Rebel Wilson says her dramatic gesture was due to Robin Williams

Rebel Wilson has credited Robin Williams for helping to broaden her horizons in dramatic work as well as comedy. (WireImage/Getty)

Rebel Wilson said her recent shift to more dramatic material was partly due to a pep talk she received from the late Hollywood legend Robin Williams.

Wilson and Williams met while working together on the 2014 comedy sequel Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, in which she appeared as the museum’s security guard.

Read more: Rebel Wilson says head injury changed her outlook on life

The 42-year-old Pitch Perfect star told The Hollywood Reporter that Williams asked to speak to her after a take in which she improvised alongside the film’s frontman Ben Stiller.

She said: “I wanted to chat with him but I had always tried to be respectful and not bother him. We sat for about 40 or 45 minutes between camera rolls and he said I should do drama.

Rebel Wilson met Robin Williams on the set of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.  (20th century workshops)

Rebel Wilson met Robin Williams on the set of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. (20th century workshops)

“I was surprised because I don’t know how he looked at that scene that I just did and I thought I should do drama, but he said, ‘You should do drama 100% too. “. It really stuck with me.”

The star has since taken on her first dramatic role in the new film The Almond and the Seahorse, adapted from a 2008 play by Kaite O’Reilly.

Read more: Aladdin director credits Robin Williams for the film’s longevity

The film follows Wilson as an archaeologist navigating her husband’s traumatic brain injury, who finds solace in a woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is in a similar boat with his wife.

“I always thought if Robin Williams thought I could do it, then I might as well give it a try,” Wilson said.

Rebel Wilson makes her debut as a dramatic protagonist in The Almond and the Seahorse.  (IFC Films)

Rebel Wilson makes her debut as a dramatic protagonist in The Almond and the Seahorse. (IFC Films)

She added, “So we were looking for a project, and then Almond and the Seahorse came along. It’s a very difficult and really bold storyline, so I thought, let’s try.”

Williams was renowned for his ability to move from broad comedy to darker, more dramatic material in films like One Hour Photo and Insomnia.

Read more: The comedians who went dark on the big screen

Wilson singled out Olivia Colman as another star who has been able to transition in recent years, saying “her career trajectory is amazing and she’s done so many amazing roles.”

The Almond and the Seahorse is in limited US cinemas and streaming platforms from December 16, with no UK release confirmed so far.

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