Thursday, March 01, 2007
Up Close -- Maybe A Little Too Close -- With John Travolta
Last Thursday, everyone at MTV News was working hard breaking the latest Britney Spears news when producer Justin Tormey asked me to help him set up for a shoot with John Travolta. I couldn't say no! I helped him once before but I was never able to stay for a live interview, and I was super psyched.
Before interning at MTV, I never realized that a shoot can happen almost anywhere. Most times, all you need is a backdrop, some cameras, good lighting and microphones — with the help of people who know what they're doing to film what's going on.
Thursday's shoot took place in a conference room on the 44th floor shortly after Travolta made his appearance on "TRL" talking about his new movie, "Wild Hogs." I helped Justin and a few others search throughout the building for available equipment since much of the things we needed were being used for shoots in other locations. After setting up the backdrop and cameras and perfecting the lighting and sound, Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor, soon entered with John Travolta.
Josh talked to John about various topics during the interview. A big aviator, John talked of how he enjoys flying planes in his spare time and touched on the current generation of performers, such as Justin Timberlake, and their impact on the industry today.
(Read what Travolta had to say right here.)
It was interesting to hear Travolta talk about his former movies and musicals and learn that if he had more time he wouldn't mind singing and putting out an album. He will be appearing in the musical "Hairspray," and said it's like a sequel to "Grease," despite it taking place a few years earlier. It was really cool to hear John talk of people in the industry who have influenced him as well as current actors he may have influenced.
Throughout the interview I couldn't help but notice that while Josh and was interviewing John, the two looked like they were sitting a little too close to each other. When watching the footage from the interview you don't notice it at first, but they definitely seemed to be knocking knees more than just once throughout the interview.
Despite that possible awkwardness, the interview ran so smoothly, and John seemed like such a nice guy, constantly complimenting Josh on what a good question he asked and just seeming overwhelming responsive to every question Josh asked him.
Who knew celebrities could be so down to earth?
— Annie Reuter, MTV News Intern
Watch MTV Rough Cut: John Travolta below or here for the full five clips of the interview.