Olivia Newton-John just revealed in her new memoir Don’t Stop Believin that she “claimed her sexuality” on the set of the iconic 1970s musical film Grease.
Newton-John, who was only known as a sweet singer prior to the pivotal scene, says that the experience made her realize just how much she had hidden her innate sexuality prior to making the film.
The outfit, which the character of Sandy dons in order to become the woman she believes her greaser boyfriend Danny wants her to be, consisted of skintight leggings, an off-the-shoulder top, large hoop earrings, and big hair, and has become as iconic as the film itself.
“It felt empowering as pure adrenaline and the idea of claiming my own sexiness rushed through my body,” she recalled regarding the day she first filmed scenes in the sultry getup.
“All the men on the crew began to do double and triple takes as they turned around to stare at me with jaws that headed south. I think a sandwich or two hit the floor,” as reported by Radar.
John says she had to be stitched into her infamous skintight black pants, which were made from sharkskin.
“I limited myself to a few sips of water and no food, and joked that I was getting dehydrated and #2, might pass out,” she wrote in her memoir, which is available in her native Australia. The singer also revealed that at lunch the seamstresses on the set had to unstitch her to eat and then re-stitch her after a bathroom trip.
Randal Kleiser spoke to Bustle and revealed that he too was shocked when he first saw Newton-John in her sultry outfit.
“When we were shooting at the drive-in, that’s when they first put together her makeup and her outfit and showed me how she was going to look for the ending. There was all this noise and this girl coming toward me with this wild hair, and I said, ‘Who’s that?’ I couldn’t tell it was Olivia. I thought it was just some extra they had brought up. I said, ‘What? Olivia! Wow, this is gonna work.'”
Newton-John also once remarked to The Telegraph that she was worried that at age 29, she was “too old to play a high-school girl.”
She then revealed that her co-star John Travolta, who has just wrapped filming the iconic Saturday Night Fever before diving into Grease, was the one who convinced her into doing the role and that was the deciding factor in her taking the role, calling him a great friend to this day.