Australian actress Rebel Wilson explains how she convinced the MPAA to change the rating of The Hustle. Directed by Chris Addison, the upcoming comedy is a remake of the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The Hustle features Wilson in a starring role, and she also co-produced the film.
In The Hustle, Wilson stars alongside American actress Anne Hathaway. The two women portray two distinctly different types of scam artists, though they share a mutual goal in seeking vengeance against morally-challenged men. In the original Dirty Rotten Scoundrels film, Steve Martin and Michael Caine portray con men who manipulate rich women in the French Riviera. The late Glenne Headly stars as a wealthy American heiress in the main female role. Directed by Frank Oz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is based on the 1964 comedy Bedtime Story starring Marlon Brando, David Niven, and Shirley Jones. For The Hustle, Wilson co-produced with Spyglass Entertainment’s Roger Birnbaum, the former co-CEO of MGM. In February 2018, The Hustle received its official title, and the first trailer released last February.
On YouTube, BBC America released a clip from Wilson’s recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, in which she explains the backstory for The Hustle’s MPAA rating. Appearing alongside co-star Anne Hathaway, along with actor Daniel Radcliffe and Killing Eve star Jodie Comer, Wilson discusses how she originally pitched The Hustle to MGM as “something like ‘Dirty Rotten Skanks.’” The film ultimately received an R-rating from the MPAA, prompting Wilson to utilize her law degree with hopes of receiving a PG-13 rating. During an MPAA arbitration hearing, Wilson defended The Hustle, and compared the film's dialogue with male-centric comedies such as Anchorman. Wilson emphasized the industry’s double standards, most notably that PG films like Frozen, 101 Dalmations, and Muppet Treasure Island include sexualized comedy despite being “designed for children.” After five minutes of deliberation, Wilson was named the winner of her MPAA arbitration hearing. Watch the full clip from The Graham Norton Show below.
In 2008, Wilson co-produced the Australian musical comedy series Bogan Pride, in which she also served as a series regular. She had a supporting role in Paul Feig’s 2011 feature film hit Bridesmaids, and made her first appearance in the Pitch Perfect franchise the following year, portraying Fat Amy. Wilson created, co-produced, and starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom Super Fun Night, of which aired during the 2013-2014 season. Most recently, Wilson co-produced and starred in the 2019 comedy Isn’t It Romantic, a satire of romantic comedy genre tropes.
Like Jonah Hill, Rebel Wilson has quietly evolved from a supporting comedic actor into a legitimate A-list star. In addition, both performers have displayed their understanding of the Hollywood industry by working behind the scenes, and even behind the camera in Hill’s case. Given Wilson’s educational background and industry experience, it only seems natural that she’d produce and direct a film in the near future. First, however, we’ll have to see if The Hustle becomes a box office hit.
Source: BBC America