7 Fascinating Facts About E.T.

Were you aware that E.T., the beloved extraterrestrial, is believed to be more than 10 million years old and is without gender?

E.T. may have been the first alien character that audiences truly fell in love with.

His endearing appearance, inquisitive nature, and gentle demeanor captured the hearts of E.T. enthusiasts all around the globe.

But where did the idea for the character come from, and how was E.T. brought to life?

Here are seven fascinating facts about E.T.

Three different actors provided E.T.’s voice.

Developing E.T.’s voice was difficult due to the limited special effects available during the 1982 film’s production.

Steven Spielberg initially provided the voice of E.T. as he recited lines from the script to assist the child actors in practicing their scenes.

Debra Winger subsequently replaced him as the voice of E.T., but her interpretation did not make the final cut.

The primary voice of E.T. was provided by Pat Welsh, who was not an actor at the time but had the ideal deep, raspy voice that Spielberg had envisioned for E.T.

She was a chain-smoker who claimed to have smoked two packs of cigarettes a day to maintain her rough voice while recording for E.T.

For the final edit, her voice was combined with the sounds of animals breathing.

E.T. was brought to life using a puppet on-screen.

When E.T. was not depicted in a suit with an actor, he was essentially a puppet.

The E.T. puppet was a logistical nightmare but produced a lifelike alien for scenes in which E.T. remained stationary.

The robotic puppet was anchored to the floor so that the cables could be secured in place but hidden from view.

Spielberg had to engage Caprice Rothe, a mime artist, to operate E.T.’s hands.

Rothe provided fluid, lifelike hand movements that contrasted with the robot’s sharpness.

She donned gloves that matched E.T.’s skin texture so that her hands would blend in with the rest of the puppet.

Three different actors were employed to portray E.T.

Many versions of E.T. were created to suit various scenes.

Two actors, Tamara de Treaux and Pat Bilon, who were both around 2 feet 10 inches (86 cm) tall, were hired for full-body shots that showed E.T. walking around.

In scenes where E.T. falls over, 12-year-old actor Matthew DeMeritt, who was born without legs, played E.T.

DeMeritt wore a specially designed E.T. suit that allowed him to walk on his hands.

E.T.’s favorite candy was intended to be M&Ms.

In the film, Reese’s Pieces are E.T.’s preferred candy and are used to entice him back home, but Spielberg wanted M&Ms to be E.T.’s favorite snack.

The Mars Corporation, which owned M&Ms, declined Spielberg’s request to use their candy as E.T.’s favorite treat, so he approached Hershey’s instead.

Hershey’s saw an opportunity to market their new Reese’s pieces when they were launched. They paid $1 million to Spielberg for the rights to promote the product. Within two weeks of the release of E.T. on June 11, 1982, Reese’s pieces sales rose by 65%. Madame Tussauds created five wax figures of E.T. to celebrate 30 years since the movie’s release, using information sourced from the artists behind E.T. to make a clay model, which was then used to create the wax mold. E.T.’s gender is unspecified, and there is no known time or date for when he was born or created. The character was designed to be friendly and approachable and was inspired by a painting called “Women of Delta” by Carlo Rambaldi. Spielberg spent much time studying images of people with depression to create E.T.’s image. E.T. was the first alien that the audience could sympathize with and love, and his kind-hearted and innocent character opened our minds to what might exist beyond our world. Despite being a challenging character to create, a team of actors, mime artists, and voice actors worked together to bring E.T. to life.


1. What inspired the creation of E.T.?

The idea for E.T. came from Steven Spielberg’s own childhood experiences. As a child, Spielberg often felt like an outsider and imagined having a friend from another planet who could understand him. This led to the creation of the lovable alien character that we all know and love.

2. Who designed E.T.?

The design of E.T. was a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and the legendary makeup artist, Carlo Rambaldi. Spielberg wanted E.T. to have a unique and memorable look that would capture the hearts of audiences. Rambaldi’s expertise in animatronics and special effects helped bring the character to life on the big screen.

3. What was the budget for E.T.?

The budget for E.T. was $10.5 million. This may sound like a lot, but it was actually a relatively small budget compared to other major Hollywood films at the time. Despite the limited budget, Spielberg and his team were able to create a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of audiences for generations.

4. What was E.T.’s original name?

Believe it or not, E.T.’s original name was “Zrek”. Spielberg later changed it to “E.T.” which stands for “Extra-Terrestrial”. The name change was a smart move as “E.T.” has become one of the most iconic and recognizable movie titles of all time.

5. What was the impact of E.T. on popular culture?

E.T. has had a massive impact on popular culture since its release in 1982. The character and the film have been referenced and parodied in countless movies, TV shows, and commercials. E.T. has become a symbol of friendship, love, and acceptance, and has inspired generations of filmmakers and artists.

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