A Conversation With Erika Eleniak
It’s been thirty years since E.T.:The Extra-Terrestrial changed the way Americans looked at Reese’s Pieces. In 1982 you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing the little guy with the lit-up finger munching on those chocolate and peanut butter candies.
E.T. was everywhere. From Pizza Hut glasses to Atari video games and even lunch boxes. His stickers adorned everyone’s beloved Trapper Keeper (mine included) and I still recall all of the kids in 7th grade talking about him for months.
But even thirty years after its release the one thing I remember most about the movie, aside from wanting one of those cool flying bicycles, is the scene where Henry Thomas’ character Elliott saves the frogs in his science class from certain death and kisses his female classmate.
Quite fittingly, she was credited as the “Pretty Girl” in the movie and it was one of those moments during my own adolescence where I would have given anything to be able to change places with some other guy. That other guy being Henry Thomas.
E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial introduced the movie world to Erika Eleniak. Since then, she’s been a Playboy Playmate, a Baywatch babe and a Beverly Hillbilly just to name a few of her accomplishments.
She’s fought off terrorists in “Under Siege” and even hunted vampires in “Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness″. Most recently, she’s appeared in episodes of “Desperate Housewives” and “CSI: Miami”.
In this interview, Erika talks about her time working on “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial“, “Baywatch” and “Under Siege“. She also discusses her newest movie, “Meant To Be” which deals with a very controversial subject.
goJimmygo (gJg): Erika, when did you first start acting and how did your role in E.T. come about?
Erika Eleniak (EE): I first started acting when I was ten-years old. My earliest appearances included a play, some commercials and on a TV show.
Although E.T. was not my first acting role it was my first film role. I was twelve-years old and in the 7th Grade performing in an audition showcase when I was spotted by a talent scout for Steven Spielberg, who was seated in the audience. I later went to meet with Mr. Spielberg and he asked me if I wanted to be in his movie. I said, “Yes.” <laughs>Continued on the next page