The Waltons is back on the CW. With The Waltons: Homecoming released in December, folks are once again talking all about the Walton family. It was a timeless show that resonated with so many folks still today. Earl Hamner, the creator of it all, said Richard Thomas drew from his Virginia accent.
In an interview from a while back with the Archive of American Television, Hamner spoke glowingly of Thomas. They started working together when he was just a teenager. However, they were still great friends long after it was over.
Thomas, as Hamner pointed out, became a great Shakespearean actor as a grownup and Hamner spoke well of his craft in this regard. However, another nugget stood out, his ability to listen to Hamner and draw his Virginia accent to sprinkle onto his own. This impressed Hamner a great deal, as Richard Thomas became a huge success as an actor years later.
Richard Thomas And ‘The Waltons’
Thomas is an accomplished actor. However, it was not a slam dunk at the time that he would sign up for The Waltons. He told KSite TV, “Not at first, obviously. I mean, The Homecoming was offered to me, was already happening, Pat was cast, and it was going forward. It was offered to me because Earl Hamner had seen me in a movie called Red Sky at Morning. He said that he had wanted me to play John-Boy, so there may or may not have even some influence as he was working on it, but I doubt it.”
Hamner saw Richard Thomas in a different role in a different setting and clearly liked what he saw. It worked out, but it was an interesting move at the time for him to go that particular way.
How It Happened
He continued, “As for the series, I was reluctant to go to series because I was making movies at the time. I loved doing Homecoming. But they sent me four scripts and they were so, so beautiful, and the characters were also beautiful, but they were fully formed. But as we did the show, and as we came together every week to read the scripts, before we began filming them, as each of us had suggestions or notes or ideas, Earl was always so incredibly receptive to that and incorporated so many of our ideas and suggestions, and he didn’t when he didn’t think that we’re right, of course. “
He was doing movies and this was different. However, he had ideas and Hamner was OK with that kind of engagement on set. This was clearly valuable to Richard Thomas.
Richard Thomas concluded, “But that I think over time, everybody was writing the characters, but they were also writing for us, which happens in a series.”
You can watch The Waltons: Homecoming on the CW.