EXCLUSIVE: On the Sets of 10 '80s Movies That Launched Tom Cruise, Kevin Bacon & More!

by Raphael Chestang 5:40 PM PST, November 24, 2015
Playing EXCLUSIVE: On the Sets of 10 '80s Movies That Launched Tom Cruise, Kevin Bacon & More!

In our 35th year, we're looking back at the iconic movies that we were behind the scenes for, featuring today's biggest stars before they were household names.

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1. Top Gun (1985): Tom Cruise was just 23 when we caught up with him behind the scenes of the classic action movie, and the burgeoning movie star was still adjusting to fame. He admitted that it still felt awkward to have girls go ballistic just to be in his presence. "That kind of stuff is a little uncomfortable," he told ET 30 years ago.

2. Footloose (1983): Kevin Bacon assured us that his success did not come overnight back on the set of the musical drama. "I'm 24 years old," he told ET at the time. "I came to New York when I was 17. I'm not a newcomer." For Sarah Jessica Parker on the other hand, this was her very first feature film. "I've never done a film before," she said. "I'm learning more and watching more. When you have a dance partner like Kevin Bacon, you can't go wrong."

3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1985): Matthew Broderick, then 24 years old, explained that he had been unknowingly training for his breakout role for years. "It came naturally to me to play somebody playing hooky," he told ET. "I did skip school quite a bit -- in this very park actually."

4. Flashdance (1983): Jennifer Beals sat down with us at the tender age of 19 before the film's release. In the movie, she plays an exotic dancer and welder working in Pittsburgh, while simultaneously chasing her dream of attending ballet school.

5. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987): Robin Williams was our tour guide for the touching comedy, which was filmed under difficult conditions. "Being funny in this heat is like having sex in a wind tunnel -- a good time," Williams told ET.

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6. Fatal Attraction (1986): Michael Douglas and Glenn Close came together to singlehandedly change America's perspective on the topics of cheating, elevator sex and bunnies. "All you really want to do is move people, make them laugh, turn them on, or scare them," Douglas said. "What more do you want for two hours?"

7. Beverly Hills Cop (1984): At 23 years old, Eddie Murphy was already using his talent to break down barriers. "The character was originally written for a white guy, so I brought a little bit of soul brother to it," Murphy said with a laugh.

8. Platoon (1986): Charlie Sheen was 20 and Johnny Depp was 22 when they played soldiers facing the horrors of battle in Oliver Stone's war classic. "The story is told through my eyes," Sheen told ET. "It's a heavy responsibility, but an excellent opportunity as an actor." The movie went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards that year.

9. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982): Steven Spielberg showed ET around set right before shooting the famous scene in which Drew Barrymore screams at the top of her lungs after finding the alien in her home. "It just happens when you work on films that don't have mechanical sharks and a lot of major tricks, you can finish them in a reasonable amount of time," Spielberg shared with us at the time.

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10. Parenthood (1989): By the time we visited Ron Howard on set, we were reaching an early milestone -- 2,000 episodes. "Wow, Entertainment Tonight! Two thousand episodes!" he said. "I guess that makes sense. I think I've seen about twelve hundred!"