Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Henry Thomas Reflects On His Memories Of ET The Extra-Terrestrial Near Its 40th Anniversary - Exclusive

On June 11, 1982, director Steven Spielberg forever changed the way the world looks at the galaxy with the release of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." The cinematic wonder not only went on to become the No. 1 film of 1982 with a then-astonishing domestic gross of $314.9 million (via Box Office Mojo), but adjusted for inflation, the film still remains No. 4 on the list of top-grossing films of all time behind "The Sound of Music," "Star Wars," and "Gone with the Wind."

Apart from further catapulting Spielberg's star into the stratosphere, "E.T." also launched the careers of its young actors, Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore. In the film, Thomas stars as Elliott, a young boy who discovers, befriends, and protects the kind-hearted alien — simply dubbed "E.T." — while Barrymore plays Gertie, Elliott's younger sister, who also forms a strong bond with the extra-terrestrial.

Thomas embarked on a very successful career in the wake of "E.T.," compiling more than 70 screen credits over the next 40 years. On TV, Thomas has found a (haunted) home with horror writer-director Mike Flanagan, appearing as one of the filmmaker's faithful troupe members in the smash streaming series "The Haunting of Hill House," "The Haunting of Bly Manor," "Midnight Mass," and the upcoming "The Fall of the House of Usher." The actor has been busy with film work as well, starring in such dramas as "Legends of the Fall" and "Gangs of New York," and most recently, he's delved into the action genre in the new digital video release "Crawlspace."

"E.T." remains top of mind for Thomas, however, not only for the opportunities the role presented him but also for the fact the film just celebrated its 40th anniversary of release.

Thomas remembers ET as part of his 'childhood experience'

Though it's hard for most people to recall their childhoods as decades pass, Henry Thomas told Looper in an exclusive interview that he still has vivid memories of "E.T.," mainly because it was such a big part of his life growing up. 

"The memories are [from] very long ago, but I remember them well," said Thomas, who was 10 years old when "E.T." opened in theaters. "It's part of my childhood experience in the sense that I was working and on set and that was a big part of my life for a number of years as a kid. I remember it, but I remember it differently than ... I don't think about the film. I think about the catering and the makeup chair and things like that."

Recently, Thomas was reminded of his time working on the blockbuster when he met Mark Hamill on the set of "The Fall of the House of Usher." After all, when you have the stars of two of the biggest films of all time on the same set, it's bound to come up in conversation about how one starred in "E.T." and the other in the first "Star Wars" film. "There's a certain nostalgia and everything associated with those iconic roles that we both played and the films themselves," Thomas observed. "'Star Wars' is a whole other entity onto its own, but I think at the time in the '70s — late '70s and '80s — to be in a blockbuster, that was a big deal."

"Crawlspace" is new on digital video from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment.