'Matilda' Star Comes Clean With How Danny DeVito And Rhea Perlman Treated Her After Her Mom Passed Away
FaithTap Staff 10/31/2017
Few things feel as surreal as watching a movie we once adored as a kid with adult perspective! While some movies might make us wonder why in the world we loved them so much, there are others that take us right back to being carefree and obsessed with something other than our adult schedules.
Roald Dahl's beloved book Matilda is probably one such story that has survived the test of time. Mara Wilson nailed the role of young Matilda in the movie version which was released in 1996.
Mara is now 30-years-old, and aptly adding the title of author alongside her accomplishment as a successful child actor. Her book titled, Where Am I Now: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, is not only an account of how life has turned out, but also how it all got started. And as one can imagine, Matilda, is big part of that story.
Few know that one of the books Mara loved reading with her mother even before she stepped into the acting world, was Matilda! Eventually, it was her mother who urged Mara to try out for the role knowing full well that no one other than her daughter could do it justice. Director Danny Devito, who also plays the mean dad in the movie, saw Mara's audition and couldn't agree more!
In an interview with Parade magazine, Mara confesses that Dahl's Matilda was part of her family even before she landed the role:
"I loved the book. My whole family loved that book. My brother was reading it in his fourth-grade class and my mom would go to his classroom and read the book out loud because she had this wonderful voice and could become all the characters. I loved it so much that I started quoting it."
Winning the lead part in Matilda, the movie, eventually catapulted Mara's acting career more than she had ever imagined. The film however, was a life saver in another big way as well.
Turns out, Mara's mom had been battling cancer during the filming of the movie, but being on set helped young Mara focus on happier things other than her mom's sickness. In an interview with Parade magazine, Mara recalls fondly that:
"I remember feeling, when I was part of Matilda, that it was nice because I could focus on that and I could focus on everything good that was going on in my life. It felt very familial on that set ... Danny [DeVito] and Rhea [Perlman] were like my favorite aunt and uncle. It was wonderful. I remember feeling anxious when the movie wrapped, and it was really hard to go back to being normal and dealing with my mom's sickness."
Several sources claim that Danny DeVito and his then wife Rhea Perlman, stepped up to take care of Mara in every way possible to provide a happy distraction, whether it was with pool party invitations or other get togethers.
Mara was only eight-years-old when her mom finally lost her battle with cancer and passed. The movie was in post production at the time, meaning her mom never saw the success it became. Nonetheless, for Mara, it provided a second family to help her heal and move on.
Today, Mara is proud to be writer and author with a very active twitter account!