The 34-year-old actress – who played the titular role in the 1996 classic – was just eight years old when she worked on the film, and she’s heaped praise on her director and co-star, as well as Rhea Pearlman.
She told ‘Entertainment Tonight’: “I feel like Danny and I just kind of understood each other.
“I don’t know what it was, but I immediately felt a connection with him, and I think that he was probably a lot like a lot of the other people in my family, just full of good stories and a good sense of humour, and very talkative and outgoing, but also very considerate.
“He thought a lot about other people. He did a lot of humanitarian work and he really cared a lot about people.
“And you can tell, it came through. And the same was true of Rhea. She was always the consummate performer, but she had a truly wonderful heart.”
She added: “A lot of the people on Matilda were truly like that.
“Funnily enough, Pam Ferris, who played Miss Trunchbull, she was like that. And Beth, who played Miss Honey, she was like that too.
“So it felt very much like he was somebody I could talk to. He was somebody I could relate with and I felt like we understood each other, which was very nice.”
Mara also admitted everyone involved knew they were making “something kind of special”.
She said: “We knew that there weren’t a lot of movies like this. There weren’t very many movies where intelligence is rewarded and resourcefulness is rewarded.
“There also weren’t that many movies about little girls and especially not little girls who had inner strength, so I think that we knew that we were doing something kind of special.”