Paul Feig Honors Rebel Wilson at Australians in Film Awards
The fifth annual benefit recognized Jai Courtney, James Wan, Ridley Scott and Greg Basser, with Joel Edgerton also in attendance.
Aussie film achievements were celebrated Wednesday with a star-studded gala at the Australians in Film Awards.
Australian comedian Tim Minchin played host to the fifth annual event, held at NeueHouse Hollywood. Praising one of the night's honorees, Minchin said, "Rebel [Wilson] has been known to be funny! I love her so much, it makes me really happy!"
Joel Edgerton kicked off the ceremony by presenting Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad) with one of two FOXTEL Breakthrough Awards. "He is a rare person in that he can do that something — he can shoot guys and be that guy, but there's something very intelligent and subtle about his performances," Edgerton said of his fellow Aussie actor.
Courtney acknowledged his honor by telling The Hollywood Reporter, "I've had the extreme fortune of working with some of the greats. Robert Duvall was in my first film I did; Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie directed me in a project. You never know what's next! I'm constantly in awe of the people I get the fortune of working with." Upon accepting his award, Courtney joked, "It's ironic I'm accepting this award in a year I've done less acting than the previous few!" He concluded with advice to fellow Australians trying to break into the industry: "One accomplishment leads to the next and becomes a launch pad looking forward. It's going to take a lot of grit and a lot of resilience being so far from home."
Director Paul Feig presented Rebel Wilson with the inaugural Screen NSW Kellermann Award, recalling his first introduction to the actress during her Bridesmaids audition: "Rebel's audition was unlike anything I've ever seen. She was unique. Unique in almost a perplexing way. Her out of far-left-field improvised lines. ... She was so beautifully weird!" Feig also credited Wilson for changing his life after the great Bridesmaids success.
"No one really thought I would be a good actress, let alone successful!" said Wilson in a touching acceptance speech, adding, "The whole journey has been very hard, but I do really love what I do. I love being an actress, entertaining people and doing a job that I'm super passionate about."
The show and benefit gala also honored director James Wan with the Fox Studios Australia International Award, helmer Ridley Scott with the Ausfilm International Award and Village Roadshow Entertainment Group CEO Greg Basser with the Qantas Orry-Kelly International Award.
Australians in Film is a Los Angeles based film, television and digital content nonprofit with a mission to connect Australian filmmakers to the international market.