Rebel Wilson
Aussie goss

Separating fact from fiction: Will the real Rebel Wilson please stand up?

Only in Woman’s Day: Rebel Wilson’s real background is very different from the stories she tells.

According to Rebel Wilson, she’s 29, was raised by dog-training “bogan” parents in the “ghetto” of Sydney, spent a year in Zimbabwe, climbed into a cage with a leopard, got caught in a shoot-out and then struck down by a severe strain of Malaria from a mozzie in Mozambique where, from her ICU bed, she envisioned herself winning an Oscar and rapping her acceptance speech.

But far from the outlandish Hollywood movie-like life she’s portrayed to the public, an old classmate says Rebel had a “very normal, upper-middle-class upbringing” and has added a touch of “fantasy” to the life she lead before becoming a household name.

“She’s clearly got a vivid imagination,” laughs our source. “Maybe you have to tell stories to make it in Hollywood!”

Rebel Wilson, or should we say Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, back at school.
Rebel Wilson, or should we say Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, back at school.

“I studied with Rebel at Tara Anglican School for Girls in North Parramatta, Sydney,” spills the source. “But no-one knew of a Rebel Wilson. Her name is – or was – Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, and she’s 36 – she was born in 1979 and we left school in 1997.”

Rebel’s star has soared to global proportions following her scene-stealing role in the cult hit Bridesmaids.

Her comedic charm – and her ability to tell a good yarn – has won her a legion of A-list fans, including Jennifer Lawrence and heartthrob Channing Tatum, but it turns out she never cracked jokes at school.

Rebel Wilson was a straight-A student.
Rebel Wilson was a straight-A student.

“She was definitely not the class clown; none of us remember her being funny,” says the insider. While Rebel paints a picture of a gypsy upbringing, her family home was certainly not in any “ghetto”.

After school, the Aussie star went to study law at university, but shortly after, she fell off the radar from her school friends.

To read more about Rebel Wilson’s real story, pick up a copy of this week’s Woman’s Day, on sale 18th May 2015.