Since the spring of 2011, Australian actress Rebel Wilson has been stealing the spotlight from heavy hitters like Kristen Wiig and Elizabeth Banks in the smash comedies Bridesmaids and What to Expect When You're Expecting, respectively. As Wilson's new film, Pitch Perfect, hits theaters Friday, October 5, Us Weekly uncovers five fun facts about the hilarious 26-year-old star.
1. Wilson didn't always dream of becoming a movie star. "I always thought I'd go into serious stuff like law or politics," the Pain & Gain actress told Refinery 29. "When I graduated school I became a youth ambassador and was stationed in South Africa for a year to spread goodwill across the continent. I got malaria and was put in intensive care, where the doctors gave me a cocktail of drugs so I wouldn't die. I hallucinated that I was at the Oscars and won. It was so real that when I came out of hospital I said, 'I know this is crazy, but I'm going to become an actress!'"
2. Her family shows dogs professionally. "You know the movie Best in Show? That was like my real life," Wilson said on Jimmy Kimmel Live August 15, referencing the 2000 Christopher Guest mockumentary. "I saw that movie and I was like, 'This is such a good documentary,'" she joked. "My mom breeds beagles, and I was forced to be what's called a junior handler, which is kind of like Toddlers & Tiaras but with dogs. So you're dressed in your little outfit and you show the dog. . . I was a champion junior handler. When I told my mom I was going to be a celebrity, she just cried, because she said, 'Who's going to take over the legacy of the dog showing?'"
3. She lives with her Bridesmaids costar Matt Lucas. The actors, who played Wiig's less-than-accommodating sibling roommates, recently rented an apartment together in West Hollywood. "We played roommates so well in Bridesmaids we thought we'd do it for real," Wilson explained on TBS' Conan August 29. "Except instead of annoying Kristen Wiig, we're now annoying all the neighbors nearby." In fact, one resident wrote the actors a letter asking them to be quiet after 10 p.m. and "stop singing show tunes from Annie" because they "are way too old to ever be cast as child orphans."
4. Wilson perfected her American accent for Bachelorette by watching TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Mimicking 7-year-old beauty pageant pro Alana Thompson and her 33-year-old mother, June Shannon, "I watch them and repeat them when they talk," said Wilson, also a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills addict. "Then you hope eventually by osmosis that it sticks."
5. She is a Jenny Craig spokeswoman in Australia. "I'm really feeling great now," Wilson blogged in 2012. "I'm down to a size 16 (I was probably closer to a size 20 when I started) and am actually having to donate some of my clothes that are now too big for me."