ABC is hoping that lightning will strike twice from the hit movie “Bridesmaids.” It first hit the successful CBS comedy, “Mike & Molly,” starring Melissa McCarthy. Now, ABC is trying its luck with another “Bridesmaids” plus-size star: Rebel Wilson, the star and co-creator of its new comedy “Super Fun Night.”
“The purpose of the show, to me, is to inspire girls who don’t think they are cool, or popular, or pretty and all that, to get out there and have fun and exciting lives,” Wilson told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “To do that, you need to present a realistic version of what it is like for a girl who looks like me and isn’t the coolest. There are some sad storylines coming down the line, but I think we have to present that, so when we present the wins for my character, it is more gratifying.”
In “Super Fun Night,” Wilson plays Kimmie Boubier, who for the past 13 years has spent Friday nights with her two best friends and roommates, hiding from life. When the series picks up, Kimmie has just had a promotion at work and decides it is time to shake things up.
“I used to do this thing with my sister,” Wilson said. “She worked at a candy factory and she would bring [home samples]. We would eat and watch DVDs. I started to think, ‘There is more fun than this,’ even though at the time I thought it was fun. I forced myself to go out into the world in social situations. That’s where it comes from.”
The series, of course, has its share of requisite fat jokes and embarrassing situations for Kimmie. So much so that executive producer Conan O’Brien said he is often tempted to step in and defend her, but he says that he then discovers that some of the saddest material was written by Wilson herself.
“I think great comediennes know the balance inherently,” O’Brien said. “[Look at] the situations that Lucille Ball put herself in; the situations Tina Fey put herself in. It is not our place to tell Rebel. She knows what she’s doing. She has an unerring ability to hit that balance. You sometimes cringe, but she is so likeable that you are in it with her. When she achieves her goal, it is exciting.”
As for why Wilson isn’t using her charming Australian accent, but has gone “American” for “Super Fun Night,” she explained, “I started out in the theater as an actress doing all different characters in all different accents. When I first came to America, I was doing movies and thought I would be American all the time, but the way it worked out was that I was playing more international characters. So when I had the opportunity to do this TV show in America, the concept was three girls living in Manhattan who have known each other since they were 13 or 14 years of age, so I just really thought I had to make this character American.”
“Super Fun Night” premieres Wednesday, October 2, at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.