Steven Spielberg Reveals the Story of Harrison Ford's Cameo in E.T.
As you may or may not know, Harrison Ford made a cameo appearance in Steven Spielberg's classic sci-fi film E.T. The scene he shot ended up being deleted from the film, but the footage is online to watch. I actually included it below in case you've never seen.
During a recent interview with Spielberg and actor Henry Thomas, who played Elliot in the film, they reveal the untold story of how this whole cameo came about. Thomas explains:
“When I met Steven, the first thing out of my mouth was I think, ‘I love Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ and my hero was Harrison Ford. I basically was just excited to meet Steven in hopes that I would meet Harrison.”
He ended up getting is wish! Ford was dating E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison at the time and when he was asked to do a little cameo in the film he agreed. According to the report, "the joke was that Ford would play against type as the uptight, condescending principal who scolds Elliott after the frog and kissing incident." Spielberg said:
“He did the scene where E.T. is home levitating all of the stuff for his communicator up the stairs. Elliot is in the principal’s office after the frog incident. We don’t ever see Harrison’s face. We just hear his voice, see his body.”
As many of you already know, Spielberg shot this film from a child's perspective and never showed any of the faces of the adults in the film, except for Elliot's mom Dee Wallace, until the final act of the film. When talking about the scene Spielberg says:
“Henry’s chair starts levitating. So as E.T. is lifting all of the communicator paraphernalia up the stairs, Henry starts rising off the ground in the chair until his head hits the ceiling. Just as Harrison turns, E.T. loses control of the weight of everything and it all falls down the stairs, and Henry comes crashing down to the ground, and lands perfectly. Four-point landing. The principal turns around, and as far as he’s concerned, nothing ever happened.”
The scene ended up being cut because it didn't really add much to the story it was just a fun little scene to shoot with Ford. Spielberg goes on to say:
“That was the scene that we cut out. But that’s where [Henry] got a chance to meet Harrison.”
Thomas said it was a big day for him. I'm sure it would be a big day for anyone that gets to meet Harrison Ford!