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Costume Designer Deborah L. Scott on 40 Years of ‘E.T‘ and Making ’Avatar 2’: ‘There are Huge Leaps in Every Technical Way’

Jazz Tangcay

October 19, 2022

“Titanic,” “Avatar” and “Back to the Future” are just a few of Deborah L. Scott’s many credits as a costume designer, but Steven Spielberg’s “E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial” is one that Scott is particularly fond of. “I have fun memories of making it, and I can’t believe it’s 40 years,” Scott says as the film celebrates its 40th anniversary. “I think it’s lasted partly because Steven was adamant about not doing a sequel or remake and all those things that keep it a classic and unique.”

When it came to making Elliot’s red hoodie and Gertie’s timeless overalls, Scott says any ideas and conversations around the look of the film were about keeping it classic. “You’re not going too far one way or another, and it’s not specific to its period.”

The film, which has earned over $792.9 million at the box office, was Scott’s second film. “I shopped the whole movie, and it wasn’t a very large budget,” Scott says.

For the wardrobe, she shopped as if she were that character or their mother. With Gertie’s look, which the costume designer describes as “boyish,” Scott says, “You have two older brothers, so she’s not too much of a girl, and her mom would want her to embrace that part of it but she’s still treasuring this little girl.” With that, Scott would add in a ruffled shirt or put Barrymore’s hair in a pigtail and bows.

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