Chatting with Actor Henry Thomas
Back in the early 1980s, moviegoers fell in love with Elliott, the wide-eyed little boy in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Henry Thomas, who played this delightful role, has matured into a fine adult actor with performances in such films as Gangs of New York, Legends of the Fall, I Capture the Castle and All the Pretty Horses. Counting television films, he’s made over 40 movies.
During a recent interview, Thomas talked about his latest film, The Last Sin Eater. Attracted to this project because of the opportunity to play a type of character he hasn’t done before, Thomas said he simply had to do it. “I fell in love with this firebrand out to convert the masses, and I couldn’t resist the long speeches that speak to an actor’s ego,” he declared.
In The Last Sin Eater, Thomas portrays a Man of God who goes to a small Appalachian community in the mid-1800s, hoping to bring the Truth to the Welsh immigrants there. He soon meets Cadi Forbes, played by Liana Liberato, a 10-year-old girl searching for the Sin Eater in order to gain redemption for her sins. Being a former child actor, Thomas has empathy for youngsters in showbiz. “It’s fun to work with kids who are good, and the kids in this movie were really good,” he said. “Director Michael Landon Jr. knew how to help them. He didn’t let anyone slip into a false performance. This entire movie is a testament to his skill as a director.”
Thomas believes The Last Sin Eater delivers a valuable message about the importance of looking at everyone’s beliefs in a changing world because “the world is shrinking, and we should be open-minded to new challenges.”
What was Thomas’ biggest challenge while working on The Last Sin Eater ? “All of my scenes took place next to a river, and I was afraid I’d have to return to the soundstage later to do a lot of dubbing. That was the only thing I felt any stress about,” he explained. Luckily, the microphones picked up everything, so later dubbing was unnecessary.
Another upcoming Thomas film, Suffering Man’s Charity, a dark comedy directed by Alan Cumming, is now making the film festival rounds. And, of course, there’s his music.
“If anyone wants to know more about my music, they can go to www.myspace.com/HenryThomasmusic,” Thomas pointed out.