Doctors and nurses: These characters in the movie weren’t actual actors; in fact, they were all real emergency room technicians. They were all told to treat E.T. the same way they would treat a real person.
Old hag: Spielberg’s costume on set (for Halloween). During the Halloween scene, Elliot and his brother Michael dress E.T. up as if he’s their costumed little sister so they can safely get him to the forest to phone home. To join in the fun, Spielberg spent the entire day dressed up as an old woman. He even bobbed for apples and went trick-or-treating with the cast at the wrap of that day’s shoot.
Pat Welsh: The elderly woman who provided E.T.’s voice. Welsh smoked two packets of cigarettes a day, which gave her voice a quality that sound effects creator, Ben Burtt, liked. She spent nine-and-a-half hours recording her part, and was paid $380 by Burtt for her services. Burtt also recorded 16 other people and various animals to create E.T.’s “voice.” These included Spielberg, Debra Winger, Burtt’s sleeping wife who had a cold, a burp from his USC film professor, as well as raccoons, sea otters, and horses.
Willard and Benjamin: The names of Harrison Ford’s sons who were consulted by Melissa Mathison, screenwriter for E.T., about what powers E.T. should have. They mentioned obvious things like telepathy and telekinetic powers, but they also mentioned the ability to heal, which surprised Mathison. She said, “They weren’t talking about saving someone’s life by healing. They were talking about taking the ‘owies’ away.”
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