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Former child star, Mara Wilson, appeared in so many of our all-time favourite films, from Matilda to Mrs Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street. The actress has opened up about her experiences growing up on Hollywood sets and working alongside some iconic film actors.
Appearing via video link on the Australian breakfast TV show Today Extra, the 33-year-old spoke about working with Danny DeVito and the late Robin Williams and the impact of being a famous child.
Mara revealed that she felt the most pressure from the film critics, particularly those who critiqued her performances negatively despite her age. "It hurt to hear adult critics saying things against me," she said. "It felt very unfair and very hard. There was really a lot of pressure on me, I felt, from the outside world."
Mara played the lead in the critically-acclaimed 1996 film adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda. The film has become a certified classic in the years following its release and Mara's co-star, Danny DeVito, who played her father and shady car salesman Harry Wormwood, also directed the film.
During production, Mara's mother, Suzie Wilson battled breast cancer and she passed away in April 1996, four months before the film's release. The film was dedicated to Mara's mother. Mara spoke fondly of her time working with Danny whom she described as "really wonderful" and that his family took her "under their wing as a kind of like a second family".
Danny DeVito later revealed to Mara that he showed her mother an unfinished cut of the film before she passed away.
Mara continued: "Danny and his wife, Rhea, they would let me come over to their house.
"We would have sleepovers, we went to go see plays, we went to see movies.
"They made sure I was also being treated like a kid. I played with their kids, just like any other kids."
Mara made her big screen debut when she starred alongside Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire. She recalled what it was like working with the late actor on set.
"I remember him singing show tunes to me and playing games with me. He loved to play all kinds of little jokes.
"He could be very shy one on one, particularly with adults, but with kids, he just came alive because they are the ultimate audience.
"He was just a consummate performer who was so great when he had an audience."
Despite having a lot of fond memories from her experiences as a child actor, Mara had some reservations about whether she would allow her future children to follow the same route.
She said: "I don't think I would, just because there are so many different variables that you cannot account for."
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