Already have an account?
Get back to the
Entertainment

10 Fun Facts About ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ Sure To Shock and Delight You

Like which child actor thought the alien prop was real!

It makes us laugh, it makes us cry and it gives us a dose of 80s nostalgia that’s hard to come by — ET the Extra-Terrestrial is a certified classic, and these fun facts are sure to surprise you!

The 1982 film tells the story of a friendly alien who is stranded on Earth, only to be discovered by a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Taking on the responsibility to keep his new friend safe, he introduces the extra-terrestrial to his young sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore) and his brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton).

Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton, E.T., 1982
Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton, E.T., 1982Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Keeping his existence a secret is no easy task, especially with his curious nature threatening their set-up, but when their new friend falls ill, the situation takes a turn. Elliott and his siblings must do all they can to keep him safe and get him back to where he came from.

This Steven Spielberg classic will forever be iconic — Here, take a look at these 10 facts you may not have known about ET the Extra-Terrestrial.

ET facts

1. A young Drew Barrymore thought E.T. was real

Drew Barrymore, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
Drew Barrymore, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

At only 7-years-old at the time of filming, Drew Barrymore, who played the part of Gertie, really thought her other-worldly co-star was real.

During a reunion with her co-stars on The Drew Barrymore Show, she and the cast reminisced on memories of the young actress asking a woman working in the wardrobe department if she could have a scarf for E.T’s neck.

2. Henry Thomas didn’t enjoy his early fame

Henry Thomas as Elliott staring out the window with E.T.
Henry Thomas as Elliott staring out the window with E.T. Universal/Getty Images

My world went ­completely crazy. I was that stupid kind of famous, where you can’t go anywhere,” Henry Thomas told Mirror in 2012.

“It was like that for the first six months after E.T. was in cinemas. I’d go out and get mobbed. I was a shy kid, and being approached by adults all the time just freaked me out.”

3. A sweet sensation

Elliott uses Reese’s Pieces to lure E.T. into his home, and the use of the popular candy in the film resulted in sales soaring.

4. Major Oscar nods — ET fun facts

Henry Thomas, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, 1982
Henry Thomas, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, 1982Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

The film received a total of nine Academy Award nominations, bringing home trophies for Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound and Best Sound Editing.

5. E.T makes another Hollywood cameo

In Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, aliens that look to be of the same species as E.T. can be seen in the film.

6. Keeping the magic alive — ET fun facts

Drew Barrymore giving E.T. a kiss, 1982
Drew Barrymore giving E.T. a kiss, 1982Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

When director Steven Spielberg learned of Barrymore’s belief in the prop as being real, he appointed two men to keep E.T. alive whenever she’d go talk to him, the cast said on The Drew Barrymore Show.

She was around 7, and the veil hadn’t quite been lifted yet,” Henry Thomas told TODAY in 2012. “So she was really worried about him all the time: ‘Why doesn’t he eat lunch with us?’…Yeah, she was super cute.'”

7. Harrison Ford didn’t make the cut

The handsome actor was set to make a cameo as Elliott’s principal, but the actor’s scenes didn’t make it to the film.

8. Neil Diamond took inspo from the film — ET fun facts

The singer’s song “Heartlight” was inspired by the movie.

“Turn on your heartlight/In the middle of a young boy’s dream/Don’t wake me up too soon/Gonna take a ride across the moon/You and me/He’s lookin’ for home/’Cause everyone needs a place/And home’s the most excellent place of all/And I’ll be right here if you should call me.”

9. Famous faces

Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore on the set of E.T., 1982
Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore on the set of E.T., 1982Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

The character of E.T.’s face was allegedly inspired by that of Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg.

10. Award winning

The film also took home a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.


Click through for more entertainment stories.

More Stories

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.