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- BBC Mundo correspondent in Los Angeles
When Olivia Newton-John Sandy Olson was offered the role Greece, there were not a few who thought he was too old for it; including myself
“I thought that at 29 I was too old to play a high school student,” the Australian actress, who died on Monday at her California ranch, told the British newspaper. telegraph In 2017, four decades after the film premiered.
“But John was so charming…”
John Travolta, who was 23 at the time yearHe rose to the success of “Saturday Night Fever.” (1977) and was going to play Danny Zuko on the tape. And he gave everything to accept his role.
“John had already been cast, and he asked me, ‘What do you think of Olivia?’ And I said, ‘She’s wonderful.’ He said, ‘What do you think about that for Sandy? That’s a great idea.’ And once John said it, and that’s what John wanted, I had no doubt.” explained Joel Thurm, its casting director Greeceto People magazine.
According to Thurm, he had “no one” as a “backup” plan if Newton-John didn’t take on the role.
“So everyone loved Olivia, But Olivia didn’t accept that offer. That’s important to know.”
“He said, ‘OK, I want to do a screen test with John and then I’ll tell you if I want to do it,'” the actress told them.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case where an actor who was offered a role said, ‘I want to see myself before I say yes.’ But how smart he was.”
Newton-John accepted the role after auditioning on VHS tape.
Once he accepted the role, Newton-John Travolta was reluctant to outdo him, however, Their “chemistry was there from the start”.Thuram said.
Time has proven them right: Greece Not only turnedHighest grossing film of 1978But continued to make millions of dollars year after year, selling millions of copies of its soundtrack worldwide and An entire generation can now hum his songs you are the one i want, hopelessly loyal is You and Summer Nights.
There were many who, upon learning of Newton-John’s death this Monday, noted the iconic nature of the film.
“You were my childhood! Your talent, your poise, your beauty! Rest in glorious peace. God bless you and your family…and Thank you for creating everlasting memories“, for example wrote actress Viola Davis on Twitter.
The film left its mark, but none more so than its actors.
“We did something that changed our lives,” Newton-John admitted to the magazine people In 2018.
More than a high school movie
The film was based on a musical with libretto, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey that debuted at Chicago’s now-defunct Kingston Mines Theater in 1971 and jumped to New York a year later, where it ran for eight consecutive years.
Its title in English – translated as “Vaseline” or “Brillantina” in some Latin American countries – is a direct indication of its subculture. GreaserA working-class youth movement that emerged in the United States in the 1950s.
job search Commonly adolescent themes such as rebellion, sexual excitement or group membership A museum tune reminiscent of early years Rock and roll.
It tops the list of longest-running shows in Broadway history, has performed on multiple stages around the world, including London’s West End, and continues to inspire non-professional groups and school groups.
But when it became a true story it was its big screen adaptation, directed by Randall Kleiser and starring Stockard Channing as Betty Rizzo, in addition to Newton-John and Travolta.
Its central plot revolves around Danny Zucco and Sandy Olson, two high school students who, after enjoying a summer romance, unexpectedly meet again at Rydell High School..
However, Danny’s attitude has changed and he now acts arrogant. As if that wasn’t enough, Rizzo, the most popular girl in school and leader of the Pink Ladies, doesn’t like Sandy very much.
When Olivia reinvented herself as Sally
The plot takes a turn when Sandy transforms from a blonde to a ponytail, white blouse and wool sweater. Stuff in sensual woman with curly hair something pants High growth skin.
And, as his character did, Newton-John reinvented himself musically and visually from the film.
The ever-smiling blonde, known for her country-pop and soft ballads please mr please, Have You Never Been Melo? Y i really love youPosing in black leather for her next album cover, completely hot.
And in 1981 he released Provocative Songs the physical As part of the self-titled album, his seventh.
“There’s nothing more to talk about / Unless it’s horizontal,” he sings on it, ending: “Let’s get animals! Animals!”.
“I recorded it and immediately thought, ‘Oh my God, maybe I’ve gone too far!'” he lamented. Entertainment Weekly In 2017, after recalling how his manager Roger Davies suggested it to him.
“I called Roger and said, ‘We’ve got to take the song down!’ But he said, ‘It’s too late. They’ve already played it on the radio and it’s going up the charts.’ I was scared.”
Loved by audiences and critics, It was number one on the chart for 10 weeks and Billboard named it the song of the yearDespite being banned from several radio stations.
But as much as her image and the direction of her musical career have changed, her friendship with Travolta has remained intact.
“When you share a meteoric success that is impossible to overcome, there is a bond that will always remain”In 2018, the actor was recognized during multiple celebrations of the premiere’s 40th anniversary.
“I was by his side during the birth of his daughter, during his divorce, when he lost his sister. And he was the same, during my marriage, my children. So many shared memories,” he added.
She continued with him during the years when the artist faced breast cancer, which was diagnosed for the first time in 1992.
The last relapse prevented him from attending numerous screenings to celebrate the 40th anniversary, such as the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, New York or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Cannes.
They were last seen together on December 13, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida, where they attended a musical event. Greece.
Then they put on an image that went around the world: she dressed as a high school rebel, in black and a leather jacket, and he as an angelic version of Sandy with a flying yellow skirt.
The actress then admitted that she had not seen the film for nine years.
As he told the magazine styleThe last time he did it was when Travolta found out that her husband, businessman John Easterling, had never seen the tape and decided to organize a screening of it.
“We went to her house for dinner and when she found out my husband John hadn’t seen Greeceasked us to eat dessert on his plane,” said Newton-John. Travolta, in addition to being an actor, has a pilot’s license.
“It was a surprise. And my husband got to see it with the two of us, the best way to see it.”
Honoring their friendship, Travolta wrote an emotional message on Instagram upon hearing the news of the actress and singer’s death:
“My dear Olivia, you have made life so much better for all of us. Your influence has been incredible. I love you so much. We’ll see you on the way and we’ll be together again. From that moment I saw you and forever. Your Danny, your John“
Perhaps, like many others who admired and identified with him GreeceSpend the day humming that song off Greece And said: we will be Aalways b.And Tother.
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