"You chose books. I chose looks." - Zinnia Wormwood

Mrs. Zinnia Wormwood
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Zinnia Wormwood is the tertiary antagonist in "Matilda". She was played by actress Rhea Perlman.

About Zinnia

Mrs. Zinnia Wormwood is the mother of Michael and Matilda Wormwood and the wife of Harry Wormwood. Mrs. Wormwood plays Bingo five times a week. She’s more concerned about looks than getting an education. However, despite this, Mrs. Wormwood has a soft spot for Matilda. In the movie Mrs. Wormwood's first name is Zinnia. In the musical, Mrs. Wormwood loves ballroom dancing. She is a very large woman in the book, but in the movie, she is quite skinny. At the end she goes to Guam with her husband and Michael never to be seen again. In the musical, her dance instructor, Rudolpho goes with her, Harry and Michael to Guam.


Much like her husband, and son, Mrs. Wormwood is obsessed with wealth and television, actively preferring to eat dinner while watching TV, instead of following Matilda's suggestion of eating at the table. She also prizes materialism and beauty above all else, as is seen in her generally fashionable appearance, and by her statement towards Miss Honey: 'You chose books; I chose looks.' She is shown to prefer maintaining a social life over the raising of her children. In the early days of Matilda's life, Mrs Wormwood often left her at home alone, while she went to play bingo, and, in the movie, is angry at Mr. Wormwood for chasing away two speedboat salesmen she was talking to (although both are unaware that they were secretly F.B.I. field agents).

Despite this, her personae in the movie portrays a considerably more human, maternal aspect to her, as she is shown to genuinely care for Matilda - to some degree. She willingly invites the whole family to a meal at a high-class café, expresses concern that 'there is something wrong with that girl,' (since she is still oblivious as to how she, Mr Wormwood and Michael behave towards Matilda) and is genuinely saddened by Matilda's decision to stay with Miss Honey. As they leave, Mrs Wormwood tells Matilda that she was the only daughter she had ever had, and that they never had time to understand her.

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