Rebel Wilson reveals the 'unexpected benefit' of her weight loss journey

Unapologetically is a Yahoo Life series in which women and men from all walks of life get the chance to share how they live their best life — out loud and in living color, without fear or regret — looking back at the past with a smile and embracing the future with excited anticipation.

When Rebel Wilson began her “year of health” in 2020, she knew she would likely lose weight and shed some unhealthy habits. What the Pitch Perfect actress didn’t initially realize was just how much she would gain.

“When I was heavier, it was kind of like a barrier. In some ways, that barrier protected me from things, but now that it’s gone, I’m much rawer as a person,” she tells Yahoo Life. “It’s had an unexpected benefit of helping my acting, because I’ve not got anything protecting me, I’m raw. I’ve got two movies coming out this year, the Netflix comedy Senior Year and the serious drama The Almond and the Seahorse, and I feel like, between those two movies, it’s the best work I’ve done yet. I’m just weirdly a much better actress, and I never thought that would be a side benefit.”

Wilson, who recently hosted the BAFTAs, also calls herself a “late bloomer” at 42.

“I do feel the best I’ve ever felt,” she notes. “It’s not just about how I look on the outside, but kind of how I feel about myself. I do think beauty is in all shapes. There were times when I rocked the red carpet in a size 18, size 20, and you could tell by the pictures, I was really confident and loving myself. But I knew secretly that I was engaging in some unhealthy eating behaviors, and that’s what I wanted to work on. So now, because I am a healthier person, that shines through. A lot of my friends say that even though I was confident before, I have a newfound confidence.”

Wilson's “year of health” gave way to a “hot girl summer,” she says. The star reveals that she's currently seeing someone.

"Hot girl summer was so successful that I'm off the market," Wilson shares. "So I won't be doing hot girl summer this year. Hopefully I'll be in a happy, successful relationship."

Wilson is also embarking on a brand new journey: She’s currently undergoing fertility treatments in hopes of having a family of her own, something she initially spoke about in 2021 and said partially inspired her decision to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Wilson has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which makes the process all the more challenging.

“I just know I still have eggs, so I can still try, and still have chances, but it’s a real emotional rollercoaster, where you think you might be successful and it doesn't turn out that way,” Wilson, who says she is also considering surrogacy, explains. “Having a family would be great, if I’m blessed with that. I’ll have to see. Unfortunately I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I have been trying for the past few years. I just really sympathize with anyone going through it.”

She now encourages other women to look into their options with fertility as well.

"I would say to any young women out there, even though you might be career women, like me — I just totally didn't think I would want kids — if you have the ability to freeze your eggs it just gives you a lot more options," she says.

Rebel Wilson and Jane Goodall talk forest bathing in a new video for HP. (Photo: HP)
Rebel Wilson and Jane Goodall talk forest bathing in a new video for HP. (Photo: HP)

Wilson is also looking toward the future in terms of helping the planet. She is currently working with HP on their Plant a Tree With HP campaign, which is in partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall’s Jane’s Green Hope and the Arbor Day Foundation. Every HP purchase from now through June contributes to planting 1 million trees.

“They’re giving back and supporting the environment by planting trees, because this is the best nature-based way to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and to help the environment,” she says. “So, it’s really, really awesome that that they’re doing this.”

She adds that while she’s previously made year-long goals that benefit her life, such as her “year of health,” she hopes to make an adjustment to her plans for 2022.

“I think, for 2022, it should be ‘the year of giving back,’” she says. “And part of that is the environment. Being Australian, we care about our environment. We’re outdoors a lot, and we love it, so working with Dr. Jane Goodall and HP has just been amazing.”

The JoJo Rabbit actress is happy to move into a new phase in her life — one where she's unapologetic about being not-so-polished on occasion.

“Now that I’m in my 40s, what I’m most unapologetic about is the times when I’m ‘feral.’ It’s an Australian word — it’s when you’re not put together, your hair is a mess, you don’t have makeup," she explains. "Before, I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want people seeing me like that.’ Now I’m like, ‘You know what? If you’re coming around to my house, I’m just going to be feral, in my natural state.’ I’m not going to [have] any pretenses, or anything like that.”

While there are plenty of projects she's eager to say yes to — such as her latest initiative with HP — she's also priding herself on getting comfortable with the word “no.”

“If there’s something you don't want to do or whatever, I’m just like, ‘No.’ You don't have to make up an excuse. Before I'd be like, ‘Oh, let me check on my calendar,’” she says. “I'm just coming into my own power in a way, so I can be like, ‘Oh, is that something I really want to do or not? And if not, so be it.”

—Video produced by Stacy Jackman.

Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.