Four friends take off on their Harleys to get away from suburbia and reinvigorate their lives
"I've ridden a bike since I was 18, and it was [my] first transportation when I came to Hollywood because it was inexpensive and easy for me. And then I rode Harleys with the Daytona Bike League several times [before] the movie," states John Travolta, who stars in the new comedy Wild Hogs, a story of four friends who take off on their Harleys to get away from suburbia and reinvigorate their lives. "Tim [Allen] was the only one that had spills. And that's because he was showing off, like he likes to [do]," Travolta snitches about one of his costars.
This being a motorcycle film, Peter Fonda, the king of motorcycle film actors, makes a brief appearance, something Travolta insists was his doing. "It was my idea to have Peter Fonda, and I will take full credit for this idea. Because I was 13 years old when I saw him on the screen in 'Easy Rider,' and was pretty wowed by that, so I thought it would be the perfect classy cherry on the cake idea, to bring him in as the savior of the day again," he says with pride. "I am very fond of Peter and Jane (Fonda), and glad that we used him in the movie." Peter Fonda also makes an appearance in the film Ghost Rider. He's definitely the guy filmmakers look to when they make a film with or about motorcycles and his legendary film "Easy Rider" is a classic.
Travolta is known as a great dancer. His films Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Urban Cowboy have shown off his varied dancing abilities, and he was chosen to dance with Princess Diana on one of her visits to the United States. In Wild Hogs Travolta briefly dances. Actually, he gives William H. Macy's character a brief dance lesson. "The dancing was in the screenplay. We modified it, and made it more about Bill's dance with Marissa [Tomei]... We actually removed a lot of what they wanted me to do, because I thought it was a little arbitrary. So, basically I said I would teach and let him go do his thing," he says, magnanimously giving the big dancing scene to Macy.
"Well, we're too blessed to be stressed," Travolta says about his own life, but he does identify to some degree with his character in the film. "The only thing I ran into is that I am a wanderlust, as far as travel and adventure, so I will go off on any given moment with the family and friends to explore the world. I go around the world once a year. I go to Africa, you know, Russia, wherever. I love it. So that's probably the only thing I identify with my character - the wanderlust aspect of it."
John Travolta first caught the public's eye in the 1970's TV series "Welcome Back Kotter," and since then he's been lighting up the silver screen with both his dramatic and comedic abilities - and winning the recognition of his peers. "I'm very proud of the Academy and the experience. I love giving out awards, and I love being nominated for them. It's a pinnacle in your work, where you're recognized. I think it's a great part of your career to be involved in. So I take great pride in it." He was nominated for his roles in Pulp Fiction, Saturday Night Fever, and Get Shorty, for which he won the Golden Globe.
With the onslaught of reality shows on TV, it was only a matter of time until someone thought up a show about casting a Broadway play. And the new show, Grease - You're the One That I Want, does just that. But John admits, "As long as they're not re-casting the movie, I'm absolutely fine with it."
Next up for Travolta is the film Hairspray, which is in post production, and Dallas, a film version of the popular TV series which ran from 1978 to 1991. "I've already started to get paid on that, I just haven't gotten a start date," claims the star who will play the role of J.R. Ewing.
Wild Hogs opens March 2nd and is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and some violence.