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37 years ago, Henry Thomas played Elliott in E.T. This is what his life looks like now.

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a family classic.

Its star, 10-year-old Henry Thomas, captured the world’s heart in the role of Elliott, a sweet-faced, fearless young boy who formed an unlikely friendship with an alien.

But all these years later, what is the actor up to?

How Henry Thomas landed the role of a lifetime.

Henry Thomas was born in 1971, in San Antonio, Texas.

He landed his debut role, playing Harry in the Raggedy Man, in 1981 before winning the role of a lifetime in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

Surprisingly, Thomas was not originally cast as Elliott. After they began filming the movie, the original boy picked for the role began playing up on set and they had to let him go.

Thomas flew out from Texas to audition and it was without question that he was the perfect fit. Speaking to Esquire in 2012, Thomas said his performance that day made everyone – including Spielberg – cry.

“I read a scene from some early version of the script, and then I was asked to do an improvisation,” he said. “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 I started crying, and really going for it I guess.”

WATCH: Henry Thomas audition for the role of Elliott in E.T. Post continues below.

Video via Let It Cast

In 1982, Spielberg told Premiere magazine, “The improvisation was so heartfelt and honest that I gave him the part right there.

“I was blown away by this nine-year-old. Then I came to realise he’s an adult actor, not a nine-year-old. He’s a very controlled, methodical performer who measures what he does and feels what he does and yet broadcasts it in a totally subtle way.”

Henry Thomas’ life after the E.T.

It is no surprise that after the film premiered, Henry Thomas instantly became a star.

However, as he was only ten years old at the time, that much fame at such an early age proved to be overwhelming.

“It was the second film I had ever done. I got the part through a weird alignment of coincidences, and luck. Suddenly my phone was ringing and everybody wanted me in their film,” he told Esquire. “It was kind of a roller-coaster ride for a few years there.”

et-reunion
Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore and Steven Spielberg at the 20th anniversary of E.T. Image: Getty.
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Making the decision to move back to his home town of San Antonio, Thomas decided to focus on his schooling for a few years.

He made a few appearances in films such as 1984's Cloak & Dagger and 1989's Valmont, as well as Oscar-winning film, Legends of the Fall, in 1994.

And later starred in well-known movies such as Gangs of New York in 2002 and The Last Ride in 2011.

More recently, he's been appearing in the TV series, The Haunting of Hill House, and had the lead role in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's thriller, Doctor Sleep.

Henry Thomas currently resides in Wilsonville, Oregon, and has two children with his wife, Annalee Fery.

But even now, E.T. isn't entirely behind him.

There has been a pseudo-sequel to the film released this year, and Henry Thomas is back playing the role of Elliott.

Just in time for Christmas, American telephone provider, Xfinity, has brought Thomas back alongside his best buddy, E.T., for a festive commercial.

And yes, it is just as nostalgic as we hoped.

Watch the Xfinity E.T sequel commercial here. 

Video via Xfinity

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