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Drew Barrymore Thought E.T. Was Real

The actress, then 7, thought the animatronic alien was real when she was filming E.T.: "I really loved him."

Drew Barrymore on the set of "E.T.". (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

Drew Barrymore might have grown up fast in Hollywood, but at the end of the day, she was still a kid who didn’t quite understand how animatronics and puppetry worked in the film business. The talk show host revealed that while she was filming E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial at the age of 7, she totally thought E.T. was real.

"Now I believed E.T. was real," she said in a clip from her eponymous show with her former E.T. costars Henry Thomas, Robert MacNaughton and Dee Wallace.

"I really loved him in such a profound way. Is it like true that … what would happen?" she then asked her former costars, adding, "Because I would go and take lunch to him." Barrymore plays the young Gertie in the film, who is at first terrified of the alien living in her brother’s closet. Thomas, who played Barrymore’s older brother Elliot, recalled Barrymore asking “the wardrobe lady” to grab a scarf for E.T., “because he was gonna get cold."

Wallace, who played Elliot and Gertie’s mom, also recalled Barrymore’s affection for their puppet costar. "We found you over there just talking away to E.T. and so we let director Steven [Spielberg] know," Wallace recounted. "And so Steven, from that time on, appointed two guys to keep E.T. alive so whenever you came over to talk to him, he could react to you."

The cast also discussed the possibility of a sequel to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film, but it seems like something Spielberg wanted to leave untouched.

Barrymore had brought up the possibility to the director, and understands why he wants to leave the classic as is: "And in that moment I thought, 'Oh that's a bummer because that doesn't bring us all back together again for another round,' but I also understood and respected and completely knew that it was all about preservation of integrity for him," she explained her costars.

The full episode of The Drew Barrymore Show with the reunion of the E.T. cast airs on Monday, Oct. 31 — the perfect Halloween treat. Grab the Reeses Pieces!