Entertainment

Rebel Wilson repays theatre group with big donation after being rejected from NIDA

How being rejected by Australia’s top acting school FOUR times led Rebel Wilson to an amateur theatre group to learn her craft – and now she’s repaid them with an incredible donation


She may very well be one of Australia’s most famous expats, but Hollywood star Rebel Wilson hasn’t forgotten where she came from.

In a humble move, the Pitch Perfect star donated an incredible $1million to the Australian Theatre For Young People, based in Sydney’s Walsh Bay.

The small school gave Rebel her start in acting after she’d been rejected from Australia’s top acting school, the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), four times.

Generous: Rebel Wilson has donated an incredible $1million to the theatre company that accepted her as a student after she was rejected four times from Australia’s top acting school

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the 41-year-old’s donation comes after the school was renamed to Rebel Theatre.

Artistic director Fraser Corfield told the publication that the company was grateful for Rebel’s ‘extraordinary generosity’.

‘It’s hard to explain the significance of this to the company,’ he said. ‘It’s a game-changer for ATYP and for youth arts generally.’

In 1999, a young Rebel signed up to attend weekly classes at ATYP, following four rejections from NIDA.

Young and ambitious: In 1999, a young Rebel signed up to attend weekly classes at ATYP, following four rejections from NIDA

Young and ambitious: In 1999, a young Rebel signed up to attend weekly classes at ATYP, following four rejections from NIDA

At the time, Rebel was in her 20s and trying to study for a law degree, but was still making time to partake in acting classes because she felt supported there.  

‘ATYP was just very inclusive and I think encouraging of people who were unique and original,’ she said. 

‘They weren’t trying to fit you into their mould. They were just encouraging of you as how you were. That’s what I really liked about them.’

Inclusive: 'ATYP was just very inclusive and I think encouraging of people who were unique and original,' she said

Inclusive: ‘ATYP was just very inclusive and I think encouraging of people who were unique and original,’ she said

She also noted that Australian TV shows like Home and Away would never have cast her at the time, as there was a lack of diversity on screens. 

Thanks to her training at the theatre, Rebel has gone on to forge quite a career for herself in Hollywood with films like Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids.

Rebel just wrapped up her latest project, Senior Year, a comedy in which she plays cheerleader trying to reclaim her high-school life after being in a coma for 20 years. 

Success: It appears her stint at the theatre in her 20s was worthy, given Rebel has gone on to forge quite a career for herself in Tinsel Town in films like The Isn't It Romantic and Jojo Rabbit

Success: It appears her stint at the theatre in her 20s was worthy, given Rebel has gone on to forge quite a career for herself in Tinsel Town in films like The Isn’t It Romantic and Jojo Rabbit

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