Marci Liroff, who was on the casting team for new millennium favorites like “Mean Girls” and “Insomnia” also had a hand in casting some of our favorite classics like “Poltergeist,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”
In this Academy Originals video, Liroff details finding Henry Thomas, the boy who would play Elliott in “E.T.”
Firstly, the team found the perfect set of boys by inviting them over to screenwriter Melissa Mathison’s house to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons. But get this, the kid they originally had in mind for Elliott did not play well with others, so he was nixed. Then, Thomas came in to read.
“In about three seconds flat, he had us all crying behind the camera,” Liroff says in the clip. Check out the clip to see his performance and Spielberg’s reaction.