Rebel Wilson says it's 'total nonsense' that only gay actors should portray gay characters

Rebel Wilson says it's 'total nonsense' that only gay actors should portray gay characters
  • Rebel Wilson criticizes limiting actors to roles based on their sexuality.

  • Wilson discussed the topic on BBC's Desert Island Discs, calling such views "total nonsense."

  • Wilson also addressed alleged mistreatment by Sacha Baron Cohen on the set of "The Brothers Grimsby."

Rebel Wilson is sounding off on the always hot-button topic in Hollywood of whether your gender or sexual representation should dictate the characters you play on screen.

In the latest episode of BBC's Desert Island Discs, she said it was "total nonsense" to think that gay actors can only play gay characters.

The topic came up early in the episode when host Lauren Laverne asked the "Pitch Perfect" star if she felt there was a different standard for the kinds of jokes women comics make versus men.

"I don't think there's a different standard, it's more this thing that if you are something, you are now allowed to joke about it," Wilson said at the 3:30 mark. "If you are overweight, you can say [those] jokes."

Laverne then asked if that was a good thing.

"I think that's hard," said Wilson, who came out as gay in June 2022 and shares a child with fiancée Ramona Agruma. "It's going into this territory of like saying, 'Well, only straight actors can play straight roles and gay actors can play gay roles,' which I think is total nonsense."

"I think you should be able to play any role that you want," she continued. "But I always think, in comedy, your job is to always flirt with that line of what's acceptable. Sometimes you do step over it, but at the end of the day, you are trying to entertain people. People won't be entertained if people are always being safe and protective, you're not going to get good comedy from that."

Rebel Wilson as Dawn and Sacha Baron Cohen as Nobby in "The Brothers Grimsby."
Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Brothers Grimsby."Sony Pictures Releasing

Later in the episode, the "Bridesmaids" star spoke about her claims in her new memoir, "Rebel Rising," that she was mistreated by Sacha Baron Cohen on the set of the 2016 comedy "The Brothers Grimsby." (Baron Cohen has denied Wilson's claims; the allegation was redacted from the UK version of the memoir.)

Wilson called working on the movie her "worst professional experience."

"I stayed in a situation and had things said to me and stuff that I should have left," she continued at the 33:40 mark. "The me now would be strong enough, but back then I just didn't have enough self-esteem to leave, and I thought I'd be labeled as unprofessional if I left."

Asked if she feels better having brought that experience to light, Wilson said it was a "final release of the emotions" to tell the story in her memoir.

"If it can help a few people out there then it's worth it," she said.

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