'E.T.' star Henry Thomas offers advice to 'Stranger Things' kids on handling fame (exclusive)

Hanna Flint
Contributor

The life of a child actor is tough and Henry Thomas knows this too well.

The 47-year-old’s career took off four decades ago after he landed the lead role in Steven Spielberg’s ET and it monumentally changed his life for better and for worse.

Although, unlike his co-star Drew Barrymore, Thomas avoided the party scene and still managed to carve out an admirable career as a jobbing actor in movies like Legends of the Fall, Gangs of New York, and more recently in horror fodder under the direction of Mike Flanagan, Ouija: Origins of Evil, and Gerald’s Game.

So what advice does he have for the likes of Stranger Things kids Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, and Finn Wolfhard who are going through the same rise to fame at a young age?

“Life is long, you know, be smart, that’s all you can do,” Thomas told Yahoo Movies UK, while his co-star Kate Siegel offered a more comical tip courtesy of Tom Hanks in League of their Own.

Henry Thomas played Elliott in 1982 film ‘ET’

“Avoid the Clap! Jimmy Dugan,” the actress joked.

Siegel and Thomas have teamed up with Flanagan for Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House, the latest adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s gothic horror of the same name about a house that terrorises its inhabitants.

Siegel plays Theodora, one of five Crain children whose adult lives are impacted by their experience at Hill House while Thomas plays their father, in flashbacks, who is a property developer that seemingly goes to extreme measures to protect them.

Though it’s not the first time they’ve appeared in the same project.

Henry Thomas as Hugh Crain with his children in ‘The Haunting of Hill House’

“It is a particularly strange feeling to play his wife in one movie and his grown-up daughter in the next movie,” Siegel, referring to their film Gerald’s Game, explains, ” that is weird.”

“After forty years in the film business finally someone hires me more than once,” Thomas said before the pair described some things to look out for in the horror series.

“There are some beautiful homages to the original movie,” says Siegel, “door knob moments, wall moments.

“Mike Flanagan and our DP Michael Fimognari spent a lot of time making sure horror fans would have a lot to discover on second or third viewings.”

“Mike would often put random ghosts in the frame at various places too,” Thomas added.

The Haunting of Hill House begins streaming on Netflix from Friday, October 12. Watch the trailer below.

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