Mara Wilson Shared How Danny DeVito And Rhea Perlman Cared For Her While Filming 'Matilda'

Brittany Rae

Matilda is a memorable film for a number of reasons. There's the nice ones, like Miss Honey, and a love of reading.

Then there's the not-so-nice ones, like Trunchbull and Matilda's parents, Harry and Zinnia Wormwood.

However, off-screen, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman took Mara Wilson in during a difficult time in her life.

We all remember "Matilda", right?

In the film, Matilda's parents are neglectful and cruel. They don't encourage her love of reading, and generally, believe her to be stupid.

Put simply, they're pretty abusive. They won't even allow her to go to school...until her father meets Trunchbull.

Matilda is then allowed to go to school.


But it's not the happiest school in the world.

While she's there, the FBI are investigating her father for illegal dealings with his used car dealership.

Yeah, the Worwoods were not good parents.

Enter Miss Honey.

Unlike the Wormwoods, Miss Honey is warm, and kind, and encourages Matilda's love of learning.

She also encourages her apparent supernatural abilities, and takes Matilda in when her parents are arrested for their shady behavior.

The real-life Miss Honey.


As it turns out, actors Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman were the real-life versions of Miss Honey.

Far from who they portrayed in the movie, the two established actors did nothing but help Mara grow as an actor — and tried to give her tons of space to just be a kid.

And they were married!

Did you know that Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman were not only married in Matilda, but in real life?

In fact, the two have been married since 1982. They separated in 2017, but apparently have no intention of divorcing.

Danny DeVito directed the film.

And was responsible for casting Mara Wilson in the titular role.

Neither knew it at the time, but that role would make Mara Wilson an instantly recognizable star.

Mara outlines the story of getting the part in her book, "Where Am I Now?"

As she told it, her mother, Suzie, encouraged her to take on the part of Matilda.

On March 10, 1995 — right in the middle of filming — Suzie was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Danny and Rhea took Mara in immediately.

Any time that her parents needed to go to the hospital, Danny and Rhea were there to watch Mara.

She recalled pool parties and events at their house with great fondness.

Suzie passed away a year later.


Right after production wrapped on Matilda, Suzie passed away from breast cancer.

She died never seeing Mara portray Matilda, even though she was so supportive and encouraging of her daughter taking on that role.

However, Danny DeVito had done something amazing.


Unbeknownst to Mara, Danny had taken an incomplete copy of the film to the hospital.

He showed Suzie a rough cut of the film before she died, giving her the opportunity to see her daughter in such an important role.

Mara didn't find out about that until years later.

As she told it, it wasn't until years down the road that Danny DeVito mentioned to her that he'd done that act of kindness.

Apparently, that gesture gave Mara the peace of mind she needed.

She wrote how grateful she was.

Even though she didn't find out for years, that gesture meant the world to Mara.

She said she would be forever grateful to Danny DeVito for allowing her mother to see her as Matilda.

These days, Mara Wilson is an incredible writer.


Mara left the world of acting behind for a number of reasons.

Bullying from fans and critics over her looks was a major part of it. The other was the passing of her mother.

Now, she's a best-selling author.


Her first book, Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame details what life was like for her post-Hollywood.

She also does work as a vocal actor, and has appeared on hugely popular podcasts like Welcome to Night Vale.

And she's a queer, feminist activist.

Her Twitter is the epitome of the resistance—well-spoken, queer af, and supportive of everyone.

In 2016, Mara came out as queer after the Orlando Pulse shootings. Matilda is a queer icon, y'all!