If you didn’t know, Rebel — who embarked on a self-proclaimed “year of health” at the beginning of 2020 — has spent the past (almost) two years documenting her journey and progress on Instagram.
Now, in a new interview with People, Rebel is looking back at some of her past negative work-related encounters — prior to embarking on her health journey.
Speaking about some of the difficulties she faced early in her career, Rebel said she’s previously been turned down for acting roles because of her size.
“When I was bigger, like, when I first started my professional acting career, agents would look at me and just be like, ‘No way,’ because I was overweight,” Rebel said.
“And I was like, ‘You know what? I'm gonna take something that you think is a disadvantage — I don't actually think it's a disadvantage — and I'm going to turn it into my success story,’” she added.
Rebel rose to fame namely after starring in the Pitch Perfect film series as “Fat Amy” back in 2012 — a franchise to which she now credits much of her success.
However, Rebel maintained that she’d embarked on her journey to lose weight in order to prioritize her health, not her career.
“People are beautiful at any shape or size, and I genuinely believe that,” she said. “I just got to a point where I knew deep inside that I was engaging in some activities that were unhealthy.”
“I’m not perfect, like, I still emotionally eat at times, there's stressful things that still go on in my life and in my work that can be high pressure ... but I'm not perfect,” she added. “I’ve [just] learned to manage things.”
This isn’t the first time Rebel has opened up about being treated differently by people since she lost weight.
Back in January, the actor made an appearance on The Morning Crew with Hughesy, Ed & Erin where she revealed that people wouldn’t “look twice” at her in the past, but were much nicer to her now.
“I liked to think I looked good at all sizes and stuff,” she said. “And I’ve always been quite confident, so it's not like I wasn't confident and now I'm super confident. I think what’s been really interesting is how other people treat you.”
“Sometimes being bigger, people didn't necessarily look twice at you,” she continued. “Now that I’m in good shape, people offer to carry my groceries to the car and hold doors open for you.”
Rebel also recently opened up about the public’s “obsession” around her weight loss and the collective media frenzy over her appearance.
Speaking to Australia’s Daily Telegraph last month, Rebel expressed her frustration at having received more attention for her change in physical appearance, rather than her multiple work-related successes — which included being in an Oscar-nominated film.
“In 2019, I had, like, four movies come out, two which I produced and one, Jojo Rabbit, which got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture,” she said. “Yet I get more press the following year when I do nothing except lose weight.”
“When I was at my heaviest, I also had the most international attention on me,” she added.
And although Rebel seemed frustrated by it, she said she understands why the public has been so drawn to her change in appearance.
“People are so obsessed with [weight],” she said. “But I get it. Oprah is one of my heroes. She’s certainly struggled with eating issues, and I would always watch her episodes when she spoke about that.”