Untitled Rebel Wilson Project (date to be confirmed)

Hey, remember when we wrote this back in September 2013?

Hmm. Either she was actually born in 1980 and she’s shaved around six years off her age, or she made Bogan Pride aged 22 and Fairfax totally stuffed it up. Who profits from having Rebel Wilson lose six years in age between 2008 and 2013? We’re going to go with “Rebel Wilson”.

Looks like Mamamia’s only just now getting caught up:

Rebel Wilson celebrated her 29th birthday this year.

Which is interesting, because Rebel is actually a 36-year-old called Melanie Elisabeth Bowndes who graduated from Parramatta’s Tara Anglican School in 1997

What took them so long? Seriously, even a not-that-recent story about her in the Fairfax press made sure to mention her stated age was questionable – plus Mamamia reported the exact same story back at the start of February:

Aussie actress Rebel Wilson has just turned 29. Apparently.

I say ‘apparently’, not because I think she looks or acts any older or younger than that but because the world seems confused about Rebel’s exact age.

At least when we broke the story – okay, when we did some basic maths and fact-checking, which seems to put us ahead of 80% of the Australian media – we had a reason:

This article spends most of its time hailing Wilson for being brave and authentic and in-your-face regarding her size – because there’s never been a funny fat person before, right everybody? – while blatantly tip-toeing around another area where that assessment of her character doesn’t really seem to apply.

And as the years have passed that assessment of Ms Wilson’s character – that she’s someone willing to be authentic when that helps her career, and then full of shit when she thinks that’ll help her out – seems to have been born out:

“In Australia there’s this bizarre culture where they celebrate the mediocre people.” – Rebel Wilson

That’s the kind of thing people should be calling Wilson out on, not her age. Actors (and people in loads of other professions too) lie about their age all the time to get work – it’s not ideal, but neither is a society that values youth to an irrational extent. Moving overseas then claiming you had to leave the country because your homeland doesn’t value talented people? Yeah, you’re a dickhead.

Or maybe, and it’s a crazy thought we know, if the media’s looking to be critical they could take a look at the actual comedy Ms Wilson’s been doing? Her entire act for the last decade or so has consisted entirely of her making fat jokes about herself (her most successful character to date is actually listed in the credits as “Fat Amy”) and saying “shocking” things as quick comedy relief. That’s fine as far as it goes: every single time she’s tried to take it any further (Bogan Pride, Super Fun Night) she’s fallen flat on her arse.

Unfortunately, with the current box office success of Pitch Perfect 2 – yes we’ve seen it, yes Wilson has a slightly larger role this time around, yes it’s just more of the same from her, no, she can’t really sing all that well – it seems likely that we’ll have to put up with a few more years of the media lapping up Wilson’s claims that there were no funny fat people or funny Australians or funny women before she burst on the scene.

And then she’ll be forty.

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5 Comments

  • Urinal Cake says:

    Well she’s blamed ‘tall poppy syndrome’ for digging up her past. She’s a one note actor who will probably be the only original cast member in the direct-to-digital ‘Pitch Perfect 7’.

  • yeps says:

    Ohs nos.

    What if some other journalist reveals that there were actually brilliant female comedians in the world before Wilson appeared in ‘Bridesmaids’ and remade the comedy landscape?!

    Will that mean that the countless interviews she’s given announcing herself as the comic messiah will have to be reprinted with clarifications? Are there enough asterisks in the world!?!

    Okay, Redundant Statement Alert, but: I fucking hate that ‘tall poppy’ shit. I hate when people really do want to hack someone down just because they’re popular, but a hate it even more when it becomes a hand-wave, ‘y’all are just haterz’ badge of honour.

    Yes, this whole article is piss-ante rumour mill nonsense – who gives a shit about some actor’s age? – but despite the tone, it wasn’t just a bitch hit-job, it was (apparently) triggered by Wilson’s own slagging off other actresses for lying about their age.

    The surprise in all this, as you Tumbleweeds (Tumbleweeders?) have rightly stated, is that she’s been given such an unbroken, sycophantically willing open mic in the press of both Australia and the US for so long, with no one at any point pushing back on her escalating self-mythologising.

    I mean, that recent Guardian piece is a perfect example: she celebrates herself for being brave enough to use the N-word on stage (because it’s just like her calling herself ‘fat’, y’know), for slagging off Hollywood types as greedy Jews (…hilarious), blames editors and other actors for cutting her roles down to fat-shaming cameos (it’s not that she herself has consistently TRADED on ugly ‘fat’ stereotypes, it’s that she’s TOO funny, and they’re scared), laughs at other female actors and the whole industry they work in for lying about their age (she would nevs do that), and declares that she’s the first real woman comedian to break through the ‘boys club’ (despite the reality of human history), but instead of following up on any one of those insane statements, the reporter – like everyone before them – merely gushes more praise on this plucky young trailblazing ingenue.

    The world could give a shit if Wilson becomes famous – plenty of talentless hacks have hit it big; Rob Schneider was a thing, remember? – but branding yourself as a unique flower, better than all the lesser plants around you, when you are firmly planted in the exact same compost, is pathetic.

    ‘Tall Poppies’ get chopped down because some people want to see beautiful things destroyed; being exposed as a mouthy, fraudulent hypocrite is a whole other thing.

  • yeps says:

    * ‘Bitch’ should read ‘bitchy’.

    There’s also an ‘a’ that should be an ‘I’.

    …ah, who cares?

  • blerg says:

    First of all, you weren’t the first people to do the math on what was always an obvious joke anyway. Secondly, Rebel Wilson never claimed she was the first funny fat woman. She said that comedy was a boys club and she’s right.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    We’re glad to hear she was right about comedy being a boys club, because she doesn’t seem to have been right about a lot of other stuff. Like her age. Or about how other actresses her (real) age were chosen for a role because they were older than her.

    Wilson said she was rejected from a remake of Ghostbusters because producers wanted a “older group” of actresses like fellow Australian Rose Byrne who is 35.