How John Travolta Convinced Olivia Newton-John To Make 'Grease'

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Olivia Newton-John wasn't sure if she wanted to co-star in 'Grease' until the network sent in the big guns to convince her.

The stars of Grease are almost as iconic as the 1978 film itself, and it's tough to imagine anyone other than John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny Zuko and Sandy Ollson. Surprisingly, Newton-John wasn't initially convinced she was the right person for the part and she nearly passed it up... that is, until Travolta stepped in.

In August 2018, Mario Lopez hosted the cast of Grease to celebrate the movie's 40th anniversary. Lopez asked Travolta how he knew Newton-John was the right person for the job and the Saturday Night Fever star didn't hold back.

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Travolta said, "There was utterly no one else. If you were a young man in the 1970s ... if you remember that album cover of Olivia with that blue shirt on with those big blue eyes staring right 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."

For Newton-John, things weren't so simple. As she explained to Lopez, she had previously worked on a musical and it wasn't the best experience. She had one foot in and one foot out for Grease until the team sent in the big guns: Travolta.

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She added, "Who could say no, right? This gorgeous guy walks up my driveway, these big blue eyes, and he was so sweet, melted me. He talked about it and I said, 'But I'm 29 years old! How can I be 18?' I look back and I can't believe I was thinking that."

Travolta quickly convinced Newton-John that no one in the cast was actually a teen in real life and she made a deal: the pair would film a screen test together and see how they looked. Happily, Newton-John was pleased with the results of the screen test and the two began filming a movie that would become a classic beloved by people all over the world.

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