Tag Archives: Matilda

Interview: Former ‘Matilda’ Star Mara Wilson on Leaving Hollywood and Becoming a Writer

Adele Oliveira | Longreads | Nov. 2014 | 15 minutes (3,798 words)

In 1994, when she was seven years old, Mara Wilson appeared on The Today Show with Katie Couric to promote a remake of Miracle on 34th Street, in which she starred.

Right away, it’s easy to see why Wilson, who’s also known for her work in Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda, is a successful and endearing child actor. She wears a red-checked gingham shirt underneath a wooly red cardigan, and her feet stick straight off the armchair on which she sits, too short to reach the ground. Wilson is missing teeth, and despite lisping, her diction is perfect and she’s polite and sincere with Couric, who mispronounces Wilson’s first name. Couric asks Wilson if she’d like to be like Natalie Wood someday—Wood played Wilson’s role in the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street. Wood started acting as a child, and in Couric’s words, grew up to be “a very famous, well-known, talented actress.”

Wilson hesitates, and you can see her thinking as she wrinkles her nose. “I don’t know,” she shrugs. “I might not want to be an actress all of my life.” Wilson says she wants to be a “script writer” and that while she hasn’t yet written down any of her stories, “I have a lot of them in my head.”

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