Actress Rebel Wilson contracted a near-fatal bout of malaria as a teenager during a charity trip to Africa.

The Bridesmaids star was 18 years old when she travelled to countries including Zimbabwe and Malawi as part of an outreach project in her native Australia, and reveals she ended up in a critical care unit.

She tells Britain's Glamour magazine, "I was a youth ambassador for Australia and got to travel to rural Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique, but while I was there I contracted malaria. They put me in intensive care, gave me a huge concoction of drugs."

Wilson admits she dreamed of winning an Oscar while she was ill, and the life-threatening disease provided her with inspiration to launch herself as an actress while she was studying for a law degree.

She adds, "I started hallucinating that I was an actress as the Academy Awards and won... It was so vivid and real, when I recovered I knew I had to get back to Australia and start acting training. I did my law degree by day and studied acting at night, but people still thought my brain had been destroyed by malaria and that I was nuts!"