It seems these days I can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some NKOTB who is bringing something new to the table. One of these new additions, specifically the new Very Unofficial Team Redlands Blog I welcome with open arms. I mean, in this high tech era of Face Book and Twitter, at least someone out there is still apt to picking up the feather quill pen in order to knit a roaring good yarn of a blog.
Since someone else has all the bike stuff well handled, I’ll concentrate my efforts on something that interests everyone. No, not Seven Civil War stories your teach never told you. I’m talking about show biz, celebrity gossip, and entertainment news.
I work with Matt DeMeritt, who is one of 3 people to wear the ET suit during the filming of ET. He was 12 years old when the movie was filmed, but time has not been kind to Matt. Now 39, he is a writer at ESRI and for fun he plays and records music. He has no home studio so all his recordings sound pretty bad. If you think that’s a sob story, Robert MacNaughton, the kid who played the eldest brother on ET is now a mail man. Aren’t those the guys that always go crazy and come back with a gun and shoot everybody?
Anyway, I sat down with Matt a few days ago to talk about work and instead we talked about ET.
Were you aware of all the blatant product placement of Reese’s Pieces that was going on during the filming of ET?
No. I was too busy eating them to even notice. There was an inexhaustible supply, and that's all that mattered to me.
Could you tell if Drew Barrymore was drunk during the filming of the movie?
No. I was too busy getting drunk myself. There was an inexhaustible supply of beer (from the scene where ET gets drunk), and that's all that mattered to me.
Speaking of Drew Barrymore, how did you escape the demons that usually haunt most child actors?
Demons are slow. I out-maneuvered them with my special ET powers.
Can’t you ever be serious?
I don't answer questions framed in the negative.
How many girls did you get because of your role in ET?
Surprisingly, none at all. Chicks just aren't that impressed by a runt stuffed into a latex suit.
After directing Jaws, Close Encounters, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. seemed like a directorial disappointment for Spielberg. What was the morale like on the set like during the filming of ET?
It was jovial and positive, fueled mainly by an inexhaustible supply of Reese's Pieces and beer.
In 1985 Spielberg bounced back with accolades as the executive producer of The Goonies. Are you bitter for not getting the opportunity to work on that project?
I DID work on that project. I played the mutant's (Chunk) son, but ended up on the cutting room floor.
You don’t expect me to believe that, do you? I’ve told people the same thing about my deleted scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Tell me about the ET 20-year reunion cast party that took place in 2002.
There was a 20-year reunion cast party that took place in 2002?
How did you go from “acting” to becoming one of America’s leading writers on the topics of caves, karst, and coal?
A Faustian bargain facilitated that leap.
You’re going to Hell, you know that right?
I went to the Lavendar Festival. Hell couldn't be much worse than that?
You've obviously never sat through the 100 Greatest Family Films TV show or the movie Cyborg 2.