Following Jack Nicholson in Doctor Sleep Was ‘Intense’

Henry Thomas is an American actor and musician. He has appeared in more than 40 films.

During an interview about the thriller film Crawlspace, Henry Thomas talked about the pressure of playing Jack Torrance in Doctor Sleep — a character made iconic by legendary actor Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

According to Thomas, director Mike Flanagan called him about a role, where A special forces unit sent, to infiltrate Pine Gap Australia’s top secret underground military compound, come under attack from unknown force but before revealing what the role was, he assured Thomas that he could say no if it was too much.

“Mike called me up and said, ‘Hey, I have a role for you in this film, but if you don’t want to do it, I understand.’ Which is sort of the golden hook for me. You know, what do you mean? Like why would I not want to do it? Tell me what is challenging about this character,” Thomas continued. “And then he’ll say, ‘Oh, well, it’s Jack Torrance. But it’s not Jack Torrance, but it is Jack Torrance, but you know, we have to have the hairline like Jack, you’ll have to shave your head for one day’s work,’ it’s like stuff like that. But I was super intimidated to do it, but Mike said, ‘Hey, do you want to join me in painting large targets on our foreheads? We can do it together.’ I said, okay, and the rest is history.”

Thomas went on to discuss how much effort went into making him look exactly like Nicholson’s Jack Torrance.

“It was a very, very talked about … it was hashed over quite a bit, not just the scene, but my hair and the wig and the whole bit was very heavily scrutinized. It’s the most work I’ve done for a character to be on set for such a short time,” Thomas stated. “It was pretty intense, but it was fun and I think it paid off and audiences seemed to dig it, which was my biggest concern because I didn’t want people to go, ‘aw, it’s not Jack Nicholson! Who is this flunky?’ But thankfully most of them didn’t, or the ones that did didn’t come up and talk to me.”

“Struggling with alcoholism, Dan Torrance remains traumatized by the sinister events that occurred at the Overlook Hotel when he was a child,” says Doctor Sleep‘s synopsis. “His hope for a peaceful existence soon becomes shattered when he meets Abra, a teen who shares his extrasensory gift of the ‘shine.’ Together, they form an unlikely alliance to battle the True Knot, a cult whose members try to feed off the shine of innocents to become immortal.”

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