Rebel Wilson has become a household name since she stole her scenes in both Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect. Now she’s executive producing and starring in her own show on ABC called Super Fun Night, premiering October 2. Rebel plays Kimmie, a lawyer whose new promotion at work has her meeting new friends, forcing her to shake up her weekly routine of staying in with her best friends Marika (Lauren Ash) and Helen-Alice (Liza Laprira). The three BFFs prefer to spend their Fridays inside their apartment with nerdy pursuits like watching their favorite show, Merna: Princess Warrior, and singing songs from Wicked. In the pilot, they venture out when Kimmie’s invited to the bar by a cute male colleague.
Marika has an athletic demeanor and takes a strong interest in her female friends, which immediately gives her a little bit of a gay vibe. During the TCA panel for Super Fun Night, Lauren discussed if the character is in fact a lesbian.
“Marika really loves her friends,” Lauren said. “She’d do anything for them, and perhaps does that love cross a line or a boundary at times? Maybe. I mean, maybe she doesn’t know. Who knows? You know, I think she’s kind of an innocent character that maybe has not fully explored what she is or isn’t and perhaps is just being an equal opportunist when it comes to crushes. I think that that’s I think there’s been talk that we would explore her sexuality.”
Executive producer John Riggi said that there are gay people on the writing staff, himself included.
“If we do that, if we decide that, first of all, we wanted to make sure that that was a realistic thing, and we think it is,” John said. “We think it is that you can still be in your mid-20s and kind of be unsure about who you are or what you’re doing. So right now, to tell you the truth, the writers and all of us talking about it, we like the idea of the confusion. We think we’re getting jokes out of it. We like that. It fits in with what we’re trying the stories we’re trying to tell about them, which is they are three friends that go through everything. You know, thick and thin, they’re together. If Marika winds up being a lesbian, I can promise you it will be handled, as far as I’m concerned, respectfully.”
“But we will do that full on scene, full nudity,” Rebel added.
After the panel, Lauren spoke with us about getting the role, which she auditioned for several times.
“You know what’s interesting, I’m from the Second City in Toronto and in Chicago and I developed a character while I was there that actually never made it to a show but was very similar to this character,” she said. “And I am not gay but I have so much respect and love for people who are gay and have the kind of struggles and stuff like that that it was a dream for me to play the character because it is different from me and my instincts and that’s exciting.”
Lauren said she’s pretty sure that Marika will end up coming out on the show, but it will take her a while to figure out exactly who she is.
“I love the idea that she struggles, that she doesn’t know. I think that’s universal, regardless of sexuality, that you do go through these times,” Lauren said. “What is it that I want? What it is that I am? Who am I? To explore that is super exciting and super fun and being able to watch her have that transition, and we see it happen. I think the intention is that she probably will have a coming out. But we don’t to play that too quickly either.”
A Canadian actor, Lauren has done guest spots on two Toronto shows we love: Lost Girl and Bomb Girls.
“The audition [for Lost Girl] was calling for a 45-year-old obese woman with a brush cut. That was the breakdown!” Lauren said. She played Jane on the episode “Fae-ge Against the Machine.” “I was like ‘I”ll just go anyway,” because it was a charactery role. Anyway, I booked it, of course: 45, obese, you’re welcome. When I got to set they didn’t put any makeup on me, they put dirt on me and they dirtied my cheek and if you’ve seen the episode, I’m wearing a crop top, jean shorts, cowboy boots and a falling-apart hat. When I went into ADR [Automated Dialogue Replacement], I was like “Who’s that horrifying woman? Oh that’s me!” But I love it. I loved that I was on TV like that so different from everyone else.”
On Bomb Girls, Lauren said the sets were so cool to work on. “There’s the smoke being pumped into look like it’s the factory. It was a total joy.”
Super Fun Night will air Wednesdays on ABC this fall.