In the early '90s, young actress Mara Wilson dominated Hollywood as the go-to "cute" girl, starring in films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda, and Miracle on 34th Street. Sadly, it was that very reputation and resulting typecasting that caused her to leave Hollywood behind after being "miserable" for years.
"I appreciate the word cute in its own way, but when I was young and cute, I felt like I was being reduced to that, I felt like it was out of my control," the 29-year-old explained to Today Extra.
She added, "'As I grew up, I didn't really fit Hollywood's image anymore and my decision was, okay, do I want to get plastic surgery and try to live in this world where I feel a bit out of control for, you know, some moments of fun and some enjoyment, or do I want to try to find my own way and do my own thing?"
In her first big opportunity in Mrs. Doubtfire, Wilson starred alongside Robin Williams, Sally Field, and Pearce Brosnan. Despite the fame and success of those co-stars, Wilson was still a standout performer.
"I grew up in
She continued, "And my family thought it would be a fun adventure, something we put in scrapbooks, but then I got cast in another movie and another movie and another movie and another movie and another movie and I became accidentally semi-famous!"
Sadly, shortly after one of her biggest starring roles in Matilda, Wilson's mother began battling cancer, another stumbling block in the burgeoning actress' career.
In Matilda, Danny DeVito played her father, but the actress recalled the actor was a much sweeter than his character, noting, "My mother was ill with cancer at the time and he took a print of the film so she could see it before she passed away. Danny was a wonderful person. He was like
Wilson made the decision to stop pursuing acting in her teens, going on to write the memoir Where Am I Now? about her experiences. She explained, "Acting is fun but it is not worth sacrificing my life and face and experiences for."
Recently, the actress has been seen on the Comedy Central series Broad City and heard in the Netflix animated series Bojack Horseman.