Tyler Henry is exceedingly polite. Almost unnervingly so. On his show, Hollywood Medium, the 20-year-old immediately puts even the most skittish celebrity at ease with his calming demeanor and humble attitude. He’s friendly, he’s kind, and he’s an absolute delight to talk with. Perhaps that’s why he’s gathered such a following. Unlike psychics such as Theresa Caputo, with her “closer to god” hair and “I need to talk to you about your dead dad while you’re on the Stairmaster” approach, or John Edward, whose smugness transcends both the physical and spiritual realm, Henry is just a nice guy who claims to have a special gift. A gift which he wants to share with the world to help others gain insight and closure, especially during times of grief.
While Henry, who rose to fame when he started working as a medium at the age of 16, has met with plenty of criticism, when we talk about his show on the telephone he has no unkind words for the people who think he’s a fraud. He knows skeptics think he googles the celebrities he gives readings to (in order to research their past traumas), and he knows there are some out there think he’s a grief vampire. But is the shy 20-year-old who doesn’t even have a driver’s license (making him all the more charming) really a bad guy trying to make millions off the pain of others?
Whether Henry is the real deal or not (he passed on giving me a reading, saying that the energies involved in a reading and an interview are much different), he insists that his life’s mission is to help those around him. Even if he isn’t clairvoyant (and I’m still fairly skeptical), Henry truly does believe in what he’s doing. There’s absolutely no question of that.
We spoke on the telephone last week:
I just read that you were renewed for season two. Congratulations.
Thank you so much.
How does that feel?
Oh my gosh, it’s so surreal. Season one has just been incredible. We got the news that two additional episodes were added to season one, recently, so now being at season two is even more intense. It’s a lot of filming. I’m just so excited.
How is that for you? The filming is new?
I started working professionally as a medium at the age of 16 and only recently really have done stuff on camera. It’s been an adjustment, but one that’s been actually pretty easy.
Have you been adjusting to becoming a celebrity? Do people stop you on the street now?
I don’t consider myself a celebrity. People are so nice, it’s been great getting to meet people. They share their experiences in watching the show and the relatability of it. That was really the goal in doing this show: for people to be able to watch it and get a connection. Relate with some of the stories of loss and feeling and closure.
Before you did this, that was one of your career aspirations, right? You wanted to be a grief counselor for parents who’ve lost children? Am I right?
At the time that my career as a medium took off, I was actually enrolled in school to become a hospice nurse. I really think I’ve kind of achieved the same thing in being able to provide a sense of comfort to those who fear death or might have experienced the loss of a loved one.
Personally, I am fucking terrified of death.
That’s understandable. [Henry laughs]