Alisha Weir was "scared'" of Dame Emma Thompson on the set of 'Matilda.'

The 13-year-old actress takes on the title role of the movie adaptation of Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's 2011 stage musical - which is based on the classic novel by Roald Dahl - and admitted that she was initially frightened of 'Love Actually' star Dame Emma, 63, when she arrived on set as the villainous Miss Trunchbull but eventually felt able to "hug" her.

She told Spark Chronicles: "I saw her for the first time without makeup and then when I saw her with makeup on it scared me a little. But I knew that when she opened her arms, I could go to her and hug her. I knew Emma was under her makeup."

Her comments come just days after Oscar-winning star Emma revealed that she would spend more than three hours a day in the makeup chair in order to become the evil headmistress - who incites hatred on the children of Crunchem Hall school until the titular heroine comes along to stand up against her - famously played by 'Harry Potter' actress Pam Ferris in the 1996 movie and traditionally played by a man in the West End and Broadway productions of the musical.

She said: "‘Cruella’ was a long time, actually, but this was the longest. There’s an actual body suit, which is to give her the heft and the muscle. And then a massive weighty underwear and pretend chest and all of that. It was a lot to walk around in!"

'Matilda the Musical' is streaming now on Netflix.