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Matilda’s Mara Wilson says she was sent fan letters from ‘creepy old men’ as a child star

Mara Wilson played the title role in the 1996 movie version of Dahl's 1988 work 'Matilda': TriStar Pictures
Mara Wilson played the title role in the 1996 movie version of Dahl's 1988 work 'Matilda': TriStar Pictures

Mara Wilson has recalled becoming “messed up” after being sent fan letters by “creepy old men” as a child star.

Wilson, who starred in Nineties classics including Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire, said that she generally enjoyed working in Hollywood, and that any discomfort she experienced stemmed from outside of the industry.

“I had generally good experiences in Hollywood,” she told Yahoo Movies. “That changed a little bit as I got older but the worst things that happened came either through the media or by people who considered themselves fans but were making me uncomfortable.”

She continued: “The public perception messes people up. Getting fan letters from creepy old men when you’re a child – that messes you up.”

Wilson is one of the participants in Showbiz Kids, a new documentary about growing up famous that has been directed by Bill & Ted star Alex Winter.

ET’s Henry Thomas, Evan Rachel Wood and the late Cameron Boyce are among the other former child actors to appear in the film.

Allegations of child abuse in the film industry are also touched upon in the movie. Wilson said that she believes child abuse is a societal issue rather than one confined to Hollywood.

“Hollywood doesn’t have a child abuse problem,” she explained. “The world has a child abuse problem and things like the #MeToo movements are making that more evident.”

Showbiz Kids is streaming on NOW TV with a Sky Cinema Pass.