Lincoln Hills Funding, ‘Matilda’ Star All Grown Up, Household Incomes Rising In Wisconsin, Nationwide

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

We know her as the eponymous heroine who fought her way out of unfortunate circumstances in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Mara Wilson wrote the book on child stardom, and joins us on Central Time to talk about it. We also talk about new numbers from the U.S. Census that says household incomes are rising, and we hear about new funding from the Department of Corrections to face problems at the state’s youth prison.

Featured in this Show

  • DOC Seeks Millions To Address Sexual Assault And Other Issues At Youth Prison

    The Wisconsin Department of Corrections is seeking almost $3 million to address sexual assault and medication errors at the state’s youth prison – Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls. We talk to a reporter who covered the story.

  • Where Am I Now? True Stories Of Girlhood And Accidental Fame

    Mara Wilson, best known for her roles in movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda as a child, shares unique stories about being a child star, and universal ones about growing up in her new book Where Am I Now? True Stories Of Girlhood And Accidental Fame.

  • 'Matilda' Star Mara Wilson Talks Hollywood, Appearances, Moving On From The Big Screen

    People who make their mark on the world often do so as adults, but Mara Wilson is remembered for work she did before she turned 10 years old.

    The former child star is best known for her leading roles in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Matilda,” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” Now, with a memoir released this month called “Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame,” Wilson looks back on the experience of being a kid in the spotlight and on movie sets alongside adults.

    Wilson, 29, said it took awhile to realize most kids don’t grow up in front of the camera.

    “It took me some time to realize how unusual (my childhood was),” she said. “A lot of my best friends were child actors, my first boyfriend was a child actor. It was kind of part of the culture of LA, of where we grew up in the Valley.”

    But even though she appeared alongside extraordinary talent such as the late Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Wilson said her parents often tried to keep aspects of her life as ordinary as possible — from enrolling her in public school to signing her up for Girl Scouts.

    “My parents tried to keep me grounded and keep me living the same lower middle class existence that I lived for the rest of my life,” she said.

    Stories of child stars like Macaulay Carson Culkin, best known for his leading role in the “Home Alone,” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” and Lindsay Lohan, who made her career debut in the acclaimed “The Parent Trap,” found their transition into adulthood challenging, which isn’t unheard of.

    For Wilson, her parents’ influence was key to moving past life as a child star and into a relatively quiet adulthood.

    “My parents never pushed me into acting, and they weren’t living off my money,” Wilson said. “So when I said I didn’t want to act anymore … I was OK with it.”

    Her interests outside of Hollywood, such as writing, improv comedy and stage acting also helped her move past being on the big screen.

    Being a child actor whose work was closely tied to her appearance did have have an affect on Wilson, especially as she got older and realized she wasn’t “cute” enough for Hollywood.

    “When I was very young, I didn’t really like being told I was cute all the time,” Wilson said. “(But) when I went through puberty, I lost a super power I didn’t even know I had.”

    Wilson said not getting casted in roles the way she did when she was younger impacted how she saw herself.

    “I knew I wasn’t attractive enough for Hollywood. So I think a part of me thought … that I wasn’t attractive at all, that I was hideous,” she said.

    But after years of being out of place — a child on movie sets filled with adults, a kid who may have been more precocious than her peers, or a person who is best known for things she did as a kid — Wilson is now comfortable in her own skin.

    “Just because you’re not attractive enough for Hollywood doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you,” she said. “I’ve come to accept that I have my assets and flaws like everybody else.”

  • New Numbers From The U.S. Census Shows Household Incomes Rising Nationwide

    A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that household incomes rose 5.2 percent in 2015. We’ll look at what those numbers mean for Wisconsin and the nation with economist Steve Deller.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Haleema Shah Producer
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Molly Beck Guest
  • Mara Wilson Guest
  • Steve Deller Guest

Related Stories