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    “I Felt Helpless”: Steven Spielberg Was Concerned About Drew Barrymore Spiraling At A Very Tender Age During ‘E.T.’

    Steven Spielberg gave us one of the most heartwarming sci-fi stories of contemporary times with ‘E.T.’ It is a story between Elliot and his wise alien friend who gets stranded on Earth. Spielberg always tried to humanize his over-the-top storytelling with a heartening narrative. While it became one of the highest-grossing films, it also gave wings to the career of Drew Barrymore.

    Drew Barrymore came into the spotlight as a child artist with Ken Russell’s ‘Altered States’ in 1980. But ‘E.T.’ and Steven Spielberg gave her the career that she has today. Drew starred as Gertie, the younger sister of Elliot. The film launched her into stardom, but the young actress fell into the black hole of substance addiction, which was Steven’s concern when they were filming.

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    Steven Spielberg Wanted To Preserve The Child-Like Innocence Of Drew Barrymore

    Drew Barrymore as Gertie on the sets of 'E.T.'
    Drew Barrymore as Gertie on the sets of ‘E.T.’

    The making of ‘E.T.’ was as wholesome as the entire film was, and the recent Vulture profile of Drew Barrymore is testimony to that! During the profile, Steven Spielberg chronicled how he made sure that Drew Barrymore lived in the bubble that ‘E.T.’ was real. The director told the outlet, “I didn’t want to burst the bubble.”

    The ‘Jurrasic Park’ director asked the assistants to the puppet to go away when Drew saw them helping it. He continued, “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.” The actress would have lunch with it.

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    The Actress Admitted Him Being The Only Parental Figure In Her Life

    Steven Spielberg with the young Drew Barrymore
    Steven Spielberg with the young Drew Barrymore

    Steven Spielberg was like a father figure to her during her formative years. In the profile, Drew Barrymore said he was “the only person in my life to this day that ever was a parental figure.” Spielberg agreed to become her godfather. During the filming of ‘E.T.,’ he used to be with Barrymore “on weekends; he gave her a cat she named Gertie and took her to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.”

    However, the ‘Charlie’s Angels’ actress’ life was tumultuous due to her biological father, John Barrymore. He was abusive, which affected Barrymore’s childhood. Drew started taking drugs, partying, and consuming marijuana at the tender age of 12.

    Steven was concerned about her behavior when she started coming on sets wearing lipstick, staying awake past her bedtime, and visiting places that children are forbidden from. He added, “She was staying up way past her bedtime, going to places she should have only been hearing about, and living a life at a very tender age that I think robbed her of her childhood. Yet I felt very helpless because I wasn’t her dad. I could only kind of be a consigliere to her.”

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    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise is a Sub-Editor at FirstCuriosity. He has more than 2 years of experience in Entertainment content writing with the organization. Besides being a journalist and humanist, he loves cinema and intersectionality, basically everything that screams love, hope, and of course, Lady Gaga. Nishant loves and breathes popular culture, music, especially hip-hop and pop, and the royal family drama. Along with that, he takes great interest in the happenings in the technology world and politics. He is an LGBTQIA+ ally. Approach him with an apple juice to discuss Modern Family, Pose, and Schitt’s Creek.

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