Rebel Wilson talks new Netflix comedy “Senior Year”

Rebel Wilson is Stephanie Conway in “Senior Year.”

Noah Levine, Life & Arts Film Columnist

Rebel Wilson (“Pitch Perfect” “Bridesmaids”) returns to screens with brand new Netflix comedy film “Senior Year,” streaming now. In the coming of age comedy, young high school senior Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice) falls into a coma during a cheerleading accident, only to wake up 20 years later as an adult (Wilson). Desperate to win back her lost time, Stephanie enrolls back in high school where she’s met with the both comedic and sad reality of waking up in a new decade. 

The Daily Texan: How much work did you do with the actress portraying your younger self?

Rebel Wilson: I’m quite hard to imitate. My accent is neutral Australian which is quite difficult to do. We looked at quite a lot of girls, and I was like, “Let’s just go with Angourie because she’s a great actress, and she’s not really known for doing comedy.” So we brought her in from Australia. She had done “Mare of Eastown.” She played Kate Winslet’s daughter in that, and she has a small role in the “Spider-Man” movies…

We did hang out a couple times when we were on the plane going from LA to Atlanta, where we shot. I was so busy because I was producing the film as well. She would watch the dallies and how I was doing the scenes. I don’t know how she did it, but she’s very studious and a great actress analyzing timing. I watched the movie and was like, “She did it really, really good!” I’m so proud of it. She’s already booked like three movies now from this movie, so I’m sure she’s going to do many more funny, cool roles, as well as serious stuff.

DT: How did you juggle being both a producer and lead actor on this film?

RW: It can get hectic. I’ve yet to do directing and acting, but I’d like to try that in the future. I had a great producing partner on this in Todd Garner, who’s done hundreds of  the best movies. Sometimes during filming you have to just be like, “Okay. I am the lead actress, and I have to just focus on that.”  Todd would take on a lot of the dramas, which there basically were none. We were on time, and everyone was fun and nice.

Literally, I was doing dance rehearsals on Sundays just to fit it in. We would do script meetings with the director on a Saturday to prepare for the next week. Then Monday to Friday sometimes I’m like, “I have to go have a nap in my trailer.” It can get a lot some days, and we had a lot of COVID restrictions. It’s tricky, but I love helping with the casting. I’m mainly a creative producer who does the script stuff, and I worked with my mate Brandon Scott Jones, who I met on my movie “Isn’t it Romantic” as an actor. I worked with him on getting this script, which didn’t have cheerleading (in it) before.