“It was at the beach — actually the opening scene of the movie,” the actress, 72, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, January 27, while discussing her latest ventures. “It was a beautiful day. We were playing around in the water, and I don’t really remember exactly, but it was a very lovely day and an exciting moment because it was the start of the film, although everything was kind of out of order, but we did that. That was the first time we had kissed.”
Although Newton-John and Travolta, 66, have been close friends since filming Grease, the pair were practically strangers when they locked lips on screen.
“I was nervous of course,” she admitted. “I remember just before that we were sitting on a rock and it’s actually in the movie that these waves broke over us. These rogue waves came in. And I can’t remember if that was before or after that because my hair was perfect. So maybe it was after that. But it was a very special day and it was really a nice way to get to know John a little bit because we hadn’t spent all that much time together. We had some rehearsal time and dance time and stuff, but this was our first acting day. It was lovely. It was special. And I can’t remember exactly everything ‘cause it’s over 40 years ago.”
The “Physical” singer revealed that romantic scenes are “not something that I know how to prepare for,” since she has not had many in her career. “You just do it. And you’re the character,” she said. “You’re playing a character.”
Newton-John had nothing but praise for Travolta though. “John is a lovely, sweet man. And he made all my acting experiences really easy. He was very thoughtful and encouraged me if he thought I wasn’t doing a good enough job,” she recalled, noting that the actor once “deliberately messed up the tape” to give her the opportunity to redo a scene. “And that was just a sample of his generosity as an actor.”
She added: “There are a few times where I had to be mad at him or upset, and he was kind of off with me and not talking to me and kind of got me on edge, which is perfect for the scene because I needed to be that way. And I wasn’t an experienced actor. So he kind of directed me a couple of times. He did it on purpose.”
Newton-John and Travolta played star-crossed lovers Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko, respectively, in the 1978 musical. Now, she has teamed up with her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, for a new single titled “Window in the Wall.” The actress also recently launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund to raise money to research plant medicine.
“This song was different because Chloe was singing in my genre and the last time we recorded together, it was a dance song. And I sang in her kind of younger genre and now she had to sing in a more different way,” Newton-John told Us of the collaboration. “So we had a lot of fun doing it.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi