Interview: Perennial Film & TV Actor C. Thomas Howell Making His Theatrical Debut in WORST-CASE SCENARIO

By: Mar. 17, 2020
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Interview: Perennial Film & TV Actor C. Thomas Howell Making His Theatrical Debut in WORST-CASE SCENARIO

After 46 years of steady work in front of film and television cameras, C. Thomas Howell will be making his theatrical debut in the world premiere of D.M. Conte's WORST-CASE SCENARIO at the Hudson Comedy Central Backstage Theatre beginning (hopefully) April 2020. Inspired by a real-life event, WORST-CASE SCENARIO charts the chance meeting of Ethan, a Silicon Valley dropout (Thomas' character) and Staci, the owner of a tiki bar (played by Jacy King) when a missile alert sounds.

Since Thomas made his first screen appearance in Steven Spielberg 1982's phenomenon E.T, The Extra Terrestrial at the ripe young age of 15, Thomas has been working steadily, exhibiting his acting chops in over two hundred shows, including Francis Coppola's cult favorite The Outsider, and in numerous television series and films. Thomas managed to carve out some time to answer some of my inquisitive queries.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Thomas!

You have a long, long resume of film and TV projects. What initially brought you to be involved with this world premiere of WORST-CASE SCENARIO?

Timing... everything is timing. In my 46-year career, it was finally time to do a play.

You started acting in 1970 at the very young age of four (The Brian Keith Show). You made your film debut in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in 1982. After all these years, what made you decide to finally make your theatrical debut with WORST-CASE SCENARIO?

This script! I read it and I knew I had to play the role of Ethan.

If you were submitting your character Ethan for an online dating site, what qualities of his would you highlight?

"Apart from being ravishingly handsome, he's extremely witty, caring, and slightly annoying."

What character flaws of Ethan would you finesse or leave out?

"Slightly annoying... see above!"

What qualities for a match would Ethan be looking for?

I think his dating profile would be: "Middle-aged man grounded in an existential apocalypse and filled with phobias. Seeking same."

Would Staci have any of those qualities?

No, she is the total opposite.

Interview: Perennial Film & TV Actor C. Thomas Howell Making His Theatrical Debut in WORST-CASE SCENARIO In an alternate universe, who would you think would more likely grow up to be Ethan - E.T's Tyler or The Outsiders' Ponyboy Curtis?

Tyler, for sure. He was a tech kid, into Dungeons and Dragons, a total rebel.

Do you have any trouble not wearing your director's cap when you're hired as an actor?

It's a pleasure to not have to worry about directing. I find solace and relief in only focusing on acting, and not worrying about the big picture.

So how did Christopher Thomas Howell become known as C. Thomas Howell?

My dad and I have the same name, and we are both in the Screen Actors Guild; so it was either 'add an initial,' or be called "Junior" the rest of my life.

You were a junior rodeo circuit champion. Do you still participate in team roping?

My father lives on a ranch in Utah. I visit as much as I can, and when I'm there, we rope and ride together daily.

What was the reactions of your kids when you first screened the classic E.T. for them? Did they know you were Tyler?

My kids have been fantastically underwhelmed with my career in Hollywood. When my third child was in kindergarten, his teacher asked him what his father did for a living, and his reply was, "My daddy sits in a trailer at work!"

What acting/career advice that you were given in your youth would you pass onto a budding acting novice today?

I used to tell people to follow your passion. Now I would say to follow what you are good at.

What's in the immediate future for C. Thomas Howell?

I start the movie Express at the end of May. It's about the pony-express. I star alongside of Harry Treadaway from Penny Dreadful. I couldn't be more excited!

Thank you again, Thomas! I look forward to checking out your SCENARIO with Staci!

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