The Untold Truth Of Henry Thomas

Actor Henry Thomas had the biggest breakout any actor could imagine, as none other than Elliott in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. His co-star, Drew Barrymore, who played his sister in the Spielberg family classic, battled her own demons throughout the years and struggled to find her own footing in the industry. Thomas, on the other hand,

worked pretty consistently. In fact, you might have forgotten he was in the likes of Without A Trace, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Better Things.

Thomas has found his niche in horror, however, appearing in Stephen King adaptations Gerald's Game and Doctor Sleep, as well as Ouija: Origin of Evil, among many others. He's collaborated with director Mike Flanagan on several occasions, culminating in Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House and follow-up Bly Manor. The prolific actor has had a helluva ride, but, after several decades in the industry, Thomas shows no signs of slowing down.

His improv skills nailed the E.T. audition for Henry Thomas

While chatting to Esquire, on the 30th anniversary of E.T., Thomas reminisced about how he made everybody, including Spielberg himself, cry during his audition. It was only the second movie the youngster had done and, as he sees it, "I got the part through a weird alignment of coincidences, and luck." The audition required Thomas to read a scene and then do an improvisation.

As he recalled, "I think the gist of the improv was, 'You found someone, and they're going to take them away from you, and it's your friend, and you really don't want your friend to go away.'" So Thomas went for it, got super emotional, and it sealed the deal for him. Although he's done plenty of interesting stuff since then, Thomas values his experience on the Spielberg flick more than anything else. He's not tired of discussing it in interviews either, explaining, "Nowadays, you don't expect to talk about a film thirty years later."

Success didn't agree with a young Henry Thomas

Although he's, obviously, incredibly grateful for E.T. for having launched his career when he was barely old enough to understand it, Thomas admitted that becoming instantly famous didn't bode well for him as a young boy. Speaking to Closer Weekly, he admitted to finding it incredibly difficult to handle all the sudden attention. "You kind of become a social outcast, because suddenly you're in some other category, but don't feel any different," Thomas explained.

As a result, the young actor retreated into himself and became increasingly more of an introvert. Thankfully, as Thomas grew up, he cared less about what people thought and focused more on grounding himself in what he knew. As the E.T. star recalled, "I thought, if I don't associate with film people and stay in my little town in Texas, I'll be perceived as normal. Eventually, you realize no one's ever going to perceive you as the guy down the street, so you just have to be yourself."

Henry Thomas has a side gig as a fantasy writer

Much like other celebs who quietly work side jobs, Thomas branched out into writing. As he told Metro, "I've always been a fan of fantasy books growing up. I got a little bit disillusioned with the genre, because I felt it became so formulaic. I thought, 'I can throw together a good fantasy story.'" And that's exactly what he did, while working over in Romania for three months. Looking back, he joked, "It's either I become an alcoholic and get a divorce, or I write my novel."

The actor-turned-writer described his story as being "about an environmental-spiritual cataclysm. The protagonists are trying to save the world." The Window and the Mirror was published in 2019. As he told The Qwillery, "I am a fan of fantasy, and as a fan I wanted to write an archetypical high fantasy story with a few twists." Thomas envisions it as a series, but only time will tell, considering how busy the in-demand performer continues to be.