‘Matilda’ Director Danny DeVito Gave Mara Wilson a Heartwarming Gift She Discovered Years Later

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Most kids who came of age in the 90s recognize actress Mara Wilson. She starred in three classic family films from the decade, including Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Miracle on 34th Street (1994), and Matilda (1996).

Wilson retired from the industry just a few years after becoming Hollywood’s most popular young actor, working with the big names in the industry, including Robin William and Danny DeVito. But before she did, i Matilda a co-star gave the young girl a priceless gift. She didn’t even know about DeVito’s kindness until years later.

Mara Wilson played the perfect Matilda

Matilda was thrown
Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson, Brian Levinson, and Rhea Perlman in ‘Matilda’ | Hulton Archive via Getty Images

The film Matilda was adapted from Roald Dahl’s book of the same name. The fantasy-comedy film tells the story of a girl named Matilda Wormwood who uses mental powers to overpower her despicable parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman) and the evil principle in her school , Agatha Trunchbull.

DeVito both starred in and directed the film, which was a huge success that remains popular to this day. Matilda grossed $ 33.5 million nationwide. Over the years, it has maintained cult status thanks to its hilarious hijinks and talented actors. Wilson was absolutely brilliant as a book-loving Matilda.

Wilson’s mother was diagnosed with cancer during filming

Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In March 1995, Wilson’s mother, Suzie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. This bad news made filming more difficult for the 7-year-old, though she got through it with the help of DeVito and Perlman, who are married in real life. It helps that they are not as trivial as they appear Matilda.

“I remember feeling, when I was a part of it Matilda, it was nice because I could focus on that and I could focus on all the good things that were going on in my life, ”said Wilson March in an interview.

“It felt very family on that set. I was going through a hard time and I know I had hard days, but everyone on the movie was so nice. Danny and Rhea were like my favorite sister and uncle. It was wonderful. ”

She said the support helped them survive a terrible family tragedy. “I remember feeling anxious when the film folded, and it was really hard to get back to normal and deal with my mother’s illness,” Wilson continued. “I definitely feel like having that family, and by being willing to take care of us and help us out, it was easier.”

Danny DeVito gave Mara Wilson a valuable gift

Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, and Mara Wilson
Danny Devito, Mara Wilson, and Rhea Perlman Peter Kramer / NBC / NBC Newswire / NBCUniversal through Getty Images

Sadly, Wilson Suzie’s mother had died a few months earlier Matilda It was first published in August 1996. Wilson was lost that his mother, who was a huge fan of Dahl’s book, had never seen her perform in the film. But she apparently secretly got a glimpse of her little girl as Matilda.

According to Wilson’s memoir, Where am I now? (via littlethings.com) DeVito visited Wilson’s mother in the hospital before she died and showed her a clip of the film before it was first released. He did not tell Wilson about his benevolent act until years later. But it’s a heart-pounding gift that Wilson will always enjoy, and that proves that DeVito is nothing like Frank Wormwood in real life.