John Travolta Was Undecided About ‘American Crime Story’ Until These Celebrities Convinced Him To Take The Role

John Travolta, one of Hollywood’s veteran actors, recently made headlines for delivering a stellar performance in the role of Robert Shapiro in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Robert Shapiro was the famous lawyer who successfully defended O.J. Simpson, the former American football player, who was accused of murdering his wife and her friend. The FX television series was well-received, and it won five Emmy Awards in different categories that also included Outstanding Limited Series.

Even though he did not win an Emmy for his performance, John Travolta proved to be one of the most impactful actors in the series, leading to speculations that the Saturday Night Fever actor will reappear as George W. Bush in the upcoming Season 2 of the American Crime Story series, that is set to focus on the events that unfolded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Even though John Travolta’s appearance in the upcoming second season has not been confirmed, the Grease actor has expressed his interest to continue acting in the American Crime Story television series.

Initially reluctant to join the cast of American Crime Story, John Travolta admitted that he deliberated over the opportunity for months before finally agreeing to take on the role. Ultimately, the longtime Hollywood star decided to take up the challenge after he was motivated by several famous Hollywood personalities, who are also his close friends. According to the Huffington Post, John Travolta revealed that the names of the influential celebrities who finally persuaded him to take on the role of Robert Shapiro.

“It was Spielberg. It was Oprah. It was Rita Hanks and Tom Hanks. And it was [former Disney CEO] Michael Eisner. They all thought it was completely the right move.”

John Travolta has been known to feature in movies that have had a tremendous impact on the society and culture. Primary Colors, Pulp Fiction, Saturday Night Fever, and Urban Cowboy are some of the actor’s most popular movies that have also been regarded as insightful and even visionary.

These movies bear testament to John Travolta’s versatility because the actor has managed to portray a broad range of characters with ease and panache, playing the roles of a hitman, a politician, dance enthusiast, and an oil worker in Pulp Fiction, Primary Colors, Saturday Night Fever, and Urban Cowboy respectively.

The characters undoubtedly became popular because audiences could identify and connect with them. As an actor, John Travolta has previously revealed that he finds it fulfilling to play characters and feature in movies that leave a long lasting effect on society. According to People magazine, John Travolta spoke about the satisfaction he feels after acting in socially relevant films.

“You have these points in your career when you are associated with high quality, with depth, communication, and things that matter on a social level. And when you’re affecting the society on a global level, then you feel a different kind of pride.”

John Travolta’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story also had a powerful and profound impact on the people of the United States, and especially on African Americans. In real life, the trial divided the entire country on racial lines as many African Americans vehemently backed O.J. Simpson. In fact, there were fears that racial tensions would escalate into riots if O.J. Simpson was convicted.

American Crime Story proved to be an emotional and tragic account of the incident that affected both the victims as well as the accused in the case. For the first time, the entire country had the opportunity to see the gruesome past from the same perspective. According to GQ, John Travolta quoted an African-American preacher while imitating the way the priest thanked the actor for changing his attitude about the O.J. Simpson case.

“I want to thank you for that O.J. show, because my congregation has been di-VAH-ded for years. You have put together a show that has explained… and now I understand both sides.”

[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]