Mara Wilson has spoken out about the devastating impact being sexualized as a child star had on her.
The actress, 35, rose to fame in 1993 at the age of six after landing the role of Natalie ‘Nattie’ Hillard in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire had scored on her first film audition, having appeared in only a few TV commercials.
The following year, she played Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street and played the lead role of Matilda Wormwood in the 1996 film Matilda.
Mara has now written about the pressures of becoming world famous at such a young age in her new memoir Good Girls Don’t, available on Scribd, which explores the pressures she faced as a child star and the complex relationships that shaped her as she grew up. grew up as an adolescent in Hollywood.
The movie star claims she was in vulnerable situations as a child, with the public “sexualizing” her as she grew older and men contacting her inappropriately.
Honestly: Mara Wilson, 35, has spoken out about the devastating impact being sexualized as a child star had on her (pictured in 2019)
Fame game: Mara played the lead role of Matilda Wormwood in the movie Matilda in 1996 (depicted in the movie in 1996)
The former child, whose mother Suzie died of cancer in 1995 when Mara was eight, insists she was well looked after by her parents on film sets, but claims “vague” things happened, such as bosses asking her to work overtime instead of asking her parents for permission.
Mara told the Guardian from her mother: “If she didn’t like how something was going, she wouldn’t hesitate to voice her concerns.”
She insists her parents thought she would be safe if she only worked on children’s films, but blames the world for sexualizing her.
Mara explained, “I had people send me inappropriate letters and post things about me online.
“I made the mistake of Googling myself when I was 12 and saw things I couldn’t see.”
Pictures of Mara were on porn images with her head on top of other girls’ bodies.
“I don’t think you can be a child star without lasting damage,” she continued. “People assume Hollywood is corrupt by nature, and there’s something about movie sets that destroys you.
“For me, that wasn’t necessarily true. I always felt safe on film sets. There were definitely some vague, questionable things that sometimes happened – adults telling dirty jokes, or people sexually harassing me in front of me.
Child star: The actress (center) rose to fame in 1993 at the age of six after playing Natalie ‘Nattie’ Hillard in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire had scored in her first film audition
Telling her story: Mara has now written about the pressure of becoming world famous at such a young age in her new memoir Good Girls Don’t (pictured in 2019)
“For example, people doing things would ask me if it was okay if I worked overtime instead of asking my parents, but I never felt unsafe. I think that’s because I’ve worked with a lot of great directors who were used to working with kids.’
She said the concept of having a fanbase added to the pressure she felt as a child star.
Mara felt she could no longer be herself when she was out in public, saying that people expected her to be perfect, which she wasn’t when she was having a bad day, especially when she was experiencing grief after the death of her mother.
She added that fans expected her to be “smart, beautiful, kind” and to be just like her character Matilda, whom she described as “great, but she’s not real.”
Mara said she was a “nerdy, clumsy teen” who got angry but couldn’t convert her anger into her telekinesis powers, like Matilda.
The star said she was also aware of “the story” of child stars going off the rails, which she says is somewhat inevitable with young people under so much pressure as they try to grow and form their own identities.
While she didn’t turn to booze, drugs, and partying, Mara said her anger became self-destructive and took the form of self-loathing, with Mara saying to herself, “you’re a loser, you’re a failure, you’re ugly.” ‘, while outwardly she quickly became frustrated and furious.
Her career slowed down when she hit puberty, with a director asking her to wear a sports bra while filming a movie to flatten her developing breasts.
On screen: Mara’s new book explores the pressures she underwent as a child star and the complex relationships that shaped her growing up as an adolescent in Hollywood (Mara, second right, appears in Mrs. Doubtfire in 1993)
Tough times: The movie star claims she was in vulnerable situations as a child, with the public “sexualizing” her as she grew older and men contacting her inappropriately (Mara, right, can be seen in Matilda in 1996)
She said she was long struck by the fact that she was no longer considered “cute” in Hollywood, saying, “If you’re not pretty, you’re worthless,” adding that she directly associated that with the demise of her career.
Mara was later diagnosed with OCD by a psychiatrist, while they also suggested she might have post-traumatic stress disorder.
She also later began to grow into her sexuality and came out as bisexual in 2016, saying she saw it as another issue that she tried to ignore as she felt there was too much else going on with her at the time. hand wash.
Growing up in California, Mara put herself through a performing arts boarding school on her own, where she discovered a love for theater and writing, before attending New York University.
She is now primarily a writer, having previously released another memoir, Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, in 2016, while still doing some acting work, including audiobooks and hosting the fiction podcast Welcome to Night Vale.
Passion: She is now primarily a writer, having previously released another memoir, Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, in 2016 (pictured in 2019)
She’s not sure if she would ever return to film or television, insisting she doesn’t know what movie executives would do with a “short, curvy, Jewish brunette.”
She added, “I don’t want anyone telling me, ‘You need to lose 30 pounds and get a nose job.'”
However, she is no longer interested in changing herself, insisting that she no longer uses Hollywood terms and defines herself by “my own goals, my own relationships, my own life.”
Good Girls Don’t is available exclusively in ebook and audiobook formats on Scribd.