Rebel Wilson and Cast Tease 'Super Fun Night' Musical Numbers at Screening
The cast commends Wilson's physical comedy instincts and hints at more hijinks on the rookie ABC comedy.
NEW YORK – The mutual goal of racking up unforgettable Friday night memories would lead three anti-social career women all over New York City each week, but because the cast of Super Fun Night is filled with self-proclaimed musical theater nerds, expect plenty of well-seized singing opportunities in the new Rebel Wilson sitcom.
“We’re not singers – we’re like actors who can sing, but we just go into the recording studio and nail it,” Wilson told The Hollywood Reporter at a screening at NYC's Hearst Tower on Oct. 1. “Sometimes we practice our harmonies while we’re getting our makeup done, but we just get out there and have fun.”
With Conan O'Brien as co-creator and executive producer, Super Fun Night has Wilson – who studied law in college – playing Kimmie, a buttoned-up lawyer on a mission to have a “super fun night” every Friday with two homebody roommates (played by Lauren Ash and Liza Lapira). Their adventures range from hitting a hot nightclub to overcoming stage fright at a karaoke piano bar. After writing, producing and starring in 2008's short-lived Australian musical comedy series Bogan Pride and being cast in the a cappella feature Pitch Perfect, Wilson accidentally recruited musical-minded actors to round out Super Fun Night’s cast – and plans to take advantage.
“It turned out that we all at some point have sung professionally -- it’s become a bit of a thing with us,” said Kevin Bishop, who plays an attractive law firm colleague and potential love interest for Kimmie. He worked with Wilson in 2011’s A Few Best Men but had no idea she could sing. “I haven’t danced since I was a young kid, but they threw a tap dance routine at me in episode five! People would think this is an all-singing, all-dancing thing, and that we were cast on that basis, but I promise you, we weren’t. We were just cast as actors, and it just so happens that a few of us could carry a tune as well.”
Even after covering Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” and Bobby "Boris" Pickett’s novelty song “Monster Mash,” the cast’s idea of a spontaneous night out after filming has resulted in hitting actual karaoke bars around town until 4 a.m. Wilson said that her own top super fun night was taking a private jet to Las Vegas for the iHeartRadio Festival, where she was set to introduce Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears.
Wilson has said that she wanted her character to be American (an upcoming episode casts Jacki Weaver as her mother and Ashley Tisdale as her sister), though she’s received criticism for the decision to ditch her accent. Wilson told THR she hopes the show still translates from her Aussie comedy roots to American sitcom audiences.
“I’m trying to keep my authentic tone in the show, so the only real difference is some Australian slang I won’t use in the show – some words, Americans would have no idea what I meant!” joked Wilson, wearing a regal purple Ralph Lauren dress. “But I still maintain my tone, and I hope that the result is that the show doesn’t feel like any other network show, and that it has a more international influence in the comedy: Lauren is from Canada, Kate [Jenkinson] is from Australia as well, Kevin from England.”
“[In Australia,] we don’t really do sitcoms or half-hour, laugh-a-minute type sitcoms that they do so well in America, so there are differences,” added Jenkinson, who worked with Wilson on Bogan Pride and sketch show The Wedge.
While Wilson’s co-stars praised her physical comedy instincts (watch out for a spaghetti jar dance in a future episode) and her knack for dirty jokes on set, panel moderator and Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles looks forward to Wilson’s impending rise.
“I think Rebel is going to be up there with Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham as the next big female hero,” Coles told THR. “It’s interesting for me that women still feel in Hollywood that men aren’t writing a big enough variety of parts for them, and so they’re rolling up their sleeves and doing it themselves. More power to them."
Matt Lucas, Wilson’s Bridesmaids brother who appears in the premiere (episode two airs first), and O Magazine editor-at-large Gayle King were spotted at the screening, which featured treats from Dylan’s Candy Bar and Big Gay Ice Cream, plus tote bags with branded tees, light-up flower leis and, of all things, stain remover sticks.
Super Fun Night premieres Oct. 2 at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.