“There is no other person in the universe”: John Travolta Put His Foot Down About Casting Actor in Classic Film Due To an Album Cover

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta had great chemistry in the 1978 movie.

John Travolta Put His Foot Down About Casting Actor in Classic Film Due To an Album Cover

SUMMARY

  • Grease is a love story set in the 1950s, filled with singing and dancing.
  • It is considered one of the highest-grossing live-action musicals ever, with two No. 1 Billboard hits.
  • The film, Grease, achieved great success both critically and commercially.
Show More
Advertisement

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta had great chemistry in the beloved 1978 movie musical Grease. Their on-screen performances as Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko, are often praised for their convincing chemistry throughout the film.

Featured Video
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease

In the musical romantic comedy, Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny Zuko (John Travolta), reunite at Rydell High after a summer romance. It is a love story set in the 1950s, filled with singing and dancing.

Advertisement

Earlier during the casting of the film, the actor, John Travolta, was very firm about casting Newton-John in a classic film. He strongly believed that she was the only suitable choice for the role.

Also read: “He suggests an older-style movie star”: Despite Working With Movie Heavyweights Like John Travolta, Quentin Tarantino Called Another Star One of Hollywood’s Last Real Movie Stars

Advertisement

John Travolta was Adamant on Casting Olivia Newton-John in Grease

John Travolta and Olivia Newton at the 40th-anniversary screening
John Travolta and Olivia Newton at the 40th-anniversary screening

When John Travolta was asked at the 40th-anniversary screening (via Oscars), “When you think back 40 years to Grease, what’s the first thing that comes to mind,”  Travolta gushed “Olivia.” He then went on to say because she was his “favorite thing about doing Grease.” 

He was then asked: “And you were really instrumental, I hear, in actually getting Olivia cast.” The actor recalled that it was because of the album in which the actress was featured with those beautiful blue eyes:

Advertisement

“There was utterly no one else. If you were a young man in the ’70s, if you remember that [If You Love Me, Let Me Know] album cover of Olivia with that shirt on, with those big blue eyes staring at you… every boy’s, every man’s dream was, ‘Oh, I’d love for that girl to be my girlfriend.’ So, when I had the privilege to have input on the casting, I said, ‘There is no other person in the universe other than Olivia Newton-John to play Sandy.'”

His decision was indeed justified because the film achieved great success both critically and commercially. It even became the highest-grossing musical film at the time.

Also read: New York Transit Authority Has the Most Bizarre Rule after ‘The Taking of Pelham 123’: Are John Travolta, Denzel Washington to Blame?

Advertisement

Grease Proved to be a Lucky Charm for Olivia Newton-John Thanks to John Travolta

Olivia Newton-John's Hopelessly Devoted to You
Olivia Newton-John’s Hopelessly Devoted to You

Randal Kleiser‘s film became one of the highest-grossing live-action musicals ever. Its soundtrack produced two No. 1 hits including You the One That I Want and Summer Nights, sung by the lead actors.

In addition to that, Hopelessly Devoted to You, performed by Newton-John, earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song at the 51st Academy Awards.

Advertisement

After Grease, the Toomorrow star then starred in another musical, Xanadu in 1980, which has become a camp classic over the years. She again reunited with Travolta for the 1983 film Two of a Kind.

Watch Grease on Prime Video.

Advertisement

Also read: “It was Spielberg, It was Oprah”: Besides Tom Hanks, John Travolta Seeked Help From 4 Other Famous Hollywood Celebrities While Struggling to Accept One of His Biggest Hits

Avatar

Written by Shreya Jha

Shreya is an Entertainment News Writer at Fandomwire. She has over a year of experience in journalistic writing with a deep knowledge of entertainment world. After completing her bachelor's program in Journalism and Mass Communication, Shreya is now pursuing her master's degree in the same. Apart from being an avid reader, she's a huge Swiftie and K-culture buff. So yeah, when she's not writing, she will be caught listening to Tay or watching "Business Proposal" for the 100th time.