The Career Mara Wilson Imagines For 30-Year-Old Matilda Is Too Perfect

"There really is only one conclusion to which I can come."

Monday marked 30 years since the book Matilda by Roald Dahl was published. To celebrate, actress Mara Wilson (who played Matilda in the 1996 movie adaptation) penned a heartwarming essay for Vanity Fair about what she imagines 30-year-old Matilda Wormwood would be doing now.

"Matilda, I believe, displays what he [Dahl] considered to be the best virtues: a love of learning and an innate sense of justice, courage, warmth, and a dry wit," Wilson, who is 31, writes in the piece. "She's thoughtful and self-confident, but never obsessive or conceited. She is extraordinary, but never elitist. She's perfect."


In the book and the movie, Matilda is an avid reader with telekinetic powers. Wilson sees this as "allegorical," writing, "Reading and education do give you powers, just not necessarily telepathic ones." So it's only natural that the actress would imagine the character becoming a librarian when she grew up.

"There really is only one conclusion to which I can come: she must have gone back to the place where her love of learning began," Wilson writes, after speculating that Matilda would have also been an "activist" with several college degrees.

"Librarians have a special power, knowing they are opening doors to other worlds when they hand someone a book," Wilson writes. "It's something Dahl knew, and something I believe Danny DeVito, Robin Swicord, and Nicholas Kazan understood when they made the film version of Matilda — which ends with Matilda reading Moby Dick to Miss Honey."

She imagines Matilda to be a "warm and friendly" librarian, recommending books to young readers and offering words of encouragement. "Like the perfect big sister," she writes.

Wilson's piece also includes new illustrations from the book's original illustrator, Quentin Blake, imagining Matilda's possible career paths as an adult. Hello Giggles reports that the drawings depict the character as everything from an astrophysics professor to chief librarian of the British Library. They're included on the covers of special 30th-anniversary editions of the book.

Another tribute to Matilda came in the form of a new statue at the Roald Dahl Museum in Buckinghamshire, England, near the author's home. The character is depicted standing up to U.S. President Donald Trump. According to BBC News, Trump was chosen by the public as Matilda's "modern-day nemesis."

In the original story, Matilda stands up to Miss Trunchbull, the headmistress at her school who gives Matilda and her classmates cruel punishments.

As Bernie Hall of the Roald Dahl Story Company said, "Matilda demonstrates that it's possible for anyone, no matter how small and powerless they feel, to defeat the Trunchbulls in their own lives — a message that feels even more relevant today than it did 30 years ago."

Cover image: Gilbert Carrasquillo/ FilmMagic / Getty Images / Amazon


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