Television is making cinema a “vintage genre”, John Travolta said Wednesday at the Cannes film festival, lamenting that films were “not as sought after” as before.
Travolta, 64, was in Cannes for the premiere of his film about notorious New York mafia boss John Gotti — a family affair in which Travolta is the mob don, his wife Kelly Preston is Gotti’s wife Victoria and their daughter Ella plays Gotti’s daughter Angel.
The “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction” star, who brought his whole family to Cannes, went from jet black to grey for “Gotti”, which is directed by Kevin Connolly.
Rapper 50 Cent tweeted a picture of Travolta dancing with him on-stage at the post-premiere party.
The actor, who shot to fame as a disco king in tight shirts and bellbottoms in the 1977 film “Saturday Night Fever”, seemed to be getting into the groove.
A planned photocall was cancelled the next morning.
Addressing film students during a masterclass later Wednesday, the actor, who played O.J. Simpson’s lawyer in an American true-crime series in 2016, said television had shaken up Hollywood.
“It’s not so good for us who have established ourselves in human drama on the big screen, because they’re not as sought after, those dramas and types of movies.”
“We’re trying to hold onto a kind of vintage genre on the big screen. Even with Gotti, we’re looking at a throwback to the type of movie I became famous on,” he added.
“The old rules where, if you’re in TV you shouldn’t do film, and if you’re on stage you shouldn’t do film, have gone right out the window. It doesn’t mean anything anymore.”
Travolta has a strong connection with the Cannes film festival, where he made his comeback from a post-Grease slump in 1994 with “Pulp Fiction”.
The cult classic won the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.
After that, Travolta said: “I could write my ticket for the kind of movies I wanted to do. The ‘Pulp Fiction’ explosion gave me 24 years of choice.”