‘The Waltons’ Star Richard Thomas Got Emotional Watching ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’

The Waltons fans are finally going to get to reunite with the Depression era family, albeit in a new form. The CW’s TV movie The Waltons’ Homecoming stars Bellamy Young, Ben Lawson, Logan Shroyer, Marcelle LeBlanc, Christian Finlayson, Michael Kendall Kaplan, Samuel Georgen, and Callaway Corrick as the Walton family. Original John Boy Richard Thomas does appear in the introduction, and narrates the story, and it’s been a rush of emotions, he says,

'The Waltons' Homecoming' star Richard Thomas wears a Christmas scarf
Richard Thomas | Tom Griscom/The CW

Thomas joined the new cast in a Waltons’ Homecoming Zoom panel on Nov. 10 and shared the rush of emotions he’s feeling as he learned about the casting, read the script, filmed his role and saw the finished film. We’ll have more with the cast of The Waltons’ Homecoming here on Showbiz Cheat Sheet before it premieres Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

Where is Richard Thomas today?

Richard Thomas continued acting since the original series. Most recently, he appeared in the series Tell Me Your Secrets and The Comey Rule. However, going back to The Waltons for The Waltons’ Homecoming was an emotional experience for him.

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“Well, I’m still having all these emotions from finding out it was going to be remade, to being invited, being so excited about being invited to be a part of it, and then meeting everybody,” Thomas laughed. “When I went to do my little introduction and seeing what a beautiful family it was going to be, and then watching it, I think they’ve done such a beautiful job and you’ve all made your family and I believe every minute of it.I was just so moved and touched by it.”

Richard Thomas approves ‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ 

Thomas’s emotions have continued since he wrapped The Waltons’ Homecoming. The CW has not even released a trailer yet, but Thomas saw an early trailer which brought back all the feels. 

“Because I think that things get redundant and should be and reinterpreted, just watching that trailer again, I’m full of feeling right now and it’s all good,” Thomas said. 

‘The Waltons’ Homecoming’ fulfilled Richard Thomas’s childhood dream

The Waltons began with the TV movie Homecoming: A Christmas Story. Thomas recalled the first time he played John Boy.

“When I read the original Homecoming and then it went to series, it was like, ‘Oh, these are really beautiful narrations. I can’t wait to do these,’” Thomas said. “And Bobby Jackson, the producer said, ‘Well yeah, but, actually you’re not going to do them. Earl Hamner is going to do them.’ I was so disappointed. But of course I saw the point and Earl’s voice was ultimately inimitable and beautiful and mellifluous and wonderful. And, and, and couldn’t have been done by me or anyone else, 50 years later.”

Richard Thomas visits 'The Waltons' Homecoming' director Lev L. Spiro and actor Logan Shroyer on the set
L-R: Richard Thomas, Director Lev L. Spiro, and Logan Shroyer | Tom Griscom/The CW

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The Waltons’ Homecoming granted Thomas his wish 50 years later. Hamner died in 2016. Now, Thomas is Waltons royalty to lend his perspective to the new TV movie. 

“50 years later, I got the call, so I get to do the narrations,” Thomas said. “And I did not try to in any way do what Earl did, because I couldn’t have done it. But I wanted to gesture a little bit to the, towards the poetry of his voice and the, and the lyricism of his writing so that, and there are different narrations. He’s telling the story more. The originals were a bookend to the story, but this went throughout. And I wanted to gesture towards it. Earl’s voice was always in my ear the whole time. But as I said, he was his, that voice could never be replaced, and I just wanted to gesture towards all the heart that he had when he talked.”