Do your friends tell you you're "celeb obsessed"? Do you follow your favorite celebs' every move? Know their Instagram histories so well that you can rattle off their inner circle by name and IG handle? If yes, Elite Daily's new series, SideClique, is just for you. We're bringing you everything you've ever wanted to know about the people living their lives right alongside our favorite celebs.
When your job consists of connecting with the dead, it seems unlikely that your work day could be anything but average. And yet, celebrity medium Tyler Henry makes it seem like his unusual occupation — and the celebrities he encounters — is all very, very normal. It's not surprising to see why he has so many celebrity clients. His gentle disposition and friendly personality make it incredibly easy to talk to and get to know him, and luckily, I had the opportunity to do just that in an interview for Elite Daily. Not only did Tyler Henry talk about reading the Kardashians and reveal who his dream celeb reading would be, but he also got candid about his startlingly normal life as a celebrity medium.
Henry realized he had a gift when he was 10 years old, after waking one night with a "total knowingness" of his grandmother's impending death. When he went to tell his mom about this feeling, the phone rang with the news that his grandmother had died. Henry says, "It was weird, because it was like getting the news for the second time." While that might seem incredibly frightening for many, Henry took this feeling in stride and has since made a career out of the unusual skill he possesses.
I’m actually reading in the first episode with Kristin Cavallari. Her brother, who went missing, came through in the reading, and I didn’t know at the time that her parents were actually watching the reading in the back in a different room. When her brother came through with a message for their dad ... it was so personal and so specific, it gives me the chills.
After gaining popularity from the E! News network show, Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry, Henry has met with dozens upon dozens of celebrities, delivering messages from important people in their lives who have since died. Reading celebrities might sound like a pretty sweet gig, but Henry assures me that the guests on his show remain a secret until the very moment the door opens and he's greeted by the person he's about to read. He says that keeping the identity of the celebrity secret is one thing that fans may not know about his job:
I think people would find it surprising the lengths that production goes through to make sure I never know who I’m reading. When I’m on set, I never know who I’m reading or where I’m going. It’s funny — it's the reason that my mom or my assistant drives me to the reading and actually follow a lead vehicle, so no one in the cast knows where we’re going.
Henry says very few people on the production team are actually aware of what celebrity will be showing up, but it's all done "to kind of keep [him] from knowing and to ensure that no one slips up and accidentally says who it is."
And you thought your job was difficult.
Working with celebrities doesn't come without its challenges, though, and because of the nature of his job, Henry understands that people might initially be skeptical because of how much information can be easily looked up. "You know, it’s tricky because reading celebrities is a bit of a tough thing for a couple of reasons," Henry says. "For one, there’s so much out there about them, which is why I put such an emphasis on never knowing who I’m reading or where I’m going, and that, for me, is really an essential part of the process."
But on a more personal level, it can be hard reading celebrities simply because of the fact that they are such public figures. "Sometimes information will come through that’s so personal and private, that, for an everyday person, I can just say it out loud and it would be fine to verbalize, but when you’re dealing with a celebrity, they have an image to maintain," Henry explains. "They have to have to keep things that they want to be public information, or to be private information, so I kind of just have to deliver what I see, hear, and feel."
Because of that connection Henry experiences with his clients, Henry has encountered a few celebrity readings that were emotional not just for the celebrity themselves, but for him as well. He says:
For me, in Season 2, my reading with Alan Thicke was probably one of the most profound, as well as the follow-up [later] with his wife, Tanya, because of the nature of that situation in my reading [with Thicke] — you know, a message came through about his health, and then he passed away a couple months after. So that was intense and emotional in a different way.
He also adds that on this season of Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry, actress Kristin Cavallari's reading was so personal that it actually gave him the chills:
For this season, I’m actually reading in the first episode with Kristin Cavallari. Her brother, who went missing, came through in the reading, and I didn’t know at the time that her parents were actually watching the reading in the back in a different room. When her brother came through with a message for their dad ... it was so personal and so specific, it gives me the chills.
