There are some children's movies that just never get old for me, that I can watch literally anytime I'm feeling a little down and need a pick-me-up. So, even though I'm a grown-ass woman, I found myself watching an old classic this past weekend and wondering to myself what ever happened to that kid Bruce from Matilda ? Oh, come on, you remember him, I know you do. Displaying that Roald Dahl genius for the creative, the character's full name is Bruce Bogtrotter, and he's the one who Miss Trunchbull forces to eat a whole cake in front of the student body after he steals a slice from her office. (And this is where I need to take a moment and say, sure, Miss Trunchbull was a terror, but anyone who keeps a legit cake in their office is pretty baller.)
It's one of the pivotal scenes of the movie, where the power balance shifts a little bit from the kids being terrorized by their shot-putting principal to them banding together against her, and I think about it a lot. Obviously huge cake fan here, hi, but, even if I wasn't, that moment of Bruce not only finishing the cake to the cheers of the other kids, but also licking the glass plate clean is iconic.
So what happened to the kid who played Bruce Bogtrotter? Well his name was Jimmy Karz, and, unlike many of the kids who did movies in the '90s, he didn't do too many other roles. Matilda appears to have been his first job, in 1996 at age 12. Then he had a bit part in The Wedding Singer, and a role on ER in 1998, and then he drops completely off the radar. He cropped up again to do a Matilda reunion with the cast in 2013, but his resume is clean as a whistle in between. His acting resume, that is.
According to LinkedIn, the now-32-year old James Karz is currently seeking a degree in Osteopathic Medicine at Philadelphia College, where he's slated to graduate in 2017. Prior to that, he appears to have gotten two Bachelors degrees: one in Communication and Media Studies from St. John's University between 2002 and 2006, and the other in Biochemistry from Loyola Marymount between 2009 and 2012.
So, while he made an indelible impact on my childhood psyche that I can still feel today, it seems clear that these days, Karz trends more toward a career in medicine. But, hey, either way, I think one thing both Jimmy Karz and his character Bruce Bogtrotter can agree on is that no one should eat that much cake unless they're seriously under duress.
Images: TriStar Pictures; Giphy