer and co-star.

He came to me one day and said, “We have to shoot the last scene of the movie as soon as possible,” because of the time and place. We have to phase it out very quickly, and I’m not ready yet. I was like, “What are you talking about?” Anyway, because of my personality, I was in such an emotional state, so I started crying, and Celyn was so caring and kind, he talked me into it. He said we’d film it, and if for some reason, it didn’t work, we could come back and reshoot it later. He’s such a sympathetic guy, whether he’s playing my co-star or the director. We got through it together.

What was the biggest adjustment for you from these big-budget Hollywood movies to the small-budget indies?

I remember the first day I walked up to the set for the first time without a trailer. It’s 6am and I’m thinking, where do I go to change or go to the bathroom? I’m used to the Hollywood system because I’ve only done blockbusters, really. But someone was just late and they ended up buying me the best trailer they could find in the north of England. Even then, it was kind of stinky and gross, but anyway, these movies are about getting real and not about Hollywood luxuries, so that’s not it for me.

Another thing is that we have to shoot many pages every day. In a Hollywood blockbuster, you might be writing two or three pages a day, and here we are or more a day. We skimmed through the material quickly, but it’s great. It has a rhythm and you know you might only be able to take three takes of each scene, and for me that meant my character could go from zero to a hundred in certain scenes. It’s a real acting challenge. Knowing that I have to nail it and that I’m not going to be really good all day. It’s about the acting, and that’s where the movie really shines, and that’s what I’m really proud of. It was really fun – except for having to jump into the icy ocean for one scene. That almost killed us. [laughs]

Can you point to the most challenging scene?

The whole thing is a bit of a twist. There isn’t a single easy scene in the script. Before filming started, I was quarantined in a hotel in London for two weeks. I really wanted to bring it and not disappoint anyone, so I spent all my time practicing scenes every day. I’ve been running lines because I’m so paranoid that emotions won’t exist because I haven’t flexed those muscles in a while.

There is a scene where I tell Cath (played by Alice Lowe) that I cheated on Joe. Although you can’t see it on site, it’s really cold and it’s really snowing. I’m freezing off my nipples and it’s so hard. I think after I told her I literally broke down and I was crying and crying and crying. It wasn’t in the movie because I thought it might be too much, but yeah, that one was hard. All scenes are tough. I think that’s because the writing is so good.

Where does your brain go when you are ordered to cry? Is there a specific memory or experience you’re trying to unearth?

Emotional resonance for me. I work with Tasha Smith who helps Andra Day in [ Billie Holiday performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday]. That was such a raw, brave, emotional performance, and I knew I wanted to bring that to this film. We talked a lot before filming what was going on in my life. I have a grandma who has dementia from alcoholism, so I want to see her home at the end of her life. There were scenes in the medical facility that reminded me of that or other emotional moments, like when my dad died.

That’s why I say twisty because it’s based on my own very painful, tragic memories. I want to bring those emotions. Some of my friends said I could use a tear gas stick or something. [laughs] But I don’t feel that real because it’s such a departure for me, I don’t want to pretend anything. But bringing it on brought me to this real emotional state where I kept sending people these really weird text messages during that time. Like, I’m not crazy, but during the weeks I was filming that character, I was really sad.

On the other side of all those emotions and crying, you have some romantic scenes in this movie, you did Lots of kissing…

I’m nervous. Charlotte Gainsbourg was the first woman I ever kissed. I’ve never kissed a woman before, so I was thinking, oh my god, what’s going on? Charlotte is cool and French. I took her out for donuts a few days ago. It’s not her eating donuts, it’s me eating donuts. [laughs] She’s so cool, I like her so much, I’ve seen her movies and I’m going to work with her, which makes me think this movie has to be for her, compared to some of the characters she’s played Take a walk in the park.

Oddly, I think our scene could have been a little hotter. For male directors, I think they are discreet and respectful. Once I got over the initial [anxiety] of kissing the women and getting into the scene, I thought maybe it should focus more on the emotional moments and we could even make it a little bit sexier and go a step further. But we have a tight schedule, so we have to keep going.

Rebel Wilson and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in IFC Films’ Almonds and Seahorses . Courtesy of IFC Films Rebel Wilson and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in IFC Films' The Almond and the SeahorseRebel Wilson and Celyn Jones star in IFC Films' The Almond and the Seahorse.

I watched a few Afterwards, what was your favorite Charlie Gainsbourg performance?

Well, the one that scares me the most is Nymphomaniac. I could ask her a lot of questions about it, how they did it, and how they used doubles. She’s so brave as an actress and she plays all these great roles. Trine Dyrholm is also great. I also love watching all her stuff.

Let’s go back to the first kiss. You play a character who is exploring her sexuality with another woman, surprising them by finding unexpected comfort in each other. We’re talking months after you confirmed you’re in a relationship with a woman. Looking back on this shooting experience now, is there any difference?

When I first read the script, Charlotte’s character, Tony, was written as a man. I’m the one who says, well, I think women can play. Originally, Pierce Brosnan was supposed to play the role, but then the schedules didn’t align. I feel like we should open it up to a woman, and they gave it to Charlotte. I don’t know why I say that, but I just think it works.

I was in an affair with a woman before, it wasn’t sexual and we didn’t kiss or anything. But then the kiss with Charlotte came along. I don’t think it’s a big deal. Then, weirdly, by kissing her in my professional life, I thought, well, maybe I should actually do this in my personal life and see how it goes, and I did. [Laughs] That was 450 and I was Finally came across Ramona’s 2021. If I hadn’t had the experience with Charlotte or another woman, I don’t know if I would have met Ramona. With these experiences, I opened up to its possibilities. I am grateful for both experiences. It completely changed my love life. That’s pretty cool.

