Watch: Henry Thomas’ Audition for ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’

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Though Henry Thomas has only acted infrequently after his stunning performance in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (which was first released thirty-three years ago today), few child actors ever pulled off such a memorable performance as Thomas (although adorable five year-old Drew Barrymore did just as well in the same film).

Although hundreds of boys auditioned for the role of Elliot, Thomas ended up with the role after he cried convincingly in an improvised audition. Thomas thought about the day his pet dog had died in order to make himself cry. The story has it that Thomas’ crying made director Steven Spielberg cry too. You can hear the emotion in Spielberg’s voice when he tells Thomas that he won the role.

Check out the clip!

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About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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