The classic children’s film Matilda will be 25 in 2021, and for a lot of people it feels like time hasn’t passed. The film starred Danny DeVito and a young Mara Wilson and was based on the story of the same name by famous children’s author Roald Dahl.
‘Matilda’ was a beloved film
One of the reasons Mathilde has strong resistance because of its history. Everyone loves an underdog who overcomes adversity, and the main character was all that and more.
Mara Wilson played Matilda Wormwood, a 6-year-old girl who faces challenges at home and at school from her parents and teachers. But thanks to her special telekinetic abilities, she is able to wreak havoc and reclaim her story.
The scene 1 ‘Matilda’ that everyone remembers
Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes from Mathilde does not focus on Mathilde at all. One of his classmates, Bruce Bogtrotter (played by actor Jimmy Karz), is forced to eat a huge chocolate cake in front of the whole school.
Pupils at Crunchem Hall Elementary School are subjected to mistreatment and abuse from the cruel principal, Miss Trunchbull, played by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban actor Pam Ferris. In the chocolate cake scene, children witness its cruelty.
Miss Trunchbull punishes Bruce Bogtrotter by making him eat the cake even if he doesn’t want to. Just to annoy her, Bogtrotter devours the entire cake – with a fondant frosting – as the students cheer her on.
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Bruce Bogtrotter hated chocolate cake in real life
In 2016, several Mathilde the cast members spoke to Thrillist and revealed a lot about the making of the film and what fans didn’t see on screen. Writer Robin Swicord admitted the chocolate cake scene was a point of contention and was almost cut from the movie.
“There have been times when, in the budgeting process in particular, [producers] were like, “Do we really need the Bruce Bogtrotter scene with the chocolate cake?” “Because that doesn’t move the story forward,” Swicord said. “But I really loved that scene because his super power was that he could eat a lot of chocolate cake.”
Unsurprisingly, it was a difficult scene to film. Cinematographer Stefan Czapsky told Thrillist the cold, hard truth: “He hated chocolate cake.”
In the 2005 Mathilde DVD documentary, DeVito confirmed that there was a lot of cake involved in filming the scene, and it was a messy experience to film.
“It’s really disgusting, [but] I’m going to tell you anyway… We got her stuffed, but then I cut the camera [and] he would spit it out! DeVito revealed, saying that if he had actually eaten all that cake, it wouldn’t have been a pretty ending.
In total, Czapsky estimated “I think I took 144 angles of him eating a cake.”