- John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John met as costars in the 1978 musical “Grease.”
- The actors reunited years later to film “Two of a Kind” in 1983.
- Newton-John and Travolta have now been close friends for more than four decades.
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In her autobiography “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the Australian actress said she felt too old at 28 to play a high school student. Two of her prior films flopped at the box office, leaving her unsure about her acting career.
But when the already-cast Travolta met with Newton-John about the movie, she agreed to a screen test.
“In person, John Travolta radiates pure joy and love. That day, he greeted me with a big hug like we were already lifelong friends. How could you say no to John Travolta?” she writes, per The Sunday Post.
Travolta channeled his on-screen character Danny Zuko in a leather jacket, while Newton-John opted for a pink gown.
Though the actors stayed in character as Sandy and Danny on set, their romance was limited to the script. In her autobiography, Newton-John recalls having a mutual “attraction” with Travolta but explains that they were both committed to other people.
“The truth is, it never went beyond friendship with John despite the fact that the fans wanted for us to become a couple in real life. We left the making out to Sandy and Danny, but the deep feeling of sisterly love I have for John continues to this day,” she writes, per The Sunday Post.
Decades after they shot the film, Newton-John said “Grease” benefited from the fact that the actors never got together in real life.
“I think it kept the tension there and the chemistry. It might have been a real disaster had we decided to date or we had a falling out or something.” she reportedly said on a 2018 episode of Mamamia podcast.
Fans and critics weren’t nearly as impressed by the movie as they were by “Grease” (“Two of a Kind” was nominated for several Razzle Awards and scored an 18% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes). However, the movie’s soundtrack was certified platinum and featured numerous songs by Newton-John.
Preston, who had been married to Travolta since 1991, died of breast cancer in 2020. She was 57 years old.
After her death, Newton-John described the actress as a “radiant, beautiful light in the world” on an episode of “People.“
“The little step we created was a homage to ‘You’re the One That I Want,'” he said.
Newton-John added: “Everything was spontaneous.”