The Heartwarming Bond between Steven Spielberg and Drew Barrymore

Steven Spielberg and Drew Barrymore on the set of 'E.T.' (Image: 1)

It’s no secret that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a beloved classic, captivating audiences of all ages with its tale of friendship and adventure. But what many people don’t know is the heartwarming bond that formed behind-the-scenes between director Steven Spielberg and child actress Drew Barrymore.

At just 7 years old, Barrymore had already faced many challenges in her young life. Coming from a difficult home environment, her father was an abusive alcoholic who had abandoned her and her mother. Despite her troubled upbringing, Barrymore found solace and support in Spielberg during the making of E.T.

Drew Barrymore and her complicated relationship with her father (Image: 2)

Barrymore, a member of the famous Barrymore acting family, never had a real relationship with her father. Instead, Spielberg became a father figure to her. In an interview with Vulture, Barrymore praised Spielberg, saying he was “the only person in my life to this day that ever was a parental figure.”

Spielberg went above and beyond to create a kid-friendly set for Barrymore and her young co-stars. He kept the magic of the film alive by telling Barrymore that the puppeteers controlling E.T. were actually the alien’s “assistants.” He even arranged for the film to be shot in continuity order, making it easier for the children to follow the story.

Steven Spielberg and Drew Barrymore on the set of 'E.T.' (Image: 3)

During filming, Barrymore formed a close bond with Spielberg. She stayed with him on weekends, and he even gifted her a pet cat. They went on trips to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, creating special memories for the young actress. Spielberg treated her like a daughter, giving her guidance and support when she needed it most.

Barrymore once asked Spielberg to be her “dad,” a request he had to decline. Although he couldn’t be her father, Spielberg agreed to be her godfather. Reflecting on those challenging times, Spielberg admitted that he felt helpless, as he could only do so much for her wellbeing.

Steven Spielberg and Drew Barrymore bonded on the set of 'E.T.' (Image: 4)

The bond between Spielberg and Barrymore is not unique. Another former child star, Ke Huy Quan, who worked with Spielberg on The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, spoke highly of the director. Quan revealed that Spielberg continues to support him and even sends him Christmas gifts every year, showing that Spielberg’s care for his young actors extends beyond the set.

Despite her troubled youth, Barrymore went on to have a successful acting career, starring in numerous hit films. She credits E.T. with launching her career and acknowledges Spielberg’s role in her development as an actress. The two have remained close over the years, with Spielberg still serving as Barrymore’s godfather.

Drew Barrymore and Steven Spielberg remain close to this day (Image: 5)

In a Father’s Day Instagram post in 2020, Barrymore reflected on her real father. While she expressed some regret about not having a stable father in her life, she also acknowledged that her father’s wildness runs through her and that she is determined to overcome the challenges she inherited.

The heartwarming bond between Spielberg and Barrymore reminds us of the power of connection and support, especially during difficult times. It’s a testament to the lasting impact a caring mentor can have on a young person’s life. Let’s share this heartwarming story and celebrate the love and guidance that can change lives.