Even as a bonafide movie star with an extensive catalog of hits, Rebel Wilson remains perpetually forced to talk about her weight and what prompted her 2020 weight loss. In a Wednesday conversation with Call Her Daddy host Alex Cooper, Wilson shared that despite wanting to lose weight earlier, she was required by her Pitch Perfect contract to “stay at the weight” she was when she was cast. The Australian actor said she had to “wait until Pitch Perfect seemed like it was over” before taking any steps to change her appearance.
“I couldn’t lose a massive amount of weight because it was in the contract for that movie. You can’t lose—I think it’s not more than 10 pounds, or gain more than 10 pounds,” Wilson said, explaining that her contract had boxed her into a caricature: “I was stereotyped in playing that fat, funny friend, which is so hard because I love those roles.” She continued, “I love doing the roles. I love those characters. But then I did want to do more things. I felt like being the bigger girl, you’re just more pigeonholed.”
Wilson has previously spoken about being forced into a stereotype at the urging of her team. She told People last year that she decided to lose weight and embark on a personal health and fitness journey in 2019 after visiting a fertility doctor—only to receive “a lot of pushback from my own team.”
“When I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna do this year of health, I’m really gonna physically transform and change my life,’ and they were like ‘Why? Why would you want to do that?’” Wilson told the magazine. She claims her team was perplexed by her decision “because I was earning millions of dollars” as “that funny fat girl.”
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While Wilson has been open about her relationship with her body and how it’s changed through the years, she’s also criticized public obsession with her weight. “In 2019, I had four movies come out, two which I [also] produced and one, Jojo Rabbit, which got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture,” Wilson told the Daily Telegraph in 2021. But most coverage of her, she said, continues to focus on “when I do nothing except lose weight.”
Of course, it’s pretty standard in Hollywood for an actor to have to be a certain weight for a role. Charlize Theron, for instance, was required to gain 50 pounds for her role in the 2018 film Tully and spoke about the impact of this requirement on her mental health. But the cultural fixation with Wilson’s body and the role of her weight as an indelible feature of her early comedy career are relatively unique to the actor. Societal obsession with celebrities’ weight and bodies is pervasive, but few have been subjected to the level of scrutiny and pigeonholing that Wilson has.