John Travolta, who stars in the upcoming The Fanatic, spoke about what he looks for in a screenplay during Wizard World Chicago.
On being asked about what he looks for in roles:
John Travolta: The most common thing: is it different than something I’ve done before? Or if it’s in a similar category, is it different enough for me to give a spin on it that would be entertaining to the audience? Only the actor knows that. We know before when we’re reading something—can we do something unique with that? Because if you look at something—let’s say Saturday Night Fever. Chili Palmer in Get Shorty. Let’s say there’s three similar categories of characters but they’re all different because I found something different in them where then you go do something extraordinarily different like Edna in Hairspray. Well, of course you’re going to do that!
Or if you’re going to play bad-ass guys like The Taking of Pelham 123 or Face/Off or Broken Arrow or all these films where I’m playing bad-ass guys. But they’re all different! So I look for the differences because I think if you compare Vic in Broken Arrow to the guy in Pelham, they’re very different. Or even The Punisher is very different from all of them. And then you look at the O.J. Simpson series I did where I played Robert Shapiro. He’s different from the lawyer that I played in A Civil Action. I just look for the colors of differences. In Pulp Fiction, that was a whole other kind of dark character but with a balance of humor of levity. I don’t know if that answers the question but I’m looking for differences.
It’s a matter of what excites you because if you’re excited, the audience is excited. They’re giving you permission to do what you want as long as you do it well and as long as you commit to that. You’ll see in Moose tonight—this guy is nothing like me but his heart is something I identify with.
On remembering moves from musicals such as Grease:
— Danielle Solzman (@DanielleSATM) August 24, 2019