An opportunity to meet your childhood hero does not come along often — and getting to work alongside that hero might just leave you speechless. That is exactly what happened to Henry Thomas, who played young Elliot in the hit 1982 classic, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial — but audiences never got to see him interacting with Harrison Ford.
After portraying Han Solo in Star Wars and just coming off of his stint as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harrison Ford was a man in demand, being the world's biggest movie star. And, of course, he had a close relationship with Raiders and E.T. director Steven Spielberg. Most fans might be unaware that Harrison Ford actually filmed a scene for #ET as a favor to Spielberg, but the cameo was ultimately cut from the film. You can watch it below:
Ford played the school principal, questioning Elliot after he set all the frogs free (and planted a big kiss on his classmate). In the scene, Elliot and E.T. are still having a telekinetic connection. As E.T. tries to move items up the stairs, Elliot's chair starts to levitate towards the ceiling. We hear Ford's voice and see the back of his head, but we never actually get a look at his face; just as the chair comes off the ground, he turns his head to look out the window.
So why didn't the scene make the final cut? Entertainment Weekly finally got Spielberg to address it, and the brilliant director explained that Ford agreed to do the cameo because of their previous work together. It also helped that he was dating the E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison at the time! His role as school principal was out of character compared to the rogue action-hero parts he was known to play.
“He did the scene where E.T. is home levitating all of the stuff for his communicator up the stairs,” Spielberg told EW. “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. ... That was the scene that we cut out. But that’s where [Henry] got a chance to meet Harrison.”
It was such a huge moment for the young Henry Thomas that he was left without words. "That was a very big day for me," Thomas reminisced. "You don’t end up saying anything."
The cameo now feels like a treat for fans of beloved film, but the scene itself did not serve enough of a purpose to the storyline; the filmmakers were clearly just using Ford for a star power cameo. But all was not lost; Henry Thomas got to meet his hero and now we have a nice piece of movie trivia to fool our friends with!
What's your favorite Harrison Ford movie? Let us know in the comments below!