While Henry reads a handful of celebrities, there's one family in particular that he gets asked about over and over again: the Kardashians. So, what's it like to read the members of one of the most highly publicized families of our time? "Well, they're always interesting," Henry laughs. "I always get a lot of questions about the Kardashians and the Jenners, but you know, they’re lovely."
What many don't realize, Henry reveals, is that their everyday lives are really similar to everyone else's:
They’re far more normal than we think. And you know, when I talk to them it’s like talking to anybody else. They’re looking for the same things, they have the same questions. Though their career aspects might be a little extraordinary, they still want to know the same things, and I think that’s something we all can relate to.
OK, so maybe the Kardashians aren't exactly like us, but it's still nice to know that when it comes to a reading, they hope for the same answers that the rest of us do.
While he often reads celebrities like the Kardashians on his show, sometimes he feels the urge to speak with someone who wasn't slated for an episode. This was the case for actress Bella Thorne, who Henry read spontaneously at an event:
It was really interesting because Bella’s reading was done very impromptu. We were at a party, and it’s one of the few readings on the show that the client didn’t actually know they were going to receive a reading before they got one ... I came up to her and she was really gracious and lovely. I think it was probably a little awkward for her to hear all of this at a party, where she was trying to have a good time, but she was very gracious and she listened to me, and was really very respectful and mature in handling that information.
Henry says Thorne "provided some good validation, so it was really nice to be able to kind of cross paths with her and impact her life." "She’s done some amazing things since," he adds.
Out of all the celebrity readings Henry has done, he counts Ellen DeGeneres as one of his all-time favorites. "It was right before I went on her show, and it was nerve-wracking, but it was one of the most special moments in my life," he says.
Our loved ones don’t go away when they transition. That relationship doesn’t end when our loved ones die. And I really hope that in watching the show people are able to find a sense of comfort.
Another surreal experience for Henry was La Toya Jackson, because her brother, the late Michael Jackson, came through:
In reading La Toya, obviously she wanted to hear about her brother ... Michael came through, but he didn’t come through in like, a grandiose way. He came through just like a brother trying to connect with his sister. It just shows that regardless of the lifestyle these people live or lead, it’s all fundamentally about having experiences, not things, and they really reflect that when they come through.
It seems Henry is trying to convey that people from all walks of life share similar experiences and that, deep down, we're all truly the same in some way. "People are complicated and multi-faceted, and I think it’s important people see that in celebrities," Henry says. "I think people oftentimes compare their lives to other people’s highlight reel[s], and people even sometimes compare their lives to celebrities, but it’s important that we see they go through the same things we go through."
And, while there have been some celebrities that Henry has remained close with (he notes that he shares a special connection with the Chrisley family and actress Arielle Kebbel following their readings), there is one celebrity in particular whom he has yet to read, but hopes for an opportunity in the near future:
This might sound funny, but [I'd love to read] Tonya Harding, actually. The reason being is, well, I’m a huge fan of Tonya Harding, but in seeing her life, you know, she has gone through some extraordinary stuff. I don’t know if you saw the film [I, Tonya], but she had an incredibly difficult childhood. She went through so much, and I just feel like as a person, she has an incredible story. There’s a lot of healing that could be had there that I feel she could really benefit from, and I would be honored to be able to help her facilitate that.
Tonya, if you're reading this, make it happen.
At the end of the day, though, Henry just wants everyone to know that what he does as a medium is much more than just reading celebrities — it's meant for healing all of those who have lost someone:
I hope that in watching the show that — well, it's obviously about celebrities connecting to their loved ones — but I think, fundamentally, it’s more than that. It’s about seeing that our loved ones are around us, and if celebrities' loved ones can come through for them, then we have that connection, and our loved ones don’t go away when they transition. That relationship doesn’t end when our loved ones die. And I really hope that in watching the show people are able to find a sense of comfort.
He understands that there aren't enough hours in a day for him to read everyone, but hopes that his show at least propels people forward into a more hopeful state. "It’s impossible for me to read everybody, as much as I wish I could, but in watching it, I hope that people find that sense of relatability and knowing that if they’re loved ones are around them, then your loved ones are around you. And that’s really what it’s all about."
You can watch Henry on Hollywood Medium on E! Wednesdays at 9 p.m.