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Steven Spielberg 'felt helpless' watching Drew Barrymore's childhood 'being robbed' while making E.T.

Steven Spielberg 'felt helpless' watching Drew Barrymore's childhood 'being robbed' while making E.T.

The director watched as Drew Barrymore's childhood was 'robbed' during filming

Steven Spielberg said he ‘felt helpless’ watching Drew Barrymore’s childhood ‘being robbed’ from her while making 1982’s E.T.

Barrymore, 48, was only seven years old when she played Gertie in the iconic film, making her one of the most famous child stars at the time.

The actor formed a super close bond with director Spielberg, 76, during filming and even asked him to be her dad.

Spielberg actually said no to her request but did agree to be her godfather.

In a profile of Barrymore by Vulture, she called Spielberg: “The only person in my life to this day that ever was a parental figure.”

The 48-year-old's own father, actor John Drew Barrymore, was an abusive alcoholic.

Barrymore has been very open about her experience with drugs, using marijuana at just 10-years-old and snorting cocaine by the age of 12.

Steven Spielberg is Drew Barrymore's godfather.
Allstar Picture Library Limited/Alamy Stock Photo

Barrymore was eventually in rehab at 13 and a suicide attempt at 14 saw her return.

When making E.T. Spielberg says she would show up wearing red lipstick to set, and he would be the one to tell her to take it off.

The director told Vulture: “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.”

While they were shooting the sci-fi classic, Spielberg was committed to keeping Barrymore’s belief that E.T. was real.

But after a few weeks, the young actor spotted several men operating her extraterrestrial friend and demanded they leave the set.

Spielberg said: “I didn’t want to burst the bubble.

“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 actor believed E.T. was real during filming.
Universal Pictures

The devoted director even had the operators on hand outside of filming hours so Barrymore could sit with E.T. for lunch.

Vulture also reports she stayed with him 'on weekends' and he also 'gave her a cat she named Gertie and took her to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm'.

Barrymore and Spielberg are still very close to this day.

The actor was emancipated from her parents at the age of 14.

She has been sober since at least 2019 and now hosts her talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show.

Featured Image Credit: Allstar Picture Library Limited. / Alamy Stock Photo / Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Drew Barrymore, Film and TV, Steven Spielberg, Celebrity