The Shmooze

Mara Wilson Hated Being a Movie Star

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Former child star Mara Wilson is letting people know that acting and celebrity are not all that they are cracked up to be. Us Weekly took note of a blog post that the now 24-year-old Wilson wrote in March on the subject and shared its main points with readers yesterday.

Although many of us have fond memories of cute little Wilson, with her bangs and impish grin, from family-friendly fare like “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Matilda,” the actress herself doesn’t. “Film acting is not very fun,” she writes. “Doing the same thing over and over again until, in the director’s eyes, you ‘get it right,’ does not allow for very much creative freedom. The best times I had on film sets were the times the director let me express myself, but those were rare.”

Now working off stage and behind the scenes, mainly as a playwright, she says: “Film can be exciting, but more often, it’s tedious. The celebrity aspect is nothing short of ridiculous, and auditioning is brutal and dehumanizing. Every time I see a pretty young girl on the subway reading sides for an audition, my only thought is, ‘Man, am I glad I’m not doing that anymore.’ I never feel nostalgia, just relief.”

Wilson was born in Los Angeles into a large family. She has three older brothers and a younger sister. Her mother, Suzie Shapiro Wilson, died of breast cancer in 1996, while Wilson was filming “Matilda.”

Wilson went to the Idyllwild Arts Academy near Palm Springs, California, and graduated in 2009 from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Although she has no interest in returning to a live-action film career, she says she is happy to do voice-over work and loves the theater. She is not at all opposed to doing some acting, but “when I do, it’s with people I know and trust, people who respect me as a person and appreciate what I have to offer,” she emphasizes.

And just in case her fans weren’t totally clear on her message, she closes her blog post with: “And no, you will not ever see me on ‘Dancing With The Stars.’ Sorry.”


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