Why Rebel Wilson Had To Get Permission From Britney Spears For A Scene In Her New Netflix Movie

Rebel Wilson in Senior Year and Britney Spears in (You Drive Me) Crazy music video
(Image credit: Netflix and Jive Records)

Actress Rebel Wilson has never been one to shy away from showing off her dance moves. From revealing her killer choreography as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect to her purr-fectly spirited movements in Cats, we’ll next see this Aussie performer continue to move in Netflix's Senior Year. However, there was one particular dance sequence scene that Rebel Wilson needed permission to do, and it came from the one and only Britney Spears. 

Senior Year sees Rebel Wilson playing a woman going back to finish her senior year in high school after being in a 20-year coma, so be prepared to see plenty of late ‘90s and early 2000s nostalgia. You can’t get more nostalgic than this lucky comedic actress having the chance to recreate Britney Spears’ (You Drive Me) Crazy music video for a particular scene in the film. Rebel Wilson spoke to Entertainment Tonight about showing respect to the former teeny bopper by asking for Britney Spears’ permission before recreating her video. She explained:

We had to get Britney's permission. I was really nervous [thinking], 'Oh my gosh, I hope she knows we're [paying] homage to her with this.’ It was really awesome that she gave permission to do it... 'Crazy' was just such a cool song, such an iconic video clip... I just thought that would be really cool.

Whether women of the '90s want to admit it or not, there was at least one time when we would try (very badly) to imitate Britney Spears’ music videos in the privacy of our bedrooms, whether it was just taking a hairbrush and pretending to sing just like her or going so far as to re-enact her full-body pop star moves. Even the cast of Glee took plenty of opportunities to channel their inner Britney when they recreated Britney Spears’ music videos like Hit Me Baby (One More Time), I’m a Slave 4 U and Me Against the Music. When a music video is that iconic, you cannot help but want to channel your inner pop star once in a while and embody yourself in that music video.

Considering Rebel Wilson came from a background of singing pop songs in the Pitch Perfect movies, recreating a Britney Spears music video is not left field for her. This time when we see the Cats actress perform as Britney, she’ll be able to show off her trim figure while doing so as she maintains her 70-pound weight loss. Wilson continued to speak about what it was like to channel Britney Spears in the final scene she shot for Senior Year:

We recreated that exact set. What was weird is I didn't really practice that much. When I shot it, I tried to just channel Britney and then immediately our director, Alex Hardcastle, was like, 'Oh my God, you were, like, so Britney.' In certain takes I really just believed I was her. It comes out really funny... That was our last day of shooting and it was like 110 degrees in Atlanta, but once they pump that Britney music I just wanted to give it my all.

Well now we know that if you want to fight off the scorching heat, play a Britney song. Rebel Wilson continued to express how much fun she had performing (You Drive Me) Crazy and what made this time performing different for her, saying:

I just had the best time. The first time I put on those low rise jeans, the outfit that Britney Spears wears in the 'Crazy' video I was like, 'Oh, I didn't used to wear clothes like this.'

What Rebel Wilson was referring to about her past fashion sense was her high school uniform days. She went to the Tara Anglican School for Girls, which was an all-girls school in Australia where appearances were not the priority, as everyone was told to dress the same. She explained how she fashioned a short fringe and felt she had no fashion sense such as knowing how to do her makeup. So instead of focusing on her fashion, she used her brainpower towards other activities, like that time Wilson locked a teacher in a cupboard. It makes me wonder if Wilson will channel her past prankster self in her new Netflix flick.

Rebel Wilson continues to be an inspiration not just about how to improve your health, but on having the courage to stand out. After talking about how individuality was not something that was celebrated during her days in Australia, Wilson concluded her interview by talking about the courage to be unique. She already did that in Pitch Perfect playing Fat Amy, who always said what was on her mind and never held back belting out those notes. The same message will be spread in Senior Year about embracing what makes you unique. 

Be sure to watch Senior Year on your Netflix subscription on May 13th.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.