By the time 1996 rolled around, it seemed like Wilson the child star could do no wrong in Hollywood. That year saw her land the biggest and most important part of her career – both professionally and personally. As Matilda in the fantasy film comedy of the same name, Wilson played what was in effect a dream role in her budding acting life.
Wilson later discussed her love for the original Roald Dahl novel in an article for the website Theater Mania in 2013. She wrote, “Someone in my family was always reading or rereading it, and my mother would sometimes act it out for us as well. Matilda became a family affair.” Needless to say, that when she landed the part of the lead character in the movie adaptation, she was ecstatic.
Nevertheless, serious health issues in Wilson’s family at that time understandably cast a cloud over her joy at working on the movie. During filming, Wilson’s mother, Suzie, was sadly diagnosed with breast cancer. This led to her being hospitalized for a considerable amount of time while her daughter was actually on set. It is a testament to Wilson’s strength of character that she managed to carry on as Matilda despite everything that was going on.