In the last few years, Rebel Wilson has proven to be one of Australia’s most prolific -” and least vain -” comedians. Through roles in Pizza, The Wedge and Monster House, Wilson has shown she’s unafraid to let it all hang out in the name of comedy.
It’s in her latest series Bogan Pride, though, that Wilson really pushes her lack of vanity to the limits. During the show, she can be seen sporting a shocking peroxide blonde hairpiece, a midriff-baring acid wash denim outfit that redefines the phrase muffin top, and, in one cripplingly embarrassing pool scene, a set of pubes you’d need a ride-on lawnmower to trim.
Wilson told Sydney Star Observer that, having written Bogan Pride herself, it was the first time she felt truly comedically free.
I’ve been on some other more commercial shows, and sometimes you’re censored or edited in a way that you don’t particularly like. SBS let me do whatever I wanted. They’re very carefree about letting you express yourself.
Wilson plays Jenny Cragg, a teenager negotiating her way through the ups and downs of high school life while battling dual social stigmas: she’s both a nerd and a bogan. Wilson readily admitted the series was based on her own teen years.
It’s taken from my life, growing up in Sydney’s western suburbs. It’s a work of fiction, but it’s heavily drawn from my own life. Jenny Cragg is probably the closest character to me I’ve ever played.
I always empathise with kids who don’t fit into the cool mould. I was in that cool group in year seven, until they asked me to go and smoke with them behind the gym. They kicked me out of their group when I wouldn’t. They all dropped out in year 10 when they got pregnant, she said, with barely disguised glee.
Not that it’s nice to wish bad things on people.
Oh, of course not.
But it is very interesting that the people who stay true to themselves become a lot more successful in later life.
Having screened on SBS, the six-part series is now available on DVD. Also available is a book, the Boonelg High School Yearbook, penned by Wilson herself. In something of an Australian publishing first, the Yearbook contains a saucy sealed section.
It reminds me of those old Girlfriend and Dolly magazines, with their sealed sections: -˜Ooh, should I open it? Yep, I’m gonna do it!’ she laughed.
It’s not terribly classy, but I think it’s funny.
info: Bogan Pride: Boonelg High School Yearbook is out now through Hardie Grant Books.