Why Mara Wilson Quit Film Acting and is Perfectly OK With It

by Intern Kerishma

You probably know her from Mrs. Doubtfire or as the beloved titular bookworm in Matilda – Mara Wilson, former child actor, opened up on her (very well-written) blog, Mara Wilson Writes Stuffabout her take on the nature of the film acting industry.

“Here is something no real celebrity will ever tell you,” she writes. “Film acting is not very fun.” The repetitive nature of film acting – doing take after take after take – limits the actor’s creative expression. Though she admits that the world of film can be exciting, more often than not it’s “tedious” and the audition process is “brutal and dehumanizing.”

While she feels “relief” at not having to endure the world of film anymore, she still maintains a realistic view of the industry: “I think that there are many much more talented, much more conventionally attractive actresses out there who are taking the roles I would have been offered. To paraphrase the showtune, anything I can do, Anna Kendrick or Ellen Page or Jennifer Lawrence (or any actress from the plethora of actresses waiting to be “discovered”) can do better.”

It’s the world of theater that fascinates her now – in 2009 she graduated from NYU’s Tisch Academy for the Arts, where she wrote and starred in a one-woman show called “Weren’t You That Girl…?” about being recognized and treated as a child star. She continues to work in the theater, both as a playwright and an actor. “In terms of sheer adrenaline, film has absolutely nothing on theater,” she explains. “Theater is about connection with an audience, being in the moment, and living a live moment onstage. It’s thrilling and terrifying and ephemeral. It’s life.”

Just reading this one post, and skimming the rest of her blog, I was personally pretty impressed with Mara – she seems realistic and intelligent in her outlook, and a damn good writer to boot. And another reassurance that she’s got a good head on her shoulders is her stance on taking part in vapid reality TV: “And no, you will not ever see me on Dancing With The Stars.” 

Image source IMDb

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