Rebel Wilson says idea only gay actors can play gay roles ‘is total nonsense’

Estimated read time 3 min read

Australian actor Rebel Wilson has said the idea that “only straight actors can play straight roles and gay actors can play gay roles” is “total nonsense”.

The Pitch Perfect star, 44, spoke to radio presenter Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and was asked if women can get away with different jokes compared with men. “I’ve definitely said a lot of edgy jokes, and said them sometimes in very public places like the Baftas,” she said.

“Yeah I don’t think there’s a different standard, it’s more this thing about – if you are something then now you’re allowed to joke about it. So say, if you are overweight, you can say jokes. But if you’re not (you can’t) that’s kind of what’s currently happening. So it’s not really gendered.”

Reflecting on whether this is a good or bad thing, she said: “I think that’s hard. 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. 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.”

She added: “If people are just always being safe and protective, you’re not going to get good comedy from that.”

Bridesmaids actor Wilson also discussed her relationship with fiancee Ramona Agruma, who she proposed to in Disneyland last year.

On coming out to their respective families, Wilson said: “I’m lucky in my case, even though I come from a very conservative background, it went very, very well … My grandparents, who are in their 90s, just so chilled and cool with it.

“Ramona’s family, not as much. Her mum has luckily come around now, her father still doesn’t talk to her, but we’re hoping that will change.”

Wilson said she had been in the process of using a surrogate to have a child when she met Agruma – having to tell her just three months into their relationship.

“I’d already been planning to use a surrogate to have a child and I’d done several rounds of IVF and I had one embryo transfer, which sadly didn’t work,” Wilson said.

“Almost right at meeting Ramona, I was planning on the second embryo transfer and I was like, ‘Babe I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m going to have a child kind of around November.’”

She added: “Ramona just looked at me and said, ‘Well, I love you and if you have a child, I’m going to love your child exactly the same way.’”

The TV presenter and actor added that she hoped her daughter Royce, born in November 2022, had her work ethic and always feels loved.

The full interview with Wilson will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 10am and will also be available on BBC Sounds.


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