‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Turns Twenty: Child Actress Mara Wilson Weighs In

Kids of the ’90s will be absolutely shocked, while feeling incredibly old, to know that the family movie Mrs. Doubtfire turned twenty over the weekend. That’s right, the VHS that you wore out from watching it way too many times is almost legal to drink.

Since its 1993 release a lot of things have changed. First off, VHS tapes are a thing of the past, Pierce Brosnan, who played Sally Field’s hot new boyfriend, is now a grandfather, and almost every pop culture reference in Mrs. Doubtfire will result in a puzzled look from kids of the millennial generation. Of course the song “Jump Around” is still incredibly relevant for some reason.

One thing’s for certain, if there was anyone that stole the show away from comedian Robin Williams and his Mrs. Doubtfire body suit it was cutie pie Mara Wilson. The retired actress played Natalie Hillard, the youngest of Sally Field’s children caught in the middle of a bitter divorce. Wilson will probably always be known as the six-year-old that had the best piece of dialogue in the entire film as she protested to Sally Field pre-divorce, “We’re his God damn kids too!” These days she’s an NYU graduate, and writes some pretty great essays on life post Matilda fame.

MTV caught up with Wilson to celebrate the 20th anniversary, and gave away some tidbits on the filming. Wilson shared how it was to have Williams as her movie dad, having said:

“You know, people say, ‘Oh, he must have been wild and crazy.’ And he could be, but the thing is, he can turn it on and turn it off. And when he’s not in his performance mode, he’s actually very sort of quiet and, you know, a little shy, almost. He speaks very softly, he looks down at his shoes while he’s talking to you, he’ll come down to your level.”

And what about that famous line Wilson had to say at the dinner table to Sally Field?

“I remember being very afraid to say that line. I was afraid I would get in trouble. I was a conscientious little kid. You know, we were a Jewish family, but we weren’t, you know, orthodox or extremely religious, but still I was worried that God would be upset with me.”

Probably the most poignant part of Wilson’s interview came unexpectedly when discussing an experience she had with her first serious boyfriend. At the time her boyfriend said Mrs. Doubtfire “traumatized” him at six years old because the parents (spoiler alert!) don’t end up together in the end. Wilson explained Mrs. Doubtfire had a lasting effect on kids of the 90s, especially those who were experiencing the fallout of being the product of divorce, which at the time was on the rise:

“A lot of children have dealt with that. For all its absurdity, and all its ridiculousness, it does deal with the truth of human life, and of American life, that half the country has dealt with at this point.”

Mara also had musings about what her character would be doing twenty years later:

“Natalie I remember being very into animals and very into art, like a lot of little girls are. She probably went to art school or became a veterinarian.”

Happy Birthday Mrs. Doubtfire! You birthed an excellent veterinarian and raised a lot of lost children.