Rebel Wilson stars with Anne Hathaway in a con-artist comedy The Hustle. She talks with Michele Manelis.


I was really intrigued by the movie because we've all been conned in some way or another. I imagine that must have happened to you too?
Yeah, I was conned. I was in Beverly Hills and met this lady who I thought was a doctor. She told me about this pill [with which] you can lose weight very quickly. I'm someone who's very comfortable in myself and my body so I don't know what was wrong with me that day, maybe I was just particularly vulnerable or susceptible but I gave this woman money and took the pill. Then I'm like, "I don't reckon anything ... [is happening]. Something's weird."

So, what did you do?
A few days later I realised they'd taken money out of my credit card as well, so I shut it down and got the money refunded. That woman wasn't a doctor, she was a con artist. And I had that feeling of being robbed, which has happened to me before. I feel like I'm a pretty smart, sceptical person but yet somehow I was also victim of a con. So, it does happen and elaborate cons can happen to celebrities.

Anne Hathaway as Josephine Chesterfield, left, and Rebel Wilson as Penny Rust, in a scene from The Hustle.(Christian Black/Metro
Anne Hathaway as Josephine Chesterfield, left, and Rebel Wilson as Penny Rust, in a scene from The Hustle.(Christian Black/Metro

Happy to see that you joined the Mile-High club in The Hustle.

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Ah, yes. But you do realise that we didn't really do it? We were in that little bathroom for like four hours but it was so good. We were just so quick with each other. Wait, not sexually. I mean, with the dialogue!

Is there anything you won't do onscreen?
Well, I've never done nudity ... and I've been asked a few times. I was like, "Why would you want me?" So, I've never done nudity in a film - that's the one thing I won't do.

Anne Hathaway's character refers to you as "a big-titted Russell Crowe". Does he know he's in the movie, if by name only?
Well, I haven't told Russ yet.

You have an interesting relationship with him.
Yes. The first time I met him, I was a very young actor and he was having dinner with Nicole Kidman. And I went up to try to say something to Nicole, actually and he told me to f*** off. And so I talked about it on a talk show. He heard the story and when I met him at an Australian awards party, he came up, hugged me and said, "I thought I told you to f*** off!'

Sounds like you're on friendlier terms these days?
Yes. I feel like it. Even though I've made continuous jokes about him in the past few years. I don't know. I do love him as an actor.

How much of a hustler do you have to be to make it in Hollywood?
I think you have to be such a hustler to make it. I remember hearing a story about Amy Adams before she got the role in the movie, Doubt. She hustled and she lied. She said she was going to be in New York [for the auditions] and she wasn't. She flew herself out to New York, got in front of the director and said some things she could do.

What have you lied about to get a role?
I've said, "Yeah, sure, I can horse-ride," and "Of course I can play the violin."

What's the best advice anyone gave you?

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Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect.
Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect.

When I first came to Hollywood, Amy Poehler told me, "No matter how successful you get, you're always going to have to self-generate. No one's going to hand you the perfect script, no one's going to hand you the perfect role - but sometimes you can get lucky." And I did get pretty lucky when I got Pitch Perfect.

Congratulations on winning the lawsuit in Australia against Bauer Media. Do you think it's going to change things for celebrities moving forward?
I think we definitely exposed some stuff that was going on in Australia, which was just an absolute, complete disregard for the truth. They were just trying to get click bait by writing things that were absolutely fake. And I think we exposed Bauer Media for a lot of their practices, even things that weren't particular to my case, like when they would Photoshop images to make them seem like they were from a particular day, or of a particular person and they weren't even that person. So I'm happy about that. I know that some magazines in Australia have started doing ethical classes for journalists as a result of my case, which I think is really positive. They've definitely stopped making up stuff about me which I'm very happy about personally. Hopefully, it's made some positive changes.

Every actor practises their Oscar speech. What about you?
You know, I had a vision when I was 18 that I won an Oscar and that I gave an acceptance rap instead of a speech but I feel like I can't do that now because of Lin-Manuel Miranda. When he won the Tony, he gave an acceptance rap and I would look like I'm copying him now. I feel like I have to get in an Oscar-worthy movie – it might happen this year with Cats, and Jojo Rabbit, the Taika Waititi movie. Both, I think, are going to be amazing. They're very different movies, but both are going to be worthy of awards season this year.

The Hustle is out this Thursday