Matilda cast then and now: Where are the film's child stars and actors now?

8 July 2021, 13:50

Matilda cast then and now: Where are the film's child stars and actors now?
Matilda cast then and now: Where are the film's child stars and actors now? Picture: Jersey Films / Getty

By Sian Moore

Roald Dahl's 'Matilda' adaptation became a solid film favourite when it was released in 1996. But where are Bruce Bogtrotter, Lavender and Matilda herself now?

When Mara Wilson lifted brought the much-loved fictional character of Matilda to life in the late '90s, the family comedy quickly became a cult favourite.

And let's not forget Rusted Root's 'Send Me On My Way', which has practically become synonymous with the movie adaptation of the Road Dahl classic.

With a cast of unforgettable characters, including the fearsome Miss Trunchbull and everyone's favourite fictitious school teacher, Miss Honey, you're probably a little curious what they're all up to these days.

Read more: Stand By Me cast then and now: What happened next to the film's young characters?

  1. Mara Wilson (Matilda)

    Mara Wilson – (Matilda)
    Mara Wilson – (Matilda). Picture: Jersey Films

    Before being cast as the lead role in Matilda, American actress and writer Mara Wilson had already starred in several blockbuster hits.

    In 1993, Wilson featured in Mrs. Doubtfire as Natalie Hillard, and just a year later she played Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street.

    It was 1996 when Mara was chosen to play Matilda Wormwood in the adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, the same year that her mother died following a battle with breast cancer. The film was dedicated to her memory.

    Read more: Mara Wilson facts: Miracle on 34th Street star's age, net worth, movies and what she's doing now

    At the age of seven, Wilson retired from acting in 2000 to pursue her other interest, writing.

    Aside from a brief appearance in a web series called Missed Connection, Mara only fully returned to acting in 2015 to star in Joe Kowalski's comedy-drama Billie Bob Joe.

    Alongside her writing career, the Matilda actress has featured in several TV shows and the 2020 film Our Popcorn Movie Dystopia - Some More News: The Movie.

  2. Jimmy Karz (Bruce Bogtrotter)

    Jimmy Karz – (Bruce Bogtrotter)
    Jimmy Karz – (Bruce Bogtrotter). Picture: Jimmy Karz / Jersey Films

    Unlike co-star Mara Wilson, Jimmy Karz's first acting role was as Roald Dahl's cake-stealing schoolboy, Bruce Bogtrotter.

    Karz was 12 years old when he was cast in the film, which saw him stand up to the formidable Miss Trunchbull and eat an entire 18-inch chocolate cake in front of the whole school.

    Unsurprisingly, Jimmy swore off chocolate for a while after the role.

    "I had to be on set all day, and I had to wear the same outfit every day. The chocolate was already encrusted on this shirt I was wearing," he said.

    "For continuity's sake, every day I had to have the chocolate painted on my face the way it was painted on the day before. I despised the smell of chocolate for a few weeks after that."

    After Matilda, Karz starred in one more film, The Wedding Singer in 1998, and the TV series ER that same year.

    Jimmy is now a doctor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

  3. Kiami Davael (Lavender)

    Kiami Davael – (Lavender)
    Kiami Davael – (Lavender). Picture: Jersey Films / Instagram / officialkiamidavael

    Kiami Davael's first acting gig was in Matilda too.

    The actress, model, singer, songwriter and screenwriter was 10 years old when she was cast as Matilda's friend, Lavender, who went on to slip a salamander in Miss Trunchball's water glass.

    Since then, Kiami has starred in seven TV shows and the 2000 movie, Bruno.

    But after her final film, Davael has kept a bit of a low profile.

    The child star wrote the script for the short Reckless, which was released in 2012, and recently spoke on the Sweetened with Ash Lemonade podcast.

  4. Jacqueline Steiger (Amanda Thripp)

    Jacqueline Steiger – (Amanda Thripp)
    Jacqueline Steiger – (Amanda Thripp). Picture: Jersey Films / Getty

    You'll recognise Jacqueline Steiger from one of the most memorable scenes in Matilda.

    It was her character, Amanda Thripp, who was thrown over the fence by Miss Trunchbull after being vigorously spun from her pigtails like an olympic hammer.

    She landed her first acting gig in the 1996 hit film at the age of nine, and since Steiger has gone on to star in several TV shows, films and videos.

    Her last acting credit was for the 2014 short Rise of the Kitchen Appliances, in which she voiced Microwave.

    Jacqueline also has production roles under her belt, and two writing credits too.

  5. Embeth Davidtz (Miss Honey)

    Embeth Davidtz – (Miss Honey)
    Embeth Davidtz – (Miss Honey). Picture: Jersey Films / Getty

    Embeth Davidtz had already starred in several films and TV shows when she was cast as the loveable Miss Honey in Matilda.

    The American actress is now 55 years old and still regularly features on the big and small screen, with 44 acting credits in total.

    In 2014, Davidtz starred in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Mary Parker, and finished her 13-year stint in Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Nancy Shepherd in 2019.

  6. Pam Ferris (Miss Trunchbull)

    Pam Ferris – (Miss Trunchbull)
    Pam Ferris – (Miss Trunchbull). Picture: Jersey Films / Getty

    We couldn't imagine anyone pulling off the role of Crunchem Hall Primary School's nightmare headteacher Miss Trunchbull quite like Pam Ferris did.

    The award-winning actress had already starred in a host of TV shows and films stretching back to the early '70s, prior to being cast in Matilda.

    Since starring in Roald Dahl's on-screen tale, Ferris has featured in a different film or series practically every year to date.

    You might remember her in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as Aunt Marge, or from the festive favourite, Nativity!, in which she played Mrs. Bevan.