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Video Interview: John Travolta on His New Role as ‘Gotti’

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CHICAGO – John Travolta has fulfilled his career legacy of icon status, and he continues to work on projects that highlight his performance abilities. Fresh off his role as real-life Robert Shapiro in “The People Vs. O.J. Simpson,” Travolta takes on another historical figure in his portrayal of mobster John Gotti in the new film “Gotti.”

The film, directed by Kevin Connally (“Entourage”), is a multi-era biography film, based on a memoir by Gotti’s son John Jr. The main story reveals the relationship of a father who lived and died by the mob code (he led the Gambino crime family, the most powerful of its era), and a son who chose to leave that world behind, in hopes of redeeming himself and the family name.

Gotti1
John Travolta is the Title Character in ‘Gotti’
Photo credit: Vertical Entertainment

John Travolta deftly takes on John Gotti, the “Dapper Don,” whose flamboyant style and personality made him one of the most famous organized crime lords of the 20th Century. The film jumps around in a Citizen-Kane style, with Travolta portraying Gotti in various ages of his life. Kelly Preston – Travolta’s real-life wife – portrays Gotti’s wife Victoria, and the rest of the cast includes Spencer Lofranco as John Gotti Jr., with Stacy Keach as Aniello Dellacroce, the underboss of the Gambino crime family.

John Joseph Travolta was born in New Jersey, and moved to New York City after high school to become an actor. After successful stage roles, he then moved to Los Angeles, where he made his major film debut in “Carrie” (1976). Shortly thereafter, he took on TV with his star-making portrayal of Vinnie Barbarino in “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Another break came in 1977, when he propelled into superstardom with the lead role in “Saturday Night Fever,” followed by another lead in “Grease” a year later. From that point on, John Travolta has made his mark in films (“Urban Cowboy,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Face/Off,” “Primary Colors” and “Hairspray”) and recently again on TV (“The People v. O.J. Simpson,” as lawyer Robert Shapiro), and is a natural character actor fit for “Gotti.”

In the following video interview, Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com asks John Travolta about portraying real-life people, working with different directors, and the spiritual path that has been with him his entire life.


”Gotti” has a nationwide release on June 15th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Spencer Lofranco, Stacy Keach, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Lydia Hall. Screenplay adapted by Lem Dobbs and Leo Rossi. Directed by Kevin Connolly. Rated “R”



Interviews by: Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com
Edited by: Jeff Doles, 238 Studios
Published by: Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com
Stills and trailer (used with permission): Vertical Entertainment (Trailer), New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, Miramax, Getty Images

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