So beautiful, it sounds really organic…

Yes. I had another friend who was an actress and she had to kiss a woman in a show and she turned out to be a lesbian. [laughs] The same thing happened to another actress I knew in America. I actually know of a couple. This was something I hadn’t thought of before because I’ve only dated men. I’ve seen shows about lesbians like The L Word but it never crossed my mind. I just think I love those shows. But kissing Charlotte was a big deal for me. I was nervous that day because she was so cool and I was really nervous. But it’s great. Yeah, without those experiences, I don’t think I would have opened up to Ramona, she’s just an amazing partner.

Yeah, when you came out, your relationship was a bit contentious, right?

Yes, that’s the Sydney Morning Herald . A reporter in Australia basically sent an email threatening to publish the story. I’ve been very candid about my personal life, and that’s when I might share this soon. But it takes all these delicate conversations with people. I come from a pretty conservative family, and so does Ramona, and we tell people slowly in our lives. It’s really uncomfortable in that rushed way because we don’t have time to tell everyone, and I don’t want journalists to be the ones publishing a story like this. It’s so personal and I want to be the one to share it. Also, I don’t think we need a copy at 1000 statement.

But this is a snarky reporter who has written some bad stuff about me before and I know he’s going to write something not positive. I just thought, well, we might as well put some stuff in there. We’re not ashamed of it, obviously, but it’s just a beautiful thing about us being together and we’re slowly telling people about who we are. But that made it public, which was different for me because when I was in the public eye, Ramona wasn’t. It’s harder for her and I want to protect her. However, doing so allows us to do it faster than we could do it ourselves.

I’m sorry this happened. I’m at People You also had a serious situation while filming Almond and the Seahorse and news about your journey to motherhood through egg freezing. The character you play in the film also aspires to be a mother, what was that experience like, how much personal pain do you invest in your performance?

I froze my eggs and had three surgeries for it, which is a lot. Then, I found a donor, and we made a plan for the embryos, and I think, at that point, I had 11 good quality eggs, so you’d think there would be some success there. But then every day, I would get an update from the lab on the progress and it was down to 7 days and they had no viable embryos. I’ve been through so much, lost all this weight, frozen my eggs, and completely changed my whole life to do it, but not being able to create a life the way I wanted it to be is truly devastating. I got the message at the end of the shoot.

A lot of women have this problem when they go on IVF or similar journeys, it’s a difficult situation and you have to ask yourself do you want to move on? Like my character in the movie, she wants a baby, but you have to see the situation. So, I can really understand. For me, I took a moment to mourn the process, and then I said, well, I’m going to go back and do another surgery. That’s how Little Rowan was born, and I’m doing it for the fourth time. It’s amazing, but it’s a difficult process. I think some people are really lucky, but it’s hard to go through.

Back to work. You’ve announced a lot of comedies, but I’m curious if you’ve done this, are you leaning towards another drama?

I have a lot of comedies in development, yes. They are so much fun for me. There are some serious projects out there, but it’s just about picking the right ones. I also plan to direct a musical, an Australian musical. It was another big challenge, but after being in so many musical films in my career and learning from all those directors, I was up for the challenge. It’s hard to accommodate that much, but we’ll see how it goes next year.

Do you know when you plan to go back to work?

I’m shooting a film in Italy next month called Verona. I don’t know if this has been announced, but it’s essentially a Romeo and Juliet story. It’s a serious role and I’m playing Lady Capulet, Juliet’s mother, so it’s a little bit different for me. Gosh, I don’t even know if I should say that.

Will there be a director project after that?

I’m directing this later next year, so the first one might be rock or another big action comedy. It will depend. I also have a horror movie that I love and a K-pop movie that’s in Universal now. There are many.

Speaking of musicals, there’s a new Pitch Perfect to get rid of. Are you looking?

Yeah, I really just started watching. 2205 Adam Devine in it, I call him My working husband because I work with him a lot. I just adore him, he is the cutest. [Todd Strauss-Schulson] directed my movie Isn’t it Romantic directed it, so I’ll watch it, but I haven’t finished it yet. I’ll probably watch it on the plane to Australia during the holidays.

I noticed you put out a costume that matches Ramona. There have been some criticisms online about sizing. Have you ever noticed or noticed?

This is a fun, very limited capsule collection and we couldn’t start off not doing multiple colors or very large ones Size range. We’re just putting things out there to see how it goes. But I definitely know that inclusive sizing is needed after I’ve been plus-size almost my entire life. I definitely hear the [criticism] and I love all my fans and follow it. In this small collection we can’t offer all sizes but hopefully in the next collection we can and I can make sure to cover all sizes. I hear the criticism and I totally understand it. This is our first experiment, just Ramona and myself.

You’ve had a personal and professional makeover. Have you noticed a difference in the kinds of parts offered to you ?

I’m very stereotypically fond of playing Fat Funny Girls, I love it, I play it and make millions. To me, it’s never a negative, but sometimes when you change your body, it makes people see you a little differently. There’s a benefit to that, people are going to look at you and say, “Oh, she’s different now, maybe we should put her in a different project.” Unfortunately, in Hollywood, people need to see you differently in order for Shape you differently or give you new opportunities. There are always some directors who are not like that, they can imagine a comedian as a serious actress, but others need to see it first. For me, the physical transformation has helped with that, but it’s too early to tell. We’ll see how it goes.

This story first appeared in the December 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. 2021Click here to subscribe.

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