Pitch Perfect star and all-round funny woman Rebel Wilson was called out for lying about her age in 2015, but now she's explained the real reason she did it. While the Aussie actress had put herself at 29, sources added another SEVEN years onto that figure, making Rebel, in fact, in her flirty thirties.
So why shave seven years off? Speaking to Australian TV show Home Delivery, Rebel revealed "when I did go to America, I kind of just stopped saying my age. [Hollywood] are [judgemental], but the reality is when you work in America, you have to show your passport and your visa for every single job, so it's not like you can hide how old you were. I was just being a lady and not telling my age. That's not really a crime. Also, most actresses do that".
We totally get that. Rebel's repeating what she told Who magazine earlier in 2015, when she said that the industry's harsh judgement of age, particularly towards women, made her do it; "To be called out by the press on something most sensible business-minded people would have done in my position, it was a bit hurtful".
That's fair enough, especially when actresses in Hollywood have such a limited 'playing range' - there's not a lot of time before female actresses are cut off from playing love interests and move on to being on-screen mothers.
The claims came after an old classmate told Woman’s Day Australia that Rebel is actually 36, seven years older than her ‘stage age’ of 29. ‘She was born in 1979 and we left school in 1997’, continued the fellow student at Tara Anglican School for Girls, adding ‘she had a very normal, upper-middle-class upbringing. No-one knew of a Rebel Wilson. Her name is – or was - Melanie Elizabeth Bownds’.
Melanie!? This is a far cry from the dog-training, ghetto-living, Malaria-ridden Sydney lifestyle that Rebel (if that’s even her name…) has regaled us with since she burst onto the scene in Bridesmaids. Rebel cleared up those name rumours with Home Delivery, too, saying "I went under one of my middle names, Melanie, and my father's surname. And also, Rebel, at a Christian girl's school, is not like the best name to have". She's not wrong...
The plot thickens as Australian business records reveal a certain Rebel Melanie Elizabeth Wilson (I mean…) was born on March 2 1980, and is the director of Bogan Pride Productions, the name of the Australian comedy series created by Miss Wilson. We’re no Sherlock, but I think it’s safe to say Rebel was born at the dawn of the 1980s, rather than towards the end.
But Rebel revealed the truth shortly after the accusations through her Twitter page, revealing once and for all that she is actually…100 years old. And called CC Chalice. Ok, maybe not.
It’s not uncommon for those in the spotlight to add a little fantasy to their back-story and knock a few years off. And can we blame them? Showbusiness is a tough nut to crack, and, sadly, it's one that favours the young. Children are tapped as young as 13 for adult modelling campaigns, as well as roles in film and TV, and those who begin to show any signs of ageing – God forbid – are pushed out by younger, smoother stars. Bombshell Jessica Chastain has always been famously elusive about her real age, telling The Independent ‘I will never say my age because I'm an actress, and I want to play different ages’. Model Agyness Deyn also confessed to slicing six years off her age when she broke into mainstream modelling at 24, fooling everyone into thinking she was 18.
But at the end of the day, does it even matter? Who here hasn't fudged the truth about their age once in a while? Exactly. The problem isn’t with these funny, gorgeous and talented stars telling a little fib – it’s with an industry that sees women above 40 as ‘past it’. When you’re watching Pitch Perfect, are you laughing out loud at Rebel flashing President Obama, or wondering how many birthdays she’s had? And while we would absolutely love some birthday cake, we don’t care how many candles are on the top.