Most people know Carrie Henn as the sooty-faced, wide-eyed orphan from the 1986 film, Aliens. Most people also know that her breath-taking performance in the movie earned her several accolades including a Saturn Award. However, did you know that Henn had no previous acting experience prior to landing the role? Did you also know that she decided not to pursue an acting career after that one, albeit iconic, role? Discover these and more interesting titbits about the Aliens star below.
6 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Carrie Henn
1. Carrie Henn is an army brat
Caroline Marie Henn was born on the 7th of May 1976 in Panama City, Florida. Her father, Kenneth Henn, was a non-commissioned officer of the United States Air Force while her British mom, Roseleen, was a nurse. Henn spent the first two years of her life in America before her father was transferred to the United Kingdom. She then spent the next eight years living in England, specifically the village of Lakenheath where her father was stationed with the RAF.
2. She had no acting experience prior to Aliens.
While growing up, Carrie Henn did not aspire to be an actor. She rather wanted to be a teacher and often used her spare time to practice with her dolls. Henn inadvertently fell into acting when a group of casting agents visited her elementary school, looking for a young child to portray the Aliens character, Rebecca Newt. The casting agents auditioned nearly 500 kids and whittled them to 10. Eight more were later removed and it remained only Henn and another young girl. Henn later landed the iconic role after exhibiting a natural chemistry with the film’s lead star during a screen test.
3. Her only movie role till date is Aliens
Aliens is a 1986 sci-fi/horror/fantasy film directed by James Cameron. The film revolves around a spaceship crew member, Ellen Ripley, who survives a vicious alien attack. She spends nearly 50 years adrift in space until her company rep informs her that the planet, which she and her deceased colleagues discovered, had been devastated by aliens. Ripley navigates to the planet only to discover that there is just one sole survivor, a little girl named Rebecca Newt. Ripley later becomes a surrogate mom to Newt as the onus falls on her to defeat the vicious aliens and their queen. Aliens featured Sigourney Weaver as Ripley while Henn played the role of Newt. The film scored several awards including the Saturn Awards for best sci-fi film, best actress (Weaver) and best performance by a younger actor (Henn). Aliens is now regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all times, as well as the greatest film sequel of all time.
4. Carrie Henn is now a teacher
By the time Aliens was released in the theatres, Henn and her family had relocated back to California. The young girl initially aspired to further her acting career. She was however dissuaded from doing so as she wanted to have a normal childhood, a fact that was already complicated by the culture shock, her British accent as well as the fact that she had been in a movie. Henn, therefore, decided to explore her passion for education once more. She completed her diploma at Atwater High School in 1994, and thereafter completed a degree in liberal studies at the California State University Stanislaus. The Aliens star is now a fourth-grade teacher in northern California.
5. She keeps in touch with her Aliens co-star, Sigourney Weaver.
Henn bonded with Weaver during their first screen test together. The friendship between the two further blossomed as they filmed several scenes together. The on-screen relationship between Henn and Weaver has now transcended the screens into real life. The pair are not yummy pals but they stay in touch through letters. Meanwhile, since Aliens, Carrie Henn has largely focused on her teaching career. She has however appeared in several documentaries based on the iconic film. The California native also makes occasional appearances during Comic-Con. One of such occasions was at Comic-Con 2016 where she reunited with her co-stars to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Aliens.
6. Her husband is a police officer
Carrie Henn is not only winning in her professional life but also in her personal life. The actress-turned-educator is happily married to her college sweetheart, Nathan Kutcher. The couple first met while they were both students at California State University Stanislaus. They subsequently commenced a relationship and tied the knot in 2005. The couple now has two children together including one daughter. Henn’s husband holds a degree in criminal justice and is a police officer.