Bruce Bogtrotter was a pretty iconic character. Sure, Matilda had all the magic, but Bruce had something we all really need: Will power. The character of Bruce Bogtrotter was played by Jim Karz, a young boy who impressed Danny DeVito in his audition and then went on to make history.
The iconic Bruce scene we all know and love was the one where he was forced to eat an entire cake. While it sounds good in theory, it's a ridiculously enormous cake and takes him hours to finish. But you know what, he powers through and that's what matters.
In an in- depth interview, DeVito and Karz discussed what it was like to make the movie all those years ago.
It was the first audition Karz ever had, but DeVito said that "when the right person shows up, you know it. He was the right person."
Karz got to do his final audition with DeVito, who stood in for the role of the Trunchbull. DeVito explained that "He was perfect. He did everything I wanted." But for Karz, he was just excited to meet DeVito. He said "That was an extraordinary experience because I had never interacted with a celebrity like that before."
Karz had to eat a lot of cake. They filmed the scene with all hundreds of kids in the audience, all staring at Karz while he devoured the cake. DeVito said "They were all screaming and hollering. And boy! The outtakes are amazing too. There were some really disgusting [shots], with him pushing the cake with his face."
Not everyone enjoyed that scene. Mara Wilson, who played Matilda, found that scene a little bit tedious and long. She said "Oh my goodness. That scene took forever to film. Matilda was such a joy to film—most of the scenes just felt like a lot of fun. That one was not so much fun." she continued by explaining that " It was just hard for a lot of kids to sit down for a long time, as you can imagine. But at least we were all together, and at least we finally got to stand up and yell! It was always fun when there were a lot of kids on the set."
Karz said that the scene actually needed some prep, "[I had to] practice eating. But that came naturally. I was pretty good at eating."