Pitch Perfect 2 brings back the multi-cultural quirky Barden Bellas to the big screen. In the film, the all-female a capella group suffers a humiliating performance, and must find away to restore their reputation. Rebel Wilson returns to reprise her role as the unfiltered highly confident Fat Amy, and we had a chance to sit down and talk to her at the press conference for the film.
During that time, we learned about some of the physically demanding stunt work she had to do, some intimate scenes that didn’t make the cut, not holding anything back for the sequel, being an inspiration to young girls, and much more.
Read the entire interview below.
Geeks of Doom: What was it like to sing and paddle a boat while standing up at the same time?
Rebel Wilson: I really had to hold my core, because I was standing up. I didn’t want to fall into the water because then it would have taken two hours to reset hair and makeup, and I would have to do it all over again.
Geeks of Doom: Your make out session with Adam Devine, what was that like, was it difficult to keep a straight face?
Rebel Wilson: Adam and I have had a long history of making out. Actually, I cameoed on his show Workaholics, and in the very first scene, we made out and he felt me up. So weirdly, we’ve had this strange chemistry. In the first movie, there was never any subplot that something was going on between us. We were just a part of a large ensemble cast. We were both writers and improvisors, and so we would always make up stuff to try to get it into the movie. That developed into Kay Cannon writing the love storyline, which was really cool.
Fun fact about that makeout scene, was that they noticed while they were filming that my pants were a bit see through, so a lot of the making out and rolling around on the ground had to be cut. We actually went at it for about seven minutes, because we were going for an MTV award for best kiss, because it’s all about the trophies. But it had to be majorly cut down, because you could see my underwear through the pants.
Geeks of Doom: The stunt work in the film has been raised, can you talk a little bit about that?
Rebel Wilson: It was very physically demanding. The first one we had a lot of dance – high energy choreography. This one was really something else. For the aerial stunt sequence in the beginning, I trained for five weeks with my coach, who has been in a large number of Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. I didn’t think I would be able to do it, but if I couldn’t do it, they couldn’t get a stunt double that is my size that does it. They are all like skinny minis. It was like I either do it, or it’s not the opening of the movie. So I chose me doing it, even though I am afraid of heights, and not that flexible. So I decided that I was going for it. You have to bend your back in strange ways and hang from your butt in one move called the death drop. It’s really tricky, even just hanging upside down, to hold it for more than 45 seconds is something you have to train for.
Geeks of Doom: Was there ever a point in time where you were told to “go bigger” with the comedy?
Rebel Wilson: I didn’t get a lot of “go biggers.” When I first started acting, I was a stage actress, and then when you make the transition to screen, you kind of have to tone it back a bit. So it’s always a fine balance of getting right energy. Sometimes the way I deliver jokes is low-level, because it is really deadpan. It’s just a feeling you get, because you want to be natural when its on screen in films. But you also have to give it some kind of energy.
Geeks of Doom: What was it like to shoot in Copenhagen?
Rebel Wilson: We didn’t actually go to Copenhagen, that’s movie magic. We actually were in the New Orleans French Quarter to do the “we’ve arrived” sequence like we’ve arrived in Denmark. The outdoor finale was actually shot in Baton Rouge in 110 degree heat. We shot a whole week of that, and I lost 10 lbs in sweat just in that week, because we did the routine about 100 times. I was sweating like a bush pig. It was really bad, They had huge industrial fans, they would come and blow you after the routine so that that the makeup wouldn’t go everywhere.
Geeks of Doom: Do other young girls come up to you to tell you that you inspire them?
Rebel Wilson: I think that Pitch Perfect has a great girl power message. We’re ten different girls in the group, ten different sizes, all different nationalities, all different backgrounds, who come together, who create something really great. I have noticed a lot of young female fans. I think what they are tapping into is that Fat Amy, and obviously myself, are very confident in my own skin, and it kind of inspires them. On a personal level, I am all about what’s on the inside and not what’s on the outside, and I think that is a really good message for young girls to hear. The fact that someone like me from Sydney can become an actress in movies, who didn’t look like a regular actress, that I can make it, gives a lot of hope to girls who are really creative and not necessarily full of the standard of what some people consider beauty to be.
Geeks of Doom: What is the status of Private Benjamin?
Rebel Wilson: That project is still under development. We are looking for the right director. But I know I will get a lot of heat when this movies comes out at the box office and crushes it. We are looking to set that up. Finding the right director is so important, especially when that property is such a beloved property, and we want to do it right.
Geeks of Doom: Are there any fellow Australians you would like to work with? Maybe the Hemsworths?
Rebel Wilson: I’ve already tried to work with the Hemsworths. They are like really busy. Like guys, we are all Australians, can you not like do the other Hunger Games, and maybe do a movie with me. That’s not like even a joke. I’ve talked Russell Crowe recently, I think he is a really good actor, and I’ve made terrible jokes about him in the past, but he still likes me. I’d love for him to play my dad in something, I think that would be really funny.
I do find it funny that Australia is a relatively small country compared to everybody else, and that per capita we have some of the most successful actor ratio to population. It’s so weird that we do so well in Hollywood.
Geeks of Doom: Since being a big voluptuous woman is kind of your trademark, how do you keep the weight?
Rebel Wilson: It is surprisingly very easy. You see the brownies out there? I am larger than most actresses, but I would never want to promote being unhealthy, you have to have so much stamina. When I work 16 hours a day – something like on Pitch Perfect, you are singing for 16 hours, so it is very physcially demanding, so I work out five times a week. Because if you aren’t physically strong, you can’t have that energy all day, and there is so much you don’t see that we did in the film. At the camp retreat, there is so much physical stunts and stuff that you don’t even see. I think actresses can be all different shapes and sizes, but as an actor, your body is one of your big tools, so you got to be fit in that sense.
But I eat a lot of desserts after work, so I haven’t had a problem with rapidly losing too much weight.
Geeks of Doom: You seem so self-confident, have you always been so self confident?
Rebel Wilson: No. I was very shy, bordering on social disorder. I think I was very intellectual. I was lucky to be good at school work, but that didn’t make me the coolest. I remember reading that if you don’t change your personality by age 15, that was the person you were going to be, and I really was the girl that would get red-faced, like if I had to answer a question in class, that kind of thing. I thought I had to get over myself, and that I could be like the other popular girls, I just need to push myself a little bit. So I just started to do debating in high school, where you have to talk and public speaking, so I would force myself to do it, and get over my shyness. The good thing about being shy though as a child is you become very observant, because you are not actively participating, you are sitting back watching everyone, and I think that’s really helped me as an actress, because I am good at observing people, and copying them for comic effect.
Pitch Perfect 2 opens in theaters on May 15.