‘Matilda’, the former child star writes of Danny de Vito and Rhea Perlman’s secret act of kindness

You are not a true blue 90’s kid if you haven’t seen the movie based on a book with the same name “Matilda.” Who wouldn’t recognize Matilda, the brilliant and talented young girl who suffered from the neglect and abuse of her own family?

In the story written by Roald Dahl in 1988,  after always being left on her own, Matilda discovered that she has a magical power of telekinesis. The young girl used her magical power, not only to play a prank on her family but also to save her school from the hands of a horrific schoolmaster.

Everyone loved the courage which the story of Matilda transcends to its viewers. It helps one find the bravery they need to take charge of life and realize how much of a difference one can make, despite their age, their status, and their issues in life.

Most people would recognize Mara Wilson, the actress who portrayed the role of Matilda in the year 1996, as the embodiment of all the good characteristics Matilda has.

However, unbeknownst to everyone, Mara’s personal life was not as perfect as it seemed to be. In fact, Mara was facing the hardest battle of her life while filming the legendary movie, Matilda.

Growing up as a kid, reading is one hobby Mara has always enjoyed and loved. In fact, Mara’s beloved mom used to read the book Matilda to her even the role came up. It was Mara’s mom’s words of encouragement that made her play the part of Matilda. According to Mara’s supportive mom, Matilda was an incredibly strong character just like her daughter Mara.

When the director and seasoned actor, Danny DeVito offered Mara the role of Matilda, she had no idea how important DeVito and Rhea Perlman would be in her life. They did not only serve as Mara’s director and co-actors but as well as an anchor that kept her safe as she braved the stormiest days of her life.

On the fateful day of March 10,1995, during the filming of Matilda, Mara’s supportive mother, Suzie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. There were times that Danny and Rhea would willingly offer to watch over Mara every time her parents needed to visit the hospital.

Despite trying everything they could to improve Suzie’s condition, her sickness grew worse, and on April 26, 1996, before Matilda was released, she was taken back to the arms of heaven.

No words could explain how devastated Mara and the rest of her family were. There is nothing more painful for a child than losing her mother.

In a memoir, Mara has written entitled ‘Where Am I Now?’ which is dedicated for her supportive mother,  she shared one act of kindness Danny had shown Suzie to which she is most and forever will be thankful for.

After filming wrapped, Suzie’s condition grew worse. She passed away on April 26, 1996.

Mara and the rest of her family were devastated, as she explains in her memoir, ‘Where Am I Now?’

Knowing that Suzie passed away before the film Matilda was released for viewing, Mara thought that her mother died not seeing her perform in her greatest masterpiece.

It is a known information which always upsets Mara. Knowing that her mom, who loved the story of Matilda so much, and who was the one who pushed her to take the role, never got the chance to see the final movie.

However, years after her beloved mother passed away, Danny told Mara of a secret that lifted a huge burden on her heart.

According to the esteemed director, Danny had actually paid a visit to Suzie at the hospital with the almost-completed film of Matilda and allowed Suzie to watch it, giving Mara’s mom a chance to be a proud mom as she watched her daughter’s superb performance.

This genuine act of kindness and empathy Danny showed to Suzie has given Mara a peace of mind, knowing that her mother had seen a project she’s so proud of made her mom’s passing more bearable than it used to be.

Contrary to the roles they played in Matilda, Danny DeVito, and Rhea Perlman showed just how much of a good-hearted, thoughtful, and compassionate human beings they are.

And true enough, there is no simple nor grand act of kindness, for every good deed coming from the heart is enough to comfort the pain away from someone who is grieving.

Mara Wilson has turned her focus from filming to writing. The brilliant star of Matilda runs her own website ‘Mara Wilson Writes Stuff’  and has released her book ‘Where Am I now?’ last September 2016.

2 thoughts on “‘Matilda’, the former child star writes of Danny de Vito and Rhea Perlman’s secret act of kindness”

  1. So glad for her that Danny Devito and Mara showed her mother the film before she died knowing she went to heaven so proud.brings peace not many kids get that . Great actor Danny Devito

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