Rebel Wilson is having, as Hollywood types say, a moment. She's fresh off a successful turn as the funniest person in Pitch Perfect, she's due to host the MTV Movie Awards this Sunday, and her new film, Michael Bay's Pain & Gain (which, you may have heard, is based on a Miami New Times story), hits theaters April 26.
But Wilson wasn't always so recognizable. In fact, at least one Hollywood big-shot damn near crushed her dreams of meeting a fellow Aussie star. That big shot was Russell Crowe, Wilson told Jay Leno last night.
Strutting onto the stage in a turquoise track suit and puffy pink sneakers with stuffed poodles attached ("They attract the attention away from my double chin," she quipped), Wilson explained that she was granted a Nicole Kidman Scholarship at the Australian Theatre for Young People when she was just starting out.
"Some people go, 'She's had training? What?' Yeah, no, I have," she laughed.
The money paid for living expenses while Wilson was in New York to study comedy, so naturally Wilson had dreams of thanking Kidman in person for the opportunity.
"One time in Sydney, I saw her having dinner with Russell Crowe," Wilson remembered. "and I go 'OK, now's my chance to say thank you.' And I went up to them."
But Wilson's warm, fuzzy moment was promptly destroyed by Mr. Gladiator himself. "But before I could say anything, Russell Crowe just turns to me and says, 'Fuck off! Fuck off!' So I just, like, I just put my head down and walked away.
"So, thanks Nicole," Wilson laughed. "It's a true story!"
Wilson also dropped hints about what to expect from Pain & Gain, which she called a "true crime drama." (Wait -- it's not a comedy?) She looked genuinely bashful confessing to Leno that the film contains her first-ever sex scene.
"So we're kind of doing the scene, and it's not supposed to be a funny scene ... and then Michael Bay, the director, says, "Uh, I'm not sure this is quite sexy enough.' And I said, 'I know what'll make it more sexy: nunchucks.' I just happened to have brought my nunchucks that day, and then we incorporated them into the bedroom scene."
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She's not kidding -- those nunchucks are in full display in the film:
Pain & Gain opens April 26.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.