For the 20th anniversary of ''E.T.,'' the filmmakers and stars recall their incredible journey
Acting with E.T.
Robert MacNaughton (35, played Michael, the older brother) E.T. was like any other actor. If you said something differently on another take, it would react differently. That's how skilled the people working it were.... A professional mime named Caprice Roth did the hands. She probably had the hardest time of anybody on the set because she had to crouch under the E.T. machinery and hold her arms at a strange angle. If the thing was drinking beer, she'd get that all over her head.... I remember seeing E.T. pick its nose. That was Caprice's idea, to amuse us. I never saw E.T. give anyone the finger. That would be very unlike E.T.... I think the most credit for playing E.T. should go to Steven. He did E.T.'s dialogue on the set. Let's say it was a close-up of Henry. Steven would be off camera doing E.T.'s reaction. We never heard the [finished] voice of E.T. until it came out.
BROTHERS IN ARMS Henry Thomas (left) and MacNaughton on the ''E.T.'' set
Image Credit: Thomas & McNaughton: Everett Collection