When I started this column it was to catch up with stars I once used to love to watch grace my screen but who had fallen off my radar as we both grew and matured down different entertainment paths. I genuinely enjoyed researching the familiar names and seeing if I just as easily recognized their faces. Sometimes the particular entry would be inspired by the fact that someone I saw guest starring in one of my current favorite shows was someone I thought I knew from years earlier, and it would inspire me to look up the other work they were doing between when I loved them then and when I suddenly remembered them now. But today I have to legitimately ask: Where is Jonathan Taylor Thomas now? Because he hasn't acted in over five years, and he seems to have virtually no online footprint-- which is an oddity in today's day and age for any person, let alone someone who tasted fame.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, or J.T.T., as he was known on teen magazine covers "back in the day", was not a guy of whom I ever thought I'd lose track. He was a little kid who packed a lot of talent. His face quite literally wall-papered half of my childhood bedroom for a stretch in the early nineties, and he was such a smart, funny, charismatic kid I was sure he would go on to star in family-friendly sitcoms, and then later slightly more edgy indie dramas, forever. Not unlike Macaulay Culkin, you might say. But something was different for Thomas.
Well, maybe not that different since after Home Improvement he did work on grittier projects such as the very little known Speedway Junky. But different enough. In 2004 and 2005 he appeared on cult favorite dramas Smallville and Veronica Mars, respectively. He stepped away from Hollywood and enrolled in college; his last known appearance in film was a short (and possibly student) film in which he didn't even want to be billed with the name that so many little girls once screamed in malls. Jonathan Taylor Thomas had been left behind and Jonathan Thomas had emerged-- which would have been fine and well except he hasn't gone on to showcase grown-up acting to go with that grown-up name.
Maybe the offers just stopped coming. Or maybe he didn't like the offers anymore and decided to hold out for the perfect role. Maybe he still reads scripts, looking for a way back in; maybe he has made a comfortable life in a completely new industry. Hell, maybe he can still live a comfortable life off of all of the money he made as a kid; he was Simba, for crying out-loud! Maybe he just got tired of seeing his face everywhere, including tabloid sites that cared more about his personal life than his talent.
If you believe one such tabloid site, Scrape TV (which I will not be linking to here because I do not believe the report they claim), the now-almost-thirty-year-old Thomas admitted to "squandering" his talent and gift and would be planning to make a comeback that would "blow [our] eyeballs out of [our] sockets." I hope that's something he's really thinking. But considering that particular article also claimed Patricia Richardson had passed away-- when she was clearing still working on shows like The Jensen Project-- I do have to doubt those words actually even came out of Thomas' mouth.
Who knows? I sadly don't, as calls to his representative (yes, he still has an agent, so that's a good sign!) were not returned as of press time, and despite what she may have claimed on a recent talk show, Lo Bosworth sure doesn't either. But I'm going to do a little more digging and see if I can find out...