Actress Rebel Wilson’s expectations of living in South Africa ran wild, literally

Posted on 12 June 2024 By Savanna Douglas

In a recent interview, Australian actress Rebel Wilson reflected on the realities of her time visiting South Africa before she found her fame in Hollywood. 

Before she found her fame in Hollywood, actress Rebel Wilson visited South Africa. In a recent interview with This Morning, the star shared her perspective of living in the country.

As with many who plan to visit Africa for the first time, Rebel’s expectations of living in Mzansi ran wild, literally:

“I felt like it was going to be like The Lion King. Turns out, nothing like The Lion King.”

“[It is a] country that was full of beauty, majestic. One time I climbed a mountain and saw wild baboons at the top of the mountain as the sun was rising. Stuff like that, incredible.”


In reality, the actress says that while her experiences with the nature and wildlife in South Africa were positive, safety was a concern, describing Johannesburg as a “very dangerous place.”

To add to the experience, Wilson’s time in SA was tainted by a life-threatening case of malaria, which she had likely picked up while visiting one of the nation’s ‘malaria areas’ located in Limpopo, Mpumalanga or KwaZulu-Natal.

“Then I ended up getting malaria and almost dying,” she said.

However, this near brush with death led the Australian actress to eventually becoming a Hollywood star.

“I had this hallucination that I was an actress when I was in hospital, and that changed the whole trajectory of my life,” she said.

“Oprah would say that the universe would give you signs of what you should do with your life, and this was a full blown hallucination that I win an Academy Award…”

Ultimately, the actress’ experiences in South Africa eventually led her to realising a successful path in Hollywood.

Rebel Wilson’s perspective on South Africa, though? Some would argue may be skewed, especially in comparison to the perspective of locals.

South Africans flocked to the comment section of a TikTok video sharing a snippet of the interview, weighing in on the Pitch Perfect star’s experience of SA.

Marshii Charné wrote: “South Africans can we please gather here to discuss this “dearly beloved”

naledistargurl1 wrote: “Which South Africa is this?”

TherealThoko commented: “Was the mountain in Johannesburg part of the hallucinations?”

@MrsS said:  “Baboon, malaria and lions in jhb 🤔🤔🤔

Twakster said: “Moral of the story: Come visit South Africa 🇿🇦 It’ll change your life!”

Article shared by Woman&Home. 

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