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Rebel Wilson: Oz star gets ‘Bridesmaids’ boost

10 Comics to Watch

Rebel Wilson may not yet be a household name in the States, but thanks to her scene-stealing role as Kristen Wiig’s roommate in the smash hit “Bridesmaids,” her career has gone turbo-charged almost overnight.

“It was my first job since moving to L.A., and there’s already talk of a sequel,” reports Wilson, who reteams with “Bridesmaids” co-star Matt Lucas in indie comedy “Small Apartments.”

Audiences will soon be seeing much more of her. She’s already wrapped two other features, “This Means War” (with Reese Witherspoon) and “A Few Best Men” — a big step for the Australian-born standup/writer.

“I come from a family of professional dog-showers, one step above carnies, but I didn’t want to join the family business,” she explains.

In a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction scenario, while living in South Africa for a year as a Youth Ambassador, she contracted malaria and in the resulting hallucinations saw herself as “a really good actress who also won an Oscar.” These visions convinced Wilson to pursue acting instead.

The comedy happened by itself.

“My first play for the Sydney Theater Company, I thought I was doing a very dramatic role, but as soon as I walked onstage, everyone began laughing,” she recalls. “The more serious I got, the more they laughed.”

So Wilson went with it. After starring in Oz comedy skeins “Pizza” and “The Wedge” and honing her improv talents at The Second City (she won a scholarship), she created and starred in the musical comedy series “Bogan Pride” (“like ‘Glee,’ but ahead of its time”).

Now she’s booking projects like crazy, including “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “Struck by Lightning” with “Glee” star Chris Colfer.

LAUGH FACTS
P.O.V.:“I think I appear very innocent and soft, but I’m actually very dark and edgy. It’s a weird dichotomy.”
Influences: “Jennifer Saunders from ‘Ab Fab’ and Tina Fey. They’re true writer-performers.”
Reps: WME/Andy Corren Mgmt.

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