Is Henry Thomas on the new ABC series “Betrayal” the same Henry Thomas who was in “ET” as a kid?
— Mary Smithfield, Burlington, Vermont
That is a definite yes. Henry Thomas, 42, may be best known for his role as Elliott Taylor in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” but since then he has worked in more than 40 films — just none that were as attention getting as Elliott.
“It is a huge part of my career,” the San Antonio, Texas-born actor says of the movie that told the story of a young boy and an alien who form a friendship. “I have always regarded it as my big, breakthrough moment. As an adult, I don’t look back and say, ‘That was my best work ever.’ But I certainly am proud of it.”
So much so that Thomas revisits the film now with the next generation of his family. “My kids love it,” he says. “They are scared of it. My 5-year-old daughter says, ‘Dad, what are you doing with that alien? Why are you hanging out with that alien?'”
Unlike other child actors who have had difficulty making the transition to adult roles, Thomas, who attended Blinn College before dropping out to act full time, appears to have seamlessly made the transition. His secret?
“I have always been auditioning,” he says. “I never really stopped. There have been a few times in my life professionally when I said, ‘I want to take a break. I don’t need to work, or I can’t do this right now.’ But it is something that I just stuck with. My dad worked a regular job all his life. He told me, ‘Son, if you can do this and you are getting hired for things, keep after it because you can tend to make a lot of money in a short time.'”