Rebel Wilson says Sacha Baron Cohen film was ‘worst experience’ of her career

Australian actress Rebel Wilson has said starring in comedy film Grimsby was “the worst professional experience of my career”.

The Pitch Perfect actress starred opposite Sacha Baron Cohen, 52, in the 2016 comedy film about a spy and his idiotic brother, and said she felt “disrespected on set”.

It comes after Wilson, 44, revealed on Instagram on Monday that her forthcoming memoir, Rebel Rising, would include a chapter about Borat actor Baron Cohen.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, she said: “It turned out to be the worst professional experience of my career.”

“It’s one thing for someone who is fat to exploit their size for comedy, but it’s another for somebody else to humiliate you,” she added.

Wilson said she felt costumes were chosen to “see all the cellulite on my thighs and a top to show the fattest part of my arm”, leaving her feeling “like I was something to be laughed at and degraded because of my size”.

She also said she felt her character was being “demeaned” after a stripper was hired to portray her running naked around a football pitch.

Wilson returned months later for the film’s reshoots.

She said: “The fact that I then went back… I felt ashamed of myself. Why do I have such low self-worth?”

The World Premiere of Grimsby – London
Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Nobby attending The World Premiere of Grimsby (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The actress and TV presenter said she left feeling “shaken” and added that “it took months to recover”.

Wilson claims she could not help but feel “disrespected on set”, and said she did not say more at the time out of fear of being labelled “a troublemaker”.

The Bridesmaids actress also reflected on how she has used her image to further her career and said making herself look “ugly” was a part of her plan.

“When I was younger I deliberately made myself less attractive,” Wilson said.

“I wanted to make something of myself, have a great career and make a lot of money,” she added.

“I knew I wouldn’t be taken seriously like a Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman, but I quickly realised that the bigger you were, the more audiences laughed.

The 95th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Rebel Wilson and Ramona Agruma attending the Vanity Fair Oscar Party (Doug Peters/PA)

“So I’d have my gut hanging out and wear micro-shorts on stage, no make-up, stuff that horrified my mother.

“It was a really conscious decision to look ugly. It was part of my plan.”

Wilson is known for playing comedic characters such as Fat Amy in the American musical comedy film Pitch Perfect (2012) and its two sequels.

She has also starred in Taika Waititi’s film Jojo Rabbit (2019) and Tom Hooper-directed movie musical Cats (2019).

Baron Cohen’s representatives have been approached for comment.