Here’s What Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull Looks Like Today

Any kid who was around in 1996 will remember the terrifying figure of Matilda’s Miss Trunchbull. The wicked headmistress who locked children in cupboards and forced a small boy to consume a mammoth chocolate cake haunted many a nightmare. And the way she looked didn’t help either – the large, red-faced tormentor seemed more likely to be a military commander than a kindergarten teacher. And those huge teeth were horrible too! So Matilda fans may be quite surprised to learn what Pam Ferris, the actress who played her, looks like these days.

Pam's risky move

Pam Ferris was a familiar face on British television before she was cast in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved book. She starred in the 1991-1993 TV series The Darling Buds of May, the same show which gave actress Catherine Zeta-Jones (who played her daughter) her breakout. Ferris was best known for dramatic and costume drama roles, however, so playing the villain in a family comedy was a bit of a departure for her.

Unusual hair and makeup

But Ferris had an absolute blast filming Matilda, and 20 years after its release she gave an interview to the Radio Times about what it was like behind the scenes. Most notably, she discussed how the hair and makeup process went. “I did have false eyelashes... and they were on my chin! And a little bit on my top lip,” she told the magazine in September 2016.

"Wonderfully cruel"

And then there was the rest of it. “We were going to have big top teeth all the way across but in the course of extra teeth being fitted I said I quite like it with only half in because it gave me a kind of Elvis sneer,” Ferris continued. “So we left just the one side of extra teeth in and it did a wonderfully cruel thing to my mouth.” It certainly did.

Vile Aunt Marge

In fact, Ferris’s transformation and her performance as an evil villain ended up standing her in very good stead. Because just a few years after Matilda, she was called upon to play another thoroughly unpleasant woman. This time, it was a certain famous wizard’s vile Aunt Marge in 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.