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Rebel Wilson opens up about the illness that changed her life forever

The star's new film is out on Netflix next week

rebel wilson illness
Andrea Caamano
Andrea CaamanoWebsite Editor
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Rebel Wilson is one of Hollywood's most recognisable faces, with box office hits such as Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids and Hustle, but it seems her success was nearly never meant to be.

MORE: Rebel Wilson details disastrous date that ended in an ocean rescue!

The actress recently spoke about her time in high school, whilst promoting her new Netflix film, Senior Year, and revealed she was "very studious" and while she was not popular with the teachers because of her never-ending pranks, she was "popular with the girls" at her all-girls boarding school.

WATCH: Rebel reveals how catching malaria changed her life forever

After getting accepted at Australia's top law school, Rebel took a year off to travel to Africa and it was here that she caught malaria and her life changed forever.

READ: Rebel Wilson shares rare look at ultra healthy lunch during date with lookalike sister

RELATED: Rebel Wilson denies 'misleading' weight loss claims: 'This was never my diet'

"I had malaria," she told Today stars Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie this week, whilst revealing how she decided to become an actress despite going on to study law and later graduating.

rebel wilson pink dress© Photo: Getty Images

The actress has been busy promoting her new Netflix film, Senior Year

"I took a gap year in between high school and college and I went to Africa for the year, got malaria, really, really badly, and I hallucinated that I was an actress and that I was really good and so I came back to Australia and said: 'Guys, I think… I mean, I will go to law school as well, but I think I've got to pursue acting too, because I had the vision,'" she explained.

Savannah was quick to react to her incredible story. "That is one of the best 'How I became an actor' stories I've ever heard," she said, before Hoda added: "Yeah!"

"People thought I was demented when I came out of the hospital," Rebel added.

rebel wilson yellow outfit© Photo: Getty Images

The actress graduated from law school before becoming an actress

"Well, it was a hallucination," Savannah remarked, before the 42-year-old star continued: "Yeah, and I go, 'No, but I saw it, I think I'm going to be good.' But no one would have picked me for an actress I don't think."

Rebel then went on to talk about her "Year of Health". "In 2020, when everything kind of shut down, I really focused on my health and I think I lost 80lbs and I've managed to keep it off," she explained, before adding that she struggled with emotional eating and worked really hard on it.