Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson (born Melanie Elizabeth Bownds; 2 March 1980) is an Australian stand-up comedian, actress, and writer. After graduating from the Australian Theatre for Young People in 2003, she began appearing as Toula on the SBS comedy series Pizza and the sketch comedy series The Wedge. In 2008, Wilson wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride. The following year, she won the Tropfest best actress award for her role in Bargain and made a guest appearance in City Homicide. Shortly after moving to the United States, Wilson was cast as Brynn in the feature film Bridesmaids.
Full Name at Birth
Melanie Elizabeth Bownds
Profile Bio Text
Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson (born Melanie Elizabeth Bownds; 2 March 1980) is an Australian actress, writer, producer, director, and stand-up comedienne, known for her roles in the television series Pizza and Bogan Pride and the film Bridesmaids.
Early and personal life
"Rebel" is her real given name. Wilson was born and raised in Sydney with her three siblings, Liberty, Ryot and Annachi. Liberty and Ryot were on the first season of The Amazing Race Australia. Her parents were professional dog showers. Throughout high school Wilson's first career choice was mathematics. Wilson told The Sydney Morning Herald, "I was very academic at high school and was always good with numbers." Wilson attended the University of New South Wales, where she studied Law and Arts (Theatre and Performance Studies). She is a former Rotary International Youth Ambassador for Australia and was based in South Africa for one year, where she contracted malaria. Wilson had hallucinations in which she saw herself as an actress who had won an Oscar. This then convinced her to pursue an acting career.
In July 2011, Wilson became a spokesperson for weight loss and nutrition company Jenny Craig in Australia.
Wilson studied at the Australian Theatre for Young People. In 2003, she moved to New York after she won a scholarship with The Second City Training Centre. Wilson is a writer, producer and stand-up comedian, and has appeared with the Sydney Theatre Company and performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She first came to the public's attention with her 2002 stage musical The Westie Monologues which she wrote, starred in and produced in Sydney. Her follow-up stage productions which she wrote, produced and starred in include Spunks and Confessions of an Exchange Student.
In Australia, Wilson is most known for her roles as Toula on SBS comedy series Pizza and as various characters on the sketch comedy series The Wedge. Wilson played an Australian Idol mad schoolgirl in a series of Telstra advertisements shown during Australian Idol from 2004 to 2005. She also had roles in the feature films Fat Pizza and Ghost Rider. In 2008, Wilson created, wrote, produced and starred in the musical comedy series Bogan Pride on SBS One and also starred in the improvisational Nine Network series Monster House.
In 2009, Wilson won the Tropfest "Best Actress" award for her role in the film Bargain. She has made appearances on the improvisational comedy show Thank God You're Here and the comedy game show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation. She also performed stand-up on the television special The Breast Darn Show In Town. Wilson guest starred in the Seven Network drama City Homicide and performed improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles.
Upon moving to the United States, Wilson signed to talent and literary agents William Morris Endeavor. Her first US film role came in the Judd Apatow film Bridesmaids, where she played Brynn, the sister of Matt Lucas' character. Wilson then appeared in the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement and on the Comedy Central series, Workaholics. She co-hosted the 2010 ARIA Music Awards and performed at the inaugural Variety's Power of Comedy event in Los Angeles with Lucas and Russell Brand.
In early 2011, Wilson filmed A Few Best Men at Fox Studios Australia. Wilson will appear in rom-com This Means War, alongside Reese Witherspoon. She has also filmed a role in Small Apartments. On 11 July 2011, it was announced Wilson had joined the ensemble comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting as Janice. She has also joined the upcoming Indie film, Struck By Lightning. Wilson was named one of Variety magazine's "Top Ten Comics To Watch for 2011."
On 19 August 2011, The Hollywood Reporter reported Wilson had replaced Casey Wilson in the upcoming film Bachelorette. The magazine also reported Wilson has become the first person to be cast in the romantic comedy Pitch Perfect and she will appear in Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Australian Theatre for Young People
University of New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Actress, Comedian, Writer, Producer, Director
Claim to Fame
Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect
Liberty Wilson, Annachi Wilson
Actor/Actress, Writer, Producer
Has Detailed Data (New)
2002–present, 2003–present, 1999–present
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Usually, plays characters with sarcastic sense of humor
Jenny Craig, Dish
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