If Rebel Wilson haven’t taken up acting, she might have ended up involved the world of dog shows.
Now, in what feels like a perfect hybrid for her, Wilson is hosting and executive producing Pooch Perfect, a dog grooming competition series.
The show features the best pet stylists in the country who, along with their assistants, complete a series of challenges. Each week features two challenges – the “Immunity Pup-pertunity,” and the “Ulti-Mutt” Challenge Showdown – in which stylists must create magical transformations. One team will be eliminated each week, all leading up to the final competition for the coveted Pooch Perfect trophy and giant cash prize.
Judges include Lisa Vanderpump from the reality series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Celebrity Dog Groomer Jorge Bendersky, and Veterinarian Dr. Callie Harris
Explaining her family background in this area, Wilson says, “So I guess what a lot of people don’t know about me is that I am a fourth‑generation dog show‑er. My great-grandmother started “The Beagle Club of Australia,” and every weekend of my childhood I was going to dog shows.”
She adds, “I was personally a junior handler and showed dogs and groomed dogs. “So, dogs have just been such a huge part of my life.”
The family also sold dog grooming products, says Wilson, and she admits that, “My mom was devastated when I chose not to continue the family legacy. She’s now a renowned international all‑breed dog show judge.”
Telling her mother that she wasn’t going to follow in her footsteps was tough, says Wilson, explaining, “When I told her I wasn’t going to continue in the family business and try to be an international movie star, she cried. I had to tell her in a public place so she wouldn’t do anything too crazy. But, yeah, I guess she’s all right with it now.”
Hosting this show, Wilson says is, “kind of coming full circle.”
But then she reveals a twist in her story, saying, “I’m actually allergic to dogs,” then she finished the sentence, laughing along the way as she says, “So that’s why, my childhood, you know, there’s some tragedy in there as well.”
About the show specifically she says, “I’m a huge fan of reality TV, but my job on this show is a little different, [as I’m bringing] the comedy in the show.”
Wilson says that the comedy is ‘her skill set’ and that she spends a lot of time behind the scenes working out her jokes.
And, she does what she call ‘dogography’ in the show as well, “which is a new term that I invented where, basically, we dress the [production assistants] up in dog costumes, and then I worked out little dances [for them].”
Another behind the scenes element that Wilson is proud of is an area that she calls ‘Doggyland.’
“It’s, like, this amazing lush playground. It’s got treats galore. It’s got all of these activities for the dogs, and that’s where the dogs would all hang out. It was their literal green room at the studios where we filmed.”
She smiles a bit as she says, “They were treated better than me and the judges, to be honest.”
After declaring 2020 her ‘Year of Health,’ Wilson is open to speaking about the work she’s done in that area, “I mean, I have been showing it off on Instagram a bit too shamelessly. Obviously, I’m feeling great, I’ve lost 60 pounds.”
Donning two unique outfits per episode, which she chooses with a stylist, gives her a chance to put her new physique on full display, says Wilson. “So, yeah, this is my primetime opportunity to just really put it out there.”
A fact that Wilson also wants viewers to know about the show is that, “We are a show that 70 percent of our cast is on the LGBTQ spectrum. So, in terms of inclusivity, I believe that our show is probably one of the most inclusive on network television. That’s something that I’m really proud about.”
Overall, Wilson says that everyone involved in Pooch Perfect, both in front of and behind the camera “are dog lovers and people who just care the utmost about their pets.”
‘Pooch Perfect’ airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC