This time, Rebel Wilson had to be reigned in.
“He’s German and he’s never done a comedy before,” she says of the filmmaker’s approach during a recent interview. “His style isn’t like Leslie’s husband, Judd Apatow—which is very improvised—so we’d start improvising and he’s like, ‘I like it when you just stick to the script.’”
Wilson says she explained to him that in America, comedic-actors often make things up on the spot, which yields “the better jokes.” Still rebuffed, that didn’t stop her from trying.
She says during a lighthearted party scene, she went off the script and it failed to impress him. “I go into a story where I was partying in a pool and my cousin drowned and I didn’t realize because I was partying,” she explains. “I really wanted it in the movie, but the director said that bit was too sad. But that explained why I became an alcoholic in the film.”
In another scene when she improvised a story on her agony abused as a child by her parents. Ditter told her it was “too dark.”
But he’s not alone in not getting Wilson’s humor.
“My family reckons that I’m not funny at all, they think they’re funnier,” she says. Incredibly, the “Pitch Perfect” star admits that she never realized her comedic gifts until she was much older. “I didn’t think I was funny at all,” she admits. “I was a studious girl—very sensible and responsible. I think if I got to know people my comedy would start to come out.”
As a fuller-figured woman, Wilson uses her physicality to her advantage. “It’s always good, with comedy, to hit it at a lot of angles—not just jokes,” she says of physical comedy. “You want to mix it up a bit.”
She adds that while in college she took a course called “Comedy and Power” that explained why ladies with curves have an advantage in comedy.
“There’s a whole science to it that if a woman’s very, very attractive, it’s harder to laugh at her,” she says. “I remember being a young actress, and I wasn’t as big as I am, but I was in a play with another girl who was larger and she was getting more laughs.”
Admittedly, Wilson says her size is a large part of her appeal—but so is her personality.
“I think I could lose weight and now I’d have such a good fan base I would do slightly different things but it would be just as interesting and funny,” she explains, adding, “A lot of larger girls and actresses get pushed a bit more into comedy roles.”
“How to Be Single” opens Feb. 12.