Steven Spielberg's cinema classic E.T. the Extra-terrestrial is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its first-ever appearance on Blu-ray, out Tuesday, and the film's beloved mom in the movie, Dee Wallace, reminisces about the joy of working on the set with a young Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas -- and how "that little animatronic thing" made an impact on everyone.
"It's about the celebration of a movie that's changed lives and touched lives and it's still touching lives," Dee tells ET, explaining how a little girl recently came up to her, all excited that she was from E.T. "It's starting all over again, fortunately with a really great Blu-ray. It's the heart of who we are, and that's why it's still around, just like The Wizard of Oz."
Dee explains that working with E.T. himself "was like working with another actor," and pointed out that the beloved animatronic alien was "always alive, somebody was always working him, especially for Drew's benefit, because she'd go over into the corner and start talking to him. … [She was] constantly confusing reality with fantasy."
"It was a family affair," explains Dee, who at times helped Drew with her homework because she had been a teacher herself before becoming an actress. She adds that one major element that made the film so special was the fact that they shot it all in sequence -- which is rarely the case in big movies -- for the benefit of the kids.
Also well-known for her roles in the horror films The Howling and Cujo, watch the video to see how Dee reacts to the joke, "E.T., a werewolf from The Howling and Cujo walk into a bar. What happens next?"