“There were no n*ked scenes in the original script”: John Travolta Reportedly Kicked a $17,000,000 Paycheck after Bitter Feud With Roman Polanski

John Travolta Reportedly Kicked a $17,000,000 Paycheck after Bitter Feud With Roman Polanski
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Every actor has their fair share of rollercoaster moments, but John Travolta isn’t your average star. His decades-long career has experienced highs and lows like no other.


After featuring in Saturday Night Fever in 1977, his popularity skyrocketed, and hits like Grease, Urban Cowboy, and Blow Out quickly followed. At the time, only a few actors were more in demand than the style-savvy star, who could sing, dance, and portray any kind of character. However, after strings of ill-judged roles and flops in the mid-80s, Travolta found himself out of the limelight.

John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in a scene from Pulp Fiction
John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.

Often established actors only need one big hit to return to stardom. For Travolta, that movie turned out to be Quentin Tarantino’s blockbuster film Pulp Fiction. His much-loved performance as Vincent Vega once again brought back Hollywood producers to his door. But for different reasons, he failed to properly seize the opportunity the second time.


Read more: “I didn’t know I was making a comedy”: John Travolta Put Himself in Trouble With Quentin Tarantino After Putting Humor into ‘Pulp Fiction’

Why John Travolta Turned Down $17,000,000 Paycheck to Star in Roman Polanski’s Movie

Roman Polanski is one of the most controversial figures in Hollywood, but at the same time, with such esteemed and varied projects in his directorial catalog, at one point, not many actors dared to reject the approach when The Pianist director came calling. However, as mentioned previously, John Travolta isn’t your average star.

John Travolta
John Travolta.

After the success of Pulp Fiction, the Broken Arrow actor was reportedly signed on to star in the Polanski movie, which was supposedly titled The Double. It was viewed as a high-profile big-screen adaptation of the similarly-titled novel by Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky.


It’s understood Travolta was set for a payday of around $17 million for his role in the project, which was so advanced that French actress Isabelle Adjani was also cast opposite the superstar of the 70s.

But things fell apart after an alleged fallout between the director and the lead face of the movie. As per E! Online, Travolta was not happy about some scenes being changed without his approval.

“First of all, there were no n*ked scenes in the original script,” the publication quoted Travolta from a separate interview. “Roman added it for no reason. And what’s more, I have never acted naked in my whole career, and it’s not now that I’m fat that I’m going to start.”

The conflict was beyond repair, leading to Travolta missing out on a potential career-defining collaboration with Polanski and a huge cheque.


Read more: John Travolta Took a Humongous $10,000,000 Pay Cut for a Movie Written by Scientology Founder – It Became One of the Greatest Stains on His Career

Did John Travolta Reject Forrest Gump for Pulp Fiction?

Travolta is perhaps among very few actors in the industry whose catalog of rejected movies is far more attractive than the ones he decided to work in.

Tom Hanks in and as Forrest Gump
Tom Hanks in and as Forrest Gump.

According to Far Out, the two-time Academy Award nominee was the first choice for Forrest Gump (1994), the movie that transformed Tom Hanks‘ career and made him one of America’s most admired figures for his goofy but meaningful portrayal of the titular character.


Travolta made the decision in favor of joining another project. In the same year, he returned to the big screen as Vincent in Pulp Fiction. Considering the success of the Tarantino-directed movie, turning down Forrest Gump doesn’t seem like a disastrous decision. Still, he missed out on an Oscar award for Best Actor to Hanks, who won the honor for the same movie.

Read more: “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

Source: TheThings, E! Online, Far Out


Written by Vishal Singh

Articles Published: 514

Vishal Singh is a Content Writer at FandomWire. Having spent more than half a decade in the digital media space, Vishal specializes in crafting engaging entertainment- and sports-focused stories. He graduated from university with an honors degree in English Literature.