December 06, 2011 10:00 AM by Veronica Dudo
After portraying Sandy Olsson in the iconic movie Grease alongside John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John won the hearts of countless fans. Today, almost 35 years later, the film is loved by many and is one of the most successful movie-musicals ever made. Currently celebrating 40 years in the music industry, Newton-John continues to perform her hits, tour the world, lend her acting talent to TV and film roles and was even a guest judge on FOX’s hit reality TV competition American Idol.
The 63 year old shared with me her thoughts about celebrating four decades in the industry, her new movie, what it was like dancing with Gene Kelly and John Travolta and offers advice for aspiring young artists.
Congratulations on celebrating 40 years in the music industry! How did you stay true to yourself yet evolve through the decades?
I always choose music that I like and I think that my musical taste changes with life events and experience; so that’s really what I’ve done–I’ve just kind of gone with what I liked and where I thought I was musically.
In January you have a new movie; “A Few Best Men” coming out what was it like to work on the comedy?
“A Few Best Men” is a comedy and I play the mother of the bride. It’s a wedding movie set in Australia. It was written by the man that wrote “Death at a Funeral” and directed by Stephan Elliott who wrote and produced, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” he’s very clever and he wanted me to work with him for a while and I wanted to work with him because he’s so funny. When I read the script, I laughed so much that I said I have to do this film and it’s a very different role for me–I’m a little bit crazy and it’s very funny–I just got to see it for the first time.
What advice would you give to aspiring young music artists?
It’s such a different world–I think you just have to remain true to yourself and true to who you are and not try and copy anyone because there’s already one of them. Be original and stick with it because it’s not easy and you are going to get rejection but you have to believe in yourself and just stick with who you are.
Do you have a memorable moment from filming Grease?
Just that it was fun and it was like being back in school, I mean it’s so long ago now it’s like we’re talking 30 years ago almost 35 but we had a wonderful time and some wonderful friendships have been formed from it.
What was it like to dance with Gene Kelly and John Travolta?
That was amazing! I’ve danced with two incredible iconic dancers–Gene Kelly and John Travolta and both amazing. A life-long dream–I can’t really believe that I did that I go, ‘Gosh, I danced with Gene Kelly,’ that’s like an amazing thing to achieve and to be daring enough to do it!
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Photo Credit: Chad Smith