If you’re experiencing some 100% natural curiosity over how Mara Wilson became a Twitter star, you’re in luck. This list will tell you everything you need to know about Matilda all grown up; you’ll find all the facts and stories you need to answer the nagging question, what happened to Mara Wilson?
She Quit Acting After Her Mother Died
As she told Parade,
“I found it kind of overwhelming. Most of the time, I just wanted to be a normal kid, especially after my mother died. I think if I could do it over again—as much as I loved meeting the people I did on the films after Matilda—I wish that I had stopped after Matilda.”
Wilson has written that acting was more a hobby than a passion, and that she had never planned on pursuing it forever. Waxing philosophical on her blog, she wrote,
“A philosophically-inclined friend once remarked, in a conversation about ethics, that he thought it was fine to forsake a task as long as you knew there was someone else who could perform that task as well or better than you could. I agree, and I think that there are many much more talented, much more conventionally attractive actresses out there who are taking the roles I would have been offered. To paraphrase the showtune, anything I can do, Anna Kendrick or Ellen Page or Jennifer Lawrence (or any actress from the plethora of actresses waiting to be ‘discovered’) can do better.”
She Turned Down A Role In Donnie Darko
“It was just the most terrifying thing. I was sleep deprived and I was exhausted and I was hungry and I didn’t know what was real anymore and then all of the sudden there was this goddamned 6-foot metal rabbit who may or may not predict the future and there was time travel and there were wormholes and there was all this crazy sh*t and I thought it was the scariest thing I’d ever read.”
Would you quit life after that? Yes. Yes, you would.
She Came Out As Bisexual In Solidarity For the LGBTQ Community After The Pulse Nightclub Shooting
She Suffers From OCD And Works With A Mental Health Organization To Raise Awareness
In 2015, Wilson partnered with nonprofit mental health organization Project UROK to raise awareness for mental health issues, saying, “There was a big stigma around this. We were all worried… especially with me being a child actor, how the public would approach it and would understand it. Twenty years ago, we didn’t talk about mental illness.”
Wilson recorded a video for Project UROK, in which she discusses her experience with OCD and offers advice for dealing with mental health issues. She also wrote and performed a live theater piece entitled What Are You Afraid Of? addressing her anxiety, fears, and mental health.
She Wrote A Critically Acclaimed Memoir To Reclaim The Public Narrative Of Her Life
Wilson wrote the book to reclaim the public narrative of her life, and in doing so humanize those who fall through the cracks of popular culture and become the butt of cruel jokes and apathetic conjecture. As she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times,
“When you see that somebody’s last credit is ‘Thomas and the Magic Railroad’ when they’re an awkward 12-year-old, you’re, like, ‘Oh, how sad.’ You don’t know what happens between those IMDB entries. I knew there were people who felt sorry for me and people who were making up stories about me. I think I wanted to reclaim that narrative.”
She’s Very Active, Very Insightful, And Very Funny On Twitter
She Returned To Acting In 2013 With A Recurring Role On A Podcast
She Jumped Into Television In 2016 With Roles in ‘Broad City’ And ‘Bojack Horseman’
She Wrote A Poignant Public Letter To Her Younger Self In 2014
The letter includes some poignant revelations concerning Wilson’s struggles over the years with fame, Hollywood, OCD, and conceptions of the self. The letter ends,
“Let’s end on a perfect square, I know that will make you happy. Yes, I do: stop trying to control everything. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Being insecure doesn’t make you more endearing. Forgiveness feels GREAT. Please take time to enjoy being your age. Things might suck right now, but they will be better someday. And even when they’re not, at least you can always write about it.”
She Pursued A BFA In Acting At NYU, Where Socially Awkward Classmates Were Weird About The Whole Child Star Thing
“I would find people knocking on my door late at night, like Thursday night at 12 am. I would open the door in my pajamas and there’d be a crowd of freshman girls, saying ‘Are you Mara?’ ‘Uhhh, yeah’. And they’d say ‘Well, we just really wanted to meet you.’ And then they’d look really disappointed, because they probably expected at least for me to be wearing more than my pajamas. I felt bad, like I was letting them down because I wasn’t being glamorous, because I wasn’t the exciting person they thought I would be. And then they would often ask me to party with them…”
Despite the bizarre interruptions and occasionally awkward social situations, Wilson graduated from NYU‘s Tisch School of the Arts in 2009.
She Staged A One-Woman Show While In College
In an interview with NYU Local, Wilson explained her desire to do the show:
“I started writing a lot more in college — I’ve been writing plays, mostly — but when I started to write autobiographical stories, people were saying, ‘You know, you’ve had a really interesting life.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, well, maybe I have. Maybe I should tell more people about it.’ And I got a little more comfortable sharing my stories. This was sort of an experiment; I wanted to open up about these things and also to explain myself, because I don’t talk about it that often. I’m not what I was. Obviously, I’ve grown up since then. But it is still a part of who I am, and this is me coming to embrace it.”
She Started Blogging In 2011 And Has Published On Sites Such As McSweeney’s And Cracked
Her Play ‘Sheeple,’ About A Teenager Saving The World And Scoring Pot, Debuted At The New York Fringe Fest In 2013
“Sheeple is a new play by Mara Wilson about the teenage burden of having to know everything. It’s a summer day during Bush’s reign, and Nick is determined to save the world, score some pot, make Soo-Min his girlfriend, and have his LaVeyan Satanist brother talk his best friend Alberto out of enlisting.”
It had everything! Far off places, sword fights, magic spells, Satanism.
Puberty Was A Nightmare For Her As A Child Actor
She said in her interview, “I came to set one day after a few months away, and people were kind of giving each other worried looks…And I had to have the director come and sit with me and explain to me that my body was changing.”
She Really, Really Loves Saltine Crackers And Writes Of Them Eloquently
Everything She Knows About Sex She Learned From Melrose Place
From that show she was exposed to extra-marital sex, gay relationships, and promiscuity. Between Melrose Place and early exposure to Hollywood where sexuality was flaunted everywhere she came to the initial conclusion that sex was at the heart of corruption. She said in her memoir that her first kiss gave her a change of heart on the subject.