Former Child Star Mara Wilson Looks Back at Working with Danny DeVito, Robin Williams
(NEW YORK) — You know Mara Wilson from favorite films like Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire and the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. But you wouldn’t be blamed if you haven’t seen her in a while, as she’s given up a life on the big screen.
Now, the former child star is revealing the ups and downs of young stardom in her new memoir, Where Am I Now?
“The original title was ‘K for Kid’ because when you are a child on a film set, they put a parentheses (K) next to your name to indicate that you are a child and that you are kind of separate from everybody else, and I always felt a little like I was the odd one out,” Wilson said Monday on Good Morning America.
But she says of the book’s eventual title, “… You see a lot of things on the internet…’Where did she disappear to?'”
Wilson, now 29, said she vividly remembers working with legendary actors like Danny DeVito and the late Robin Williams.
“I was a little nervous when I first saw him [Williams] as Mrs. Doubtfire,” she said. “I was a little nervous, but…he asked me what kind of music I liked, and being the drama nerd that I was, I said that I liked musicals and he started singing, ‘There Is Nothing Like a Dame’ from South Pacific. So, he was a man dressed as a woman singing a song about how there is nothing like a woman. He was a great guy. So kind, so great with kids.”
When she was 10, Wilson starred alongside DeVito in the title role of Matilda — as a little girl who finds she has powers that let her turn the tables on her nasty parents — played by DeVito and his real-life wifeRhea Perlman.
“I was so thrilled because that was a character that I loved, that I adored,” Wilson said of landing the lead role. “I was just like, ‘She is so cool. That is who I want to be,’ and I did get to be her.”
While Wilson was filming Matilda, her mother died of breast cancer. DeVito made sure she was able to see the movie before she passed, Wilson said.
“I thought that my mother had never gotten a chance to see the movie, but he said he actually brought a print of the movie while she…was dying,” Wilson recalled. “They were incredibly kind people. He and Rhea were just like fun uncle, fun aunt and the kindest, most wonderful people, and I really owe them forever for all the good things they did for me while my mother was sick.”
Where Am I Now? is out Tuesday.
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