Why Rebel Wilson thinks Cats will become a classic
ALTHOUGH actor Rebel Wilson admits she was disappointed that Cats bombed at the box office, she believes it will go to become a classic - like Rocky Horror.
Hollywood has long perpetuated a certain look for romantic leads. What reaction did you get when you played the lead in Netflix's Isn't It Romantic last year?
I found, out of anything in 2019 - I had four movies come out, and shot three TV series; two of which haven't come out yet - that Isn't It Romantic and my character Natalie resonated the most with people. It was definitely in the top 10 movies of last year. Netflix did tell me it was the third-highest-watched movie, but that could be in the Pacific territorities.
So many people related to it, and I love that because it was kind of my story about being very closed off to love, and having to love yourself first in order to be open to love. It is my views on love and my evolution as a person.
How important is it for people of all body types to be represented on our screens?
I am the average size of the American and Australian woman, and yet plus-size actresses have less than one per cent of all leading roles, I think, even though they are the majority of women.
If you think about it in those terms, it's still really important to have representation like me in those type of leading-lady roles because it's still unfair. And the beauty standards put up there, especially for young women, [they] can be unfair at times. I'm so proud of the film, of the message. In the works that I do, I am trying to put those positive messages in there.
You're in the middle of writing your first feature film Seoul Girls, which is set in the world of K-pop [Korean pop music]. You're also producing. Why this particular topic?
Being Australian and growing up here, you have a lot of Asian influences because Asia is our closest neighbour. I was lucky to produce my first two movies [with production company Camp Sugar] that came out last year, Isn't It Romantic and The Hustle. Both were really successful and profitable in their own ways.
I really want to be conscious of diversity with Seoul Girls because there are a lot of stories that I have to tell about my own life in the future that are probably more Caucasian stories, as that's my background. There's a possibility that we might shoot in Australia, too, which is cool. I love working in Australia.
You must be excited to see it all come together.
It's challenging because this is the first movie I've written, and I'm learning a lot. It's very much in the vein of Pitch Perfect [the a capella film franchise that shot Wilson to stardom in the US]. It's a really diverse bunch of teenage girls. I think it's a great opportunity.
I was given those opportunities when I was younger, so I just want to pass that on to other people. I'm obviously in a position of power now in the entertainment industry and it's important to take on the responsibility with diversity and different representation, whether it's ethnicity or body type or whatever.
One of your most-talked about films is Cats [released December 2019]. There has been a lot of noise around that film - what's your take?
I wish Cats had done better at the box office. It's such an artistic movie, with all-live singing and dancing. It's an incredible international cast. I feel like people were a bit scared of it, and the new technology. They thought it was a bit freaky or something.
But hopefully people find it later. Sometimes with musicals that are a bit obscure... Rocky Horror kind of bombed when it came out and now it's a cult classic. So hopefully Cats finds a new life when it comes out on streaming services and is able to be downloaded.
Your other film Jojo Rabbit has generated a much more positive buzz.
Gosh, I'm so proud to be a part of that. It was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. I'm trying to transition to more dramatic roles in film, so that movie is a really special one to be a part of.
You're on a roll with animals in your project titles as you're now hosting Seven Network's new reality TV series Pooch Perfect, which features professional pet stylists competing against each other. Yet you're allergic to dogs...
I grew up in a dog-show family, and how our family made money was we had a yellow caravan that we would take to dog shows all around Australia and sell pet products out of [it]. What was weird to me was that I never really liked holding dogs and I never knew why. I was what's called a junior handler, and went in the junior handling competitions, and would make it to the finals in the Royal Easter Show. I never realised until later that I am actually allergic to dogs and cats.
I took an antihistamine every day before filming with the dogs on Pooch Perfect. Sometimes there was so much hair flying around in the Pooch Palace [the set], I would get a bit of a headache.
Everything looks so pristine in the Palace, but was it less Pooch Perfect and more "picking up the pooch poop"?
[Laughs.] You know what? I never saw poop inside the Pooch Palace. Never.
If you could be any type of dog, what would you be?
My favourite dog is a bichon frise because they are hypoallergenic, and they were the dogs I gravitated more towards when I was junior handling. They're so cute.
You've been interviewed by the crème de la crème of interviewers, but is there a question you'd like to be asked that no-one ever has?
I don't know if there would be a question, but there is an interviewer who I'd love to be interviewed by, which is Oprah. She is a hero of mine. I was once behind her in a buffet line, but I felt like it wasn't appropriate to talk to her then [laughs].
Pooch Perfect is coming soon to the Seven Network.