Rebel Wilson is channeling her inner pop princess. The Aussie actor went all out to recreate a classic Britney Spears music video for her new movie Senior Year. In the new Netflix movie, Rebel Wilson plays the role of a former cheer captain who "falls off a pyramid and into a 20-year coma" and later "wakes up as a 37-year-old woman, ready to return to high school, regain her status and claim the prom queen crown that eluded her."
The film is full of the late '90s and early 2000s nostalgia, including a scene where the 42-year-old actress reenacts the music video for Spears' 1999 song, "(You Drive Me) Crazy." Wilson told Entertainment Tonight that she was "nervous" about getting Spears' blessing for the shoot. "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,'" Wilson said. "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."
"We recreated that exact set," she added. "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."
During a May 6 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, The Pitch Perfect star revealed that she may have given too much while shooting the scene."I love Britney, and I just wanted to pay homage to her because 20 years earlier in the film in 2022, she was like the biggest star in the world, so we did the "Crazy" video … when I'm dancing, I just really like to give it, just give my all to it," Wilson said. "And then what happens is that I fall over, and so in the Britney thing, they actually keep the take where I'm dancing and loving it and then I fall forward out of frame. But then I'm like 'The show must go on…' so I just like [pops back up] and then I get into it."
Writer and actor Brandon Scott Jones revealed the Crazy music video was high on his wish list when he first envisioned the film. Jones explained to PopCulture.com exclusively how it was planned from the get-go to recreate the music video for their movie. "'Drive Me Crazy' by Britney Spears, the Stop remix — specifically the Stop remix — was written into the script," Jones told PopCulture, adding how the song and music video was so iconic and fondly remembered time period for him. "Britney rules and I think she's almost sort of this —I don't want to be one of those people that are just talking about Britney Spears willy-nilly — but I feel like she's sort of a good mascot for this movie of that was her then, and then here's what the world is now. So I really wanted to celebrate that, and I wrote that specifically [in]."
Wilson told Los Angeles Magazine that regardless of how the film is received, Spears' verdict is the only one that truly matters. "I love Britney, and so does my character in the film," Wilson said. "It's good. I just loved it, and I love Britney, so I'm sending her lots of love, and I hope she likes it. She's the only person I care about." Senior Year is now streaming on Netflix.