THEN AND NOW: The cast of ‘Matilda’ 26 years later
- The family film “Matilda” debuted in theaters in 1996.
- Mara Wilson, who played Matilda, now lends her voice to animated characters.
- Though actors like Danny DeVito are still working today, some have left the spotlight.
Mara Wilson held the titular “Matilda” role.
Wilson portrayed Matilda, a girl who discovers she has the power of telekinesis and uses it to cope with her immoral family and vile headmistress.
Wilson starred alongside Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993), and held a recurring role on Fox’s “Melrose Place.” She also appeared in the classic Christmas movie, “Miracle on 34th Street” (1994), before portraying Matilda.
After taking a break from acting, Wilson now lends her voice to animated characters.
Shortly after the film wrapped, Wilson mostly stuck to acting in TV series. She landed guest roles on shows including CBS’s “Pearl,” Kids’ WB’s “Batman Beyond,” and the film, “Thomas and the Magic Railroad” (2000).
Wilson then took about a decade-long break from film acting. During this hiatus, she performed in some stage productions and wrote and published a few creative pieces, including a play.
She then returned to the spotlight to focus on TV acting with series including Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” and completed voice work on shows like Netflix’s “Bojack Horseman,” and Disney Channel’s “Big Hero 6: The Series” as well as the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast.
Wilson also wrote a book in 2016 about her experience as a child actor titled, “Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame.”
Her latest role was in the YouTube web series “Helluva Boss.”
Danny DeVito portrayed Matilda’s scamming father, Harry.
DeVito played Harry Wormwood, Matilda’s father and a used-car dealer using some shady methods to make sales.
DeVito starred in dozens of movies and TV shows before appearing in and directing “Matilda,” including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975), ABC’s “Taxi,” “Romancing the Stone” (1984), “Twins” (1988), “Renaissance Man” (1994), and “Get Shorty” (1995).
He also directed several projects, including a few episodes of “Taxi,” “Throw Momma from the Train” (1987) “The War of the Roses” (1989), and “Hoffa” (1992).
DeVito has starred in a number of roles since.
After “Matilda,” DeVito lent his familiar voice to the animated Disney movie “Hercules” (1997), and starred in “Man on the Moon” (1999), “Be Cool” (2005), “The Lorax” (2012), “The Comedian” (2016), and “The Survivor” (2021).
He has also starred in the popular FX comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” since 2006.
DeVito’s work as a director includes “Death to Smoochy” (2002) “Duplex” (2003) and several short films such as “Skin Deep” (2011) and “Curmudgeons” (2016).
He is set to appear in “Haunted Mansion” (2023) alongside Rosario Dawson and Owen Wilson.
Rhea Perlman played Matilda’s mother, Zinnia.
Perlman plays Matilda’s mother, Zinnia Wormwood. She often acts as an accomplice to Harry’s scams and, just like her husband, neglects to care for Matilda.
Perlman held roles on several TV shows and movies before appearing in ABC’s “Taxi” with DeVito.
She also appeared in NBC’s “St. Elsewhere” and ABC’s “Matlock” in between starring in the long-running NBC comedy, “Cheers,” alongside Ted Danson.
Perlman went on to have a starring role in a CBS show.
After shooting “Matilda,” Perlman went on to play the titular role on CBS’s “Pearl.”
She appeared in several made-for-TV movies and series since, including guest spots and recurring roles on NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” HBO’s “Hung,” Nickelodeon’s “Robot and Monster,” and Fox’s “The Mindy Project.”
One of her latest roles includes the Disney+ series “Star Wars: The Bad Batch,” and according to IMDb, she is set to appear in”13: The Musical” next.
Embeth Davidtz played caring teacher Miss Honey.
Davidtz held the role of Miss Jennifer Honey, the good-natured teacher Matilda confides in throughout the movie.
Prior to “Matilda,” Davidtz appeared in films including “Army of Darkness” (1993), “Schindler’s List” (1994), and “Feast of July” (1995)
Davidtz has since appeared in several TV shows and other projects.
After “Matilda,” Davidtz mostly stuck to starring in TV series, including HBO’s “In Treatment,” Showtime’s “Californication” and AMC’s “Mad Men.”
Later, Davidtz appeared on Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” and Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” and in the film “Old” (2021).
She is set to appear on AMC’s “Tales of the Walking Dead” later this year.
Pam Ferris played stern headmistress Miss Trunchbull.
Ferris portrays Agatha Trunchbull, a headmistress known for instilling fear into the students and taking her anger out on Matilda.
Ferris guest-starred in several British series and had recurring roles in ITV’s “Connie,” and ITV’s “The Darling Buds of May” before joining the cast of “Matilda.”
Ferris landed several other roles in TV soon after “Matilda.”
Soon after, she starred in British channel ITV’s “Where the Heart Is” and appeared in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) and “Children of Men” (2006).
Ferris starred in the BBC drama “Call the Midwife” and appeared alongside Will Ferrell in “Holmes & Watson” (2018).
One of her latest roles was a guest spot on Sky Arts’ “Urban Myths.”
Brian Levinson played Michael, Matilda’s cruel older brother.
Levinson held the role of Matilda’s older brother, Brian, who doesn’t seem to take issue with his parents’ immoral ways.
Levinson appeared in ABC’s “Roseanne,” NBC’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and Fox’s “Hardball” before he joined the cast of “Matilda.”
Levinson hasn’t racked up many acting credits since “Matilda.”
Levinson’s only acting credit after the movie is an episode of NBC’s “Seinfeld.”
Levinson has maintained a low profile since acting, though he did attend the cast’s reunion dinner in 2013.
Kiami Davael played Lavender, Matilda’s best friend.
Davael portrayed Lavender, a fellow classmate and friend of Matilda’s.
The movie was Davael’s first role.
Davael took a break from acting but is set to return to the industry.
Afterward, Davael appeared in UPN’s “Moesha,” NBC’s “In The House” and The WB’s “The Steve Harvey Show.”
After appearing in “Bruno” (2000), Davael took a break from movies and TV but still worked on local stage plays and solo creative projects, according to The Sun.
According to IMDb, Davael is set to star in the drama “Whealthy and Wise” later this year.
Paul Reubens played one of the FBI agents.
Reubens played one of the FBI agents investigating the Wormwood residents due to Harry’s shady dealings.
Before “Matilda,” he starred in “Midnight Madness” (1980) and “Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie” (1980) and later developed the Pee-wee Herman character. He went on to play Pee-wee Herman for decades, appearing in TV series and movies based on the character.
The actor also appeared in “Batman Returns” (1992) and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) before “Matilda.”
Reubens has appeared in several projects throughout the years and is most known for playing absurd characters.
Reubens has spent most of his career holding guest roles on various series including NBC’s “30 Rock,” ABC’s “Pushing Daisies” and Disney XD’s “Tron: Uprising.”
He also held a recurring role on NBC’s “The Blacklist,” Fox’s “Gotham” and FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows.”
His latest acting role was on ABC’s “The Conners” in 2019.
Jimmy Karz played Bruce, the child who ate a whole chocolate cake.
Jimmy Karz portrayed Bruce, the child forced to eat a whole chocolate cake in the infamous “Matilda” scene.
Bruce was Karz’s first role.
Karz has largely stayed out of the spotlight in recent years.
Karz later appeared in “The Wedding Singer” (1998) and an episode of NBC’s “ER” before leaving the spotlight.
He has since gone on to study osteopathic medicine.