Let's face it: they don't make movies like Mrs. Doubtfire anymore. Between Robin Williams' largely improvised performance and the wonderfully absurd premise, it easily became one of those favorites that gets played over and over again without losing any of its appeal. You just can't deny classic scenes like when Daniel (Robin Williams) calls his soon-to-be ex-wife and imitates an assortment of nightmarish job applicants.
In all honesty, I'm one of those people that quotes this scene on a weekly basis, and anyone that doesn't like it ends up on the receiving end of a drive-by fruiting.
It's been 22 years since Mrs. Doubtfire premiered, and the adorable Hillard children are now all grown up. Read on to see what they've been doing since, including their beautiful tributes to their movie dad, Robin Williams.
Lydia Hillard - Lisa Jakub
Lydia was the slightly standoffish but fiercely protective oldest sister, and the role cemented Lisa Jakub as a face the general public just can't forget. She was also the reason I learned the word "detestable" at 4-years-old, which I'm sure my parents appreciated every time we had a meal that didn't consist solely of chicken nuggets.
Following Mrs. Doubtfire, Jakub continued acting for seven more years—most notably appearing in the sci-fi classic Independence Day—until she retired in 2001. At 22-years-old, she chose to leave behind a life of red carpets and film sets, actively avoiding the fate of so many child stars. When she felt the urge to do something new, she moved to Virginia, graduated from University of Virginia, and eventually got married.
Since then, she's turned her attention to writing. She's runs this blog in which she humorously discusses her life after acting, offering a down-to-earth insider's take on life within (and eventually beyond) the Hollywood machine. As Jakub made the transition to being "a normal person," she also contributed pieces for Thought Catalog, Hello Giggles, and many other news publications.
In June, Jakub is releasing a memoir appropriately titled You Look Like That Girl: A Child Actor Stops Pretending and Finally Grows Up.
Chris Hillard - Matthew Lawrence
Oh, Chris. Without your bad grades, your parents may never have gotten into the fight that ultimately spelled divorce. On the other hand, then we would never have met Mrs. Doubtfire, so we actually owe the middle Hillard kid a debt of gratitude.
After leaving Mrs. Doubtfire and that amazing pseudo-mullet behind, Matthew Lawrence stayed in the acting game. He starred alongside his brothers, Joey and Andrew, in the sitcom Brotherly Love before landing the role that made him a weekly part of my life: Jack Hunter (Shawn's brother) on Boy Meets World. He also moved on to film roles in The Hot Chick and Cheats.
These days, Lawrence has made some guest appearances on his brother's show [Melissa & Joey](tag:1074814) and had a cameo on Workaholics.
Natalie Hillard - Mara Wilson
Along with starring roles in Matilda and Miracle on 34th Street, Mara Wilson's adorable turn as little Natalie Hillard made her an unforgettable child star of the '90s. These days, Wilson has exchanged acting for writing, and you can catch her as a straight-shooter and refreshingly outspoken online presence. On her blog Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, she has a whole section dedicated to frequently asked questions, many of which hit on why she chose to stop acting:
I don’t act professionally anymore, i.e., I do not pursue film acting as a career. I don’t go on auditions or casting calls: the business of acting stresses me out, and I don’t think it’s worth it. But I do enjoy acting with or for good friends, or at least for people I know and respect.
As a part of Project UROK, a non-profit organization aimed at eradicating the stigma attached to mental illness, Wilson opened up about her own experiences with OCD, anxiety, and depression.
In October 2014, Wilson landed a deal with Penguin Books, and she's been working on writing a collection of personal essays entitled (K) for Kid all about being "young, female, and a little out of place." If her blog and Twitter are any indication, it won't skimp on hard truths of what Hollywood is like behind-the-scenes, and we may get a novel look at that classic movie, Mrs. Doubtfire.
She also adores Saltines (yes, the crackers), so she clearly has amazing taste. Seriously, Saltines are the best, even if they remind me of faking sick to get out of gym class.
They all fondly remember Robin Williams
When Robin Williams passed away, there was an outpouring of support, grief, and remembrance, and his onscreen children offered their own touching statements.
In a detailed blog post, Lisa Jakub recounted a time she was kicked out of high school for taking the part in Mrs. Doubtfire and accruing too many absences. When Williams found out, he wrote a glowing letter to the school's principal on Lisa's behalf, trying desperately to get her readmitted. Though they didn't take her back, Lisa saw first-hand the generosity that Robin Williams was known for:
Robin stood up for me. He was in my corner. I was only 14, but I had already seen that I was in an industry that was full of backstabbing. And it was entirely clear that Robin had my back.
Matthew Lawrence had equally heartfelt things to say about Williams:
He was the single most important influence in my career and not a day goes by I don't appreciate the time I got to spend with him.
Lastly, Mara Wilson summed up her thoughts on her blog, saying "it's as if my favorite teacher died." She elaborated in another post:
He was a creator as much as a performer. After one of my friends posted Robin’s “impression of a hot dog” on Facebook, I realized she had no idea that wasn’t in the script. It was supposed to be a monologue where he listed every voice he could do, but he decided to take the ones he’d been given, add more of his own, and just riff for a while.
Because of all these are gut-wrenching, I thought I'd leave off on a happier anecdote from the Mrs. Doubtfire set. In her Reddit AMA, Lisa Jakub elaborated on the kids' first time meeting the Mrs. Doubtfire character. Robin Williams came out dressed in the full outfit, and they all had a full conversation thinking that this character was actually Williams' real-life mother.
Just another reason to love this movie.