Hollywood’s track record with a healthy body image—be that what the industry projects outwardly or how it polices stars’ bodies inwardly—is less than stellar, to say the least. This is true not just in how showbusiness puts undue pressure on performers to be thin, but also in the way it forces fat actors into playing certain stereotypical roles. Rebel Wilson has spoken about this at length over the course of her highly publicized weight loss journey, and continues to reveal the invasive ways that her professional life encroached upon her relationship with her own body.
Appearing on the latest episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast, Wilson says she “did wait until Pitch Perfect seemed like it was over” to kickstart what she called her “Year of Health.” That’s because “I couldn’t lose a massive amount of weight because I was in the contracts for that movie,” she reveals. “You can’t lose, I think it was not more than 10 pounds, or gain more than 10 pounds. You have to kind of stay at the weight, it’s like, in your contract.”
Wilson’s character in the films is called “Fat Amy,” which does tie the character to a certain weight. (For what it’s worth, Wilson says she “loved” playing the character and had the “best fun” filming the trilogy.) Yet it still seems inappropriate for a film studio to make any mandate about an actor’s body, particularly when the character’s weight could easily be written around. They could just call her “Amy,” or her actual name, which, for the record, is “Patricia.”
But the studio—or whoever drew up her Pitch Perfect contract—wasn’t the only part of the Hollywood machine that had qualms about the actor changing sizes. Wilson previously shared that she “got a lot of pushback from my own team” when she decided to “physically transform and change my life,” as she explained to the BBC. “And they were like, ‘Why? Why would you wanna do that?’ Because I was earning millions of dollars being the funny fat girl and being that person.”
“I was stereotyped in playing that fat funny friend, which is so hard because I love those roles. I love doing the roles. I love those characters,” she reflects now on Call Her Daddy. “But then I did want to do more things but I felt like being the bigger girl you’re just more pigeonholed.”