Matilda star Mara Wilson says men would try to contact her when she was a child
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After rising to fame before she was even a teenager, Matilda star Mara Wilson has described how grown men would try to get in touch with her from an extremely young age.
Wilson was just six years old when she was cast in her first film, landing a role in Mrs Doubtfire alongside the iconic Robin Williams.
Despite the big Hollywood name attached to the movie, Wilson has said her family didn't think of her involvement as the start of a career - until things 'kind of snowballed'.
The following year, she appeared in the Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street, and in 1996, she captured the hearts of millions with her role in Matilda.
She was only nine years old, but she was already famous.
In an interview with The Guardian, Wilson reflected on that strange time and admitted she didn't think you could be a child star 'without there being some kind of lasting damage'.
Wilson expressed the belief that people 'assume' there's something about being on film sets which can 'destroy' young stars, but for her that wasn't necessarily true.
"I always felt safe on film sets," she said. "There were definitely some sketchy, questionable things that happened at times – adults that told dirty jokes, or sexually harassed people in front of me. People who did things like ask me if it was OK if I worked overtime, instead of asking my parents, but I never felt unsafe."
Unfortunately, that safe feeling couldn't be applied to the rest of the world.
Wilson was just seven years old when journalists began asking her if she knew what french kissing was, or which actor she found 'sexiest'.
Despite only working on children's films, she was still sexualised by members of the public and had adult men attempting to reach out to her.
"I had people sending me inappropriate letters and posting things about me online,” she recalled. “I made the mistake of Googling myself when I was 12 and saw things that I couldn’t unsee.”
Wilson found that her image was on porn sites, posted by people who had superimposed her head on to other girls’ bodies.
On top of her fame, Wilson also had to deal with death of her mother, who died from breast cancer amid her daughter's success.
As she got older, Wilson questioned whether fans would 'really like' her if they knew her real self, and she was later diagnosed with OCD by a psychiatrist, who also suggested that she could have post-traumatic stress disorder.
"People don’t realise how much constantly talking to the press as a child weighs on you," she said.
Wilson came out as bisexual in 2016, and she now focuses more on writing and doing voice acting work than appearing on screen.