Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta set hearts aflutter in Grease back in 1978. The chemistry between Newton-John’s Sandy and Travolta’s Danny was undeniable. Fans always imagined that chemistry existed between the two actors, not just the two characters, and hoped for a real-life romance between them. Alas, it never happened, and both actors have gone on to other relationships and marriages, which has left fans wondering why. Olivia Newton-John talked about why she never pursued anything more than friendship with her Grease co-star, and it’s all about what you see on the screen and mutual respect.
Newton-John recently appeared on the MammaMia No Filter podcast and said that during the filming of the iconic movie, they were both involved with other people and that they both respected those relationships enough not to pursue anything romantic. The Mirror reports that looking back, she said it was the right thing to do. Anytime a person begins a romantic relationship with someone, they take a chance. There’s no way of knowing how things will play out or how the people in the relationship will eventually feel about each other.
“I think it was good, because I think it kept the tension there and the chemistry. It might have been a real disaster had we decided to date or we had a falling out or something. So I think it was just as well that it didn’t happen. But we’re still great friends.”
Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta on the set of Grease, 1977 pic.twitter.com/5eJqEzE6CY— Lost In History (@HistoryToLearn) September 20, 2018
Back in August, 69-year-old Newton-John and 64-year-old Travolta reunited for a 40-year-anniversary Grease screening and Q&A session. During the Q&A session, Newton-John shared that she almost didn’t take the role of Sandy in the movie that skyrocketed her career. She explained that she had appeared in one other musical film, that one in England. It didn’t do very well so she was leery of doing another musical film. It was Travolta who convinced her otherwise.
“If you were an young man in the 70s, and I’m sure many of you were, out there, if you remember that album cover of Olivia with that blue shirt on, with those big blue eyes staring right at you, every boy’s, every man’s dream was, ‘Oh, I’d love for that to be my girlfriend.'”
He went on to say that when he was asked about casting the Sandy role, he said Olivia Newton-John would be perfect, that “there is no other person in the universe” who could play Sandy. The casting team listened, and Olivia Newton-John took a chance, and the iconic Grease claimed its spot in Hollywood legend and the hearts of fans.