Drew Barrymore Says She's 'Forever Grateful for “E.T.”' as She Posts Throwback Footage: 'Feels Like Yesterday'

The actress and talk-show host posted video footage of an adorable throwback interview from her childhood 'E.T.' era, more than 40 years ago

<p>Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images; Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images</p> Drew Barrymore in 1982

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images; Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Drew Barrymore in 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (L) and as an adult

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial will always be right here for Drew Barrymore.

More than 40 years after the actress and talk-show host had her breakout role in the Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi hit, she posted a throwback video to her Instagram grid that featured footage of an adorable interview she did around the time E.T. was released.

After the interviewer asked a then-7-year-old Barrymore whether it was difficult for her to learn her lines for the movie, she shook her head and replied confidently, "No."

"Sometimes, when I'm doing the shot, I get nervous, but I always say to myself, 'Everybody makes mistakes,' " the young actress added.

Barrymore, now 49, wrote in the caption of her post on Wednesday, May 1, "This feels like yesterday. I will be forever grateful for E.T."

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Related: E.T. Cast: Where Are They Now?

E.T. features Barrymore as Gertie Taylor, a young girl who is initially terrified of the titular alien before learning to love him. Henry Thomas played Barrymore's brother Elliott in the movie.

Throughout the film, Elliott, Gertie and their older brother Michael (played by Robert MacNaughton) quietly move E.T. into the family's suburban California home, but things become adventurous for them when the government catches onto their scheme and wants to take the alien away.

Amid E.T.'s 40th anniversary back in 2022, Barrymore revealed on her eponymous daytime talk show that she would talk to and care for the animatronic puppet who portrayed her out-of-this-world costar.

"I believed E.T. was real," she said in a conversation that included her former costars Thomas, now 52, McNaughton, now 57, and Dee Wallace, the latter of whom played the kids' mother, Mary.

"I really loved [E.T.] in such a profound way," Barrymore added. "I would go and take lunch to him."

<p>Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images</p> Drew Barrymore in <em>E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial</em> (1982)

Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Drew Barrymore in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Related: Drew Barrymore Reunites with 'E.T.' Onscreen Mom Dee Wallace Ahead of Film's 40th Anniversary

As for her continuing relationship with Spielberg, now 77, Barrymore said in a Vulture profile published in June 2023 that the filmmaker is "the only person in my life to this day that ever was a parental figure" after he cast the then-child actress in her breakout role.

The profile detailed some aspects of Spielberg's relationship with Barrymore — including that he kept operators around to maneuver the E.T. puppet at all times so it could react to her.

“I didn’t want to burst the bubble,” Spielberg told Vulture, noting that he made sure to shoot the movie in chronological order — rare for film productions — as he discussed a moment in which Barrymore asked for the puppet's operators to leave during a scene.

“So I simply said, ‘It’s okay, E.T. is so special E.T. has eight assistants. I am the director, I only have one,' " he added.

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