With Steven Spielberg’s E.T. finally coming home on Blu-ray earlier this month, there’s no time quite like the present to revisit some of the behind-the-scenes footage from that blockbuster movie.
One cool blast from the past that’s come to light is this Henry Thomas audition tape. Thomas played E.T.’s human pal Elliott in the film, and we have no idea how many kids tried out for the part, but after seeing this tape you’ll immediately get why Spielberg chose the young actor.
The clip re-creates the scene where government agents show up to take E.T. away, and an offscreen actor explains to Elliott that they really need to speak to the extra-terrestrial and the president himself has ordered it. Thomas reacts emotionally to the thought of losing his newfound friend – and the kid even manages to cry on cue. It’s impressive stuff from a child actor.
Spielberg was clearly taken with the audition – telling Thomas “OK kid, you got the job” as the tape ends.
It’s interesting to watch Thomas nail this audition, if only because his career never really took off after E.T.
Check out the audition clip below and let us know what you think. We're guessing the only "phoning home" that went on after this take was Thomas calling to let his family know he got the gig.