ROME – American actor John Travolta acknowledged on Tuesday that his early work has been the key to his enduring fame and said he was proud to have featured in timeless films.
The 65-year-old appeared at the 14th edition of the Rome Film Festival to pick up the Best Lead Acting for his performance in “The Fanatic,” directed by Fred Durst, for his role as a fan who becomes obsessed with an action hero.
“Certainly I am very proud to make any movie that creates a mark that carries through the decades, so it’s very important for me to have a piece of work that allows an audience to enjoy it no matter when they watch it,” he told a press conference in Rome.
“I think that it’s always a privilege to be part of any movie that has no time.”
Travolta said he believed his latest film did not examine how fanatical fans can inspire fear in celebrities but rather the hidden passions that the latter can awake in the viewers.
His appearance in Rome also served to go over some of the highlights of his career, starting with his Oscar-nominated role as Tony Manero in “Saturday Night Fever” (1977).
Time was also given to his memorable roles in the musical “Grease” (1978) and later in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (1994), which went on to become cinema classics.
Travolta expressed his gratitude for having the freedom to take on other exploratory roles in his careers, such as playing a woman in “Hairspray” (2007), a US presidential candidate in “Primary Colors” (1998) and a lawyer in the “American Crime Story” series on the trial of O.J. Simpson (2016).
He added that he did not regret turning down big roles in films like “American Gigolo” (1980), “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982), “Splash” (1984) and “The Green Mile” (1999).
For his inspiration, Travolta nodded to James Cagney, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor and, drawing from his Neapolitan and Sicilian roots, he mentioned Federico Fellini and Sophia Loren.