Untold stories from behind the scenes of ''E.T.'' -- Read an excerpt from EW's March 29, 2002, cover story
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

MacNaughton This incredible, exuberant kid, Matthew De Merritt, did the most athletic scenes with the E.T. suits. He was born without legs. He’d go around on a skateboard. He’s just a great guy, fun to be around.

Wallace Stone The scene in the kitchen, when I’m putting away the groceries and E.T. is walking around behind me, was done by the little boy [Matthew]. He was turned upside down [in the suit], walking on his hands.

MacNaughton Pat Bilon was the main little person inside E.T. He died shortly after filming. But he certainly enjoyed life. Every weekend he’d fly to Vegas. He was funny — quite the guy.

Thomas [It] was easier to act with the mechanical E.T., because the eyes were detailed. I could imagine that thing being alive. On the E.T. suits, the eyes looked ridiculously fake. When you’re looking at a little plastic head on a dwarf, and you can hear somebody breathing inside and cursing, it’s a little bit more difficult to believe.

Barrymore Steven was always very protective of us not seeing too much of the mechanics. On some intelligent level — as intelligent as you can be at 6 — I knew this was not real. But I treated E.T. like he was alive and had a soul. I brought him lunch. I’d put covers around him if I thought he was cold.

Wallace Stone There was this [subplot] about E.T. having this infatuation with Mary. He comes into my room at night after I’m asleep and lays some Reese’s Pieces as a little present on my bedstand.

Allen Daviau (cinematographer) As I recall, E.T. comes in wearing a checkered sport jacket, and Dee?s asleep under the sheet.

Wallace Stone Steven and I had quite a conversation because he wanted the sheet down a lot lower than I wanted it.

Mathison That was hysterical in the dailies. Steven had her be half-naked! She had to take her top off. It was the most bizarre scene. It was like E.T. the voyeur. [Dee] is lying there [facedown], and E.T. like pulls the sheet off of her and he’s going ”Hunnnh, hunnnh, hunnnh.” I certainly had nothing to do with this [scene]. This was a boys’ moment. We couldn’t use it.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
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