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It may be a surprise but I don't have a talent for acrobatics; Having stolen the show first time round, Rebel Wilson is back on cringeworthy form for Pitch Perfect 2. The Aussie tells SHEREEN LOW about her conditions for signing up, which naturally included a musical solo and a steamy shower scene...


REBEL WILSON is not your average Hollywood star. Having made her breakthrough with a cameo in 2011's Bridesmaids, the Australian actress has become known for her punchy one-liners and her refreshing honesty and frankness, which makes her stand out from her peers.

She didn't have the most lines in 2012's Pitch Perfect, but her performance was still scene-stealing - and such is her comic value that next up she'll be starring in Sacha Baron Cohen's Grimsby, which also features his wife Isla Fisher, Mark Strong, David Harewood and Ian McShane.

The Ali G and Borat funnyman had some rather raunchy requests for Rebel, the 29-year-old reveals.

"Sacha is completely outrageous.

Every day, he tried to get me to go naked. Every day!" she deadpans. "And I'm like, 'Sacha, no! I told you, I'm a classy actress'."

The film, directed by Now You See Me's Louis Leterrier, is scheduled for release in July.

"He just keeps pushing you and pushing you and pushing the comedy in every single scene, which is why his stuff is so out loud funny," Rebel says of Baron Cohen.

"Grimsby is certainly going to get a lot of attention, put it that way. It's highly outrageous."

Right now though, Rebel is flexing her vocal cords once again in Pitch Perfect 2, which sees her reprise her role as Fat Amy in the musical comedy sequel.

In the first movie, the all-female college a cappella group the Barden Bellas faced an uphill battle to impress championship judges.

This time round, the three-time champs are trying to defend their reputation, following a controversial performance in front of US President Barack Obama.

You've guessed it - Fat Amy's at the centre of the scandal, which happens when her trousers rip during an aerial routine, thus exposing her private parts to the American leader, and the entire audience.

"I crushed it. It's a very flashy opening to the movie and I'm really proud of myself for doing it, because it was very hard," says Rebel of filming the scene.

"This might come as a surprise to you, but I'm actually not a stunt lady with natural acrobatic talent.

"I had to train for five weeks just to do that 40-second stunt routine, and it was very physically demanding.

"I had to do lots of stretching and strength training, because they had no girls my size that were professional at aerial stunts, so guess what? I trained, Tom Cruise-style - I did it myself.

"I'm very proud of how it turned out."

Rebel, who studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People, before moving to New York in 2003, explains that she had to conquer her acrophobia to pull off the flamboyantly grand entrance, which sees her suspended from the theatre ceiling on circus ribbons.

"I feel like I'm going to die. Even when I'm just a bit off the ground, I'm like, 'Woah, something doesn't feel right'," she states.

Her fear of heights apparently stemmed from an earlier incident during her school days.

"When I was in high school, I was in a production of Fiddler On The Roof, and I did actually fall from the roof and sprained both my wrists and all my ribs.

"Luckily I didn't die, because it was a very bad fall, and from then on, me and theatres and being up high has not been my favourite thing.

"But when I read that Fat Amy comes out doing this amazing aerial stunt routine with silks, I thought, 'I have to do it, it's funny'," she continues. "I am afraid of heights in real life, but Fat Amy is not, so I just had to be in my character and crush it."

The actress, who currently lives with her good friend British comedian Matt Lucas, after leaving her native Sydney for Hollywood, reveals that she experienced a somewhat similar real-life wardrobe malfunction during a recent househunting trip.

"I was looking for houses recently in Hollywood and going into some very exclusive mansions, some I couldn't afford but just wanted to have a look at," she recalls.

"When I got out of the car, my pants ripped. We were already there and the estate agent had seen us, so I had to do the whole tour of this massive mansion while putting one of my hands at the front and the other one on the back, just trying to look normal while doing the house tour."

Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin and Brittany Snow also return for Pitch Perfect 2, with Hailee Steinfeld and Katey Sagal joining the fold.

Elizabeth Banks, who produced the first film with her husband Max Handelman, makes her directorial debut with the sequel.

"The more female directors and writers, the better the female roles are," Rebel says. "In Pitch Perfect 2, you've got 10 girls who star as the Bellas and they're all great roles. They're all hilarious. I think Elizabeth did such a good job co-ordinating it."

Mind you, the actress increased her demands for the second instalment. "I'm very demanding now that I'm in a hit franchise," she confesses. "When I heard about it, I was like, 'Do I get to have a solo in this one?' And then I found out I did, so I was totally in.

"Then I asked, 'Do I get to have a naked shower scene in this one?' (Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow got to in the first film). When they said, 'Yes', I told them, 'You don't even have to pay me then. I'll just do this movie for free'."

Rebel, whose other big-screen adventures include What To Expect When You're Expecting, Pain & Gain and Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, says she would consider returning for a third film too.

"I love playing Fat Amy, it's kind of like playing myself," says the actress. "I joke with the girls that we could do the intergalactic championships versus aliens. I think, 'Why not go into outer space?"' Pitch Perfect 2 is out in |cinemas now.


Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp |and Rebel Wilson in musical comedy sequel Pitch Perfect 2

Crushed it... Rebel Wilson in her breakthrough cameo in |Bridesmaids with her friend Matt Lucas and Kirsten Wiig

Rebel |Wilson on the red carpet to promote new movie Pitch Perfect 2, right, and in the film as Fat Amy, below right
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 17, 2015
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