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Fun Fact Friday presents: The Impact Of Little People On Big Films

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Tamara De Treaux

This week’s Fun Fact:

Opportunities for people with different physical attributes have existed for a very long time in film. This is especially true for little people. Films such as Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) and Werner Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) are two examples in which characters who are little people are at the center of the story. In most cases though, it feels as though many other actors may not get such exposure. Actor Tony Cox (from Bad Santa fame) recalls his first acting class and his teacher telling him, “’the only thing you’ll ever be in is a costume’” (Abramovitch). For Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, (1982) even though Tamara De Treaux was in the E.T. costume, she was credited under “E.T. Special Movement” with many others (“E.T.”). According to her friend Amistead Maupin, Spielberg was “explicit about not wanting Tammy to go public,” having the attitude of “the less the public knew, the greater the fantasy” (Rennert). Needless to say, when she granted interviews to Entertainment Tonight and others, “Spielberg was extremely upset” (Rennert).

– Jonathan Bartholomy, RAFF Chicago Planning Committee Member

RAFF Chicago runs from October 4-8, 2017. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!!!

If you would like to get involved with RAFF Chicago please contact us at (773) 203-5039 or email Matt Lauterbach at matt@reelabilitieschicago.org

 

Works Cited

Abramovitch, Seth. “Little People, Big Woes in Hollywood: Low Pay, Degrading Jobs and a Tragic Death.” hollywoodreporter, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/little-people-actors-actresses-low-pay-degrading-jobs-tragedy-922261. Accessed 15 August 2017.

“E.T. The Extra-Terrestial (1982) Full Cast & Crew.” imdb, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083866/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast. Accessed 15 August 2017.

Rennert, Amy. “Behind the scenes: The Outsider.” archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20060304204018/www.literarybent.com/mtm_04_behind.html. Accessed 15 August 2017.

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