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John Travolta says the lead role in the 1984 movie Splash was written for him

John Travolta has had a spectacular acting career that has included roles in the hit films Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Urban Cowboy and Pulp Fiction.

But the 67-year-old star told Kevin Hart during his Hart To Heart show this week that there were several films he missed out on.

One was the 1984 romantic comedy Splash, which was written for John but went to Tom Hanks.

Looking back: John Travolta has had a spectacular acting career that has included roles in the hit films Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Urban Cowboy. But the 67-year-old star told Kevin Hart during his Hart To Heart show this week that there were several films he missed out on

Another was 1978’s Days Of Heaven, which Travolta could not do because he had commitments on his TV show Welcome Back, Kotter. 

That Terrence Malick movie went to Richard Gere.

The superstar also said that he lost the lead role in 1973’s The Last Detail to Jack Nicholson.

John sat down with Kevin in a living room setting as they talked the icon’s past. 

As far as Splash, it just didn’t work out. 

‘The role in the Tom Hanks movie Splash was written for me,’ said John who wore a black blazer with vest and while shirt, adding jeans. 

He shared: The icon wore a white shirt with a black vest and blazer adding jeans as he chatted with Kevin

He shared: The icon wore a white shirt with a black vest and blazer adding jeans as he chatted with Kevin

Just the two of us: Kevin and John sat in a lounge setting inside a wine room

Just the two of us: Kevin and John sat in a lounge setting inside a wine room

‘But then we wouldn’t have Tom Hanks, so let’s have Tom Hanks!’ John joked.

The movie fixture does not explain why he did not take Splash, which also starred Daryl Hannah. 

John added that back in the Seventies and Eighties there were less people vying for roles.

‘It was just Richard Gere, myself and Treat Williams up for most parts and Tom came a few years later, like ’81 or ’82… those roles would get interchangeable. So in some ways, in Vegas, what’s a one out of four chance,’ said John.

Travolta said Mel Gibson and Denzel Washington came into the fold earlier. 

‘The second indication, if you will, of having a solidity in the movie industry was a director called Terrence Malick,’ Travolta recalled.

This could have been John’s movie: One was the 1984 romantic comedy Splash, which was written for John but went to Tom Hanks

For JT: ‘The role in the Tom Hanks movie Splash was written for me,’ said John. Hanks seen with Daryl Hannah

‘He directed very important films in the ’70s, and he wanted me for a film called Days Of Heaven, and I screen-tested for it right after Carrie and before The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.’

The New Jersey native landed the part, but there was a problem: he was already busy on his TV series Welcome Back, Kotter.

‘But it was such a significant role, that Richard Gere ended up doing, which ended up a theme, where he did many roles I didn’t do,’ Travolta said.

He shared that before that he missed out on the lead role in The Last Detail, which went to Jack Nicholson. 

We love Hanx: 'But then we wouldn't have Tom Hanks, so let's have Tom Hanks!' John joked

We love Hanx: ‘But then we wouldn’t have Tom Hanks, so let’s have Tom Hanks!’ John joked

‘So between The Last Detail and Days of Heaven, I really got the idea that the force wanted me to be a film actor, so by the time I got the Saturday Night Fever opportunity, I said, ‘I’m gonna make this work. I’m gonna do everything I can to make this an authentic, great performance.”

He then joked that he helped make some pretty big movie stars: ‘I take responsibility for Richard and Tom Hanks. There’s enough for everybody.’

And the actor continued: ‘Arts shouldn’t be hoarded.’ 

This could have been his movie: Travolta also said he landed the movie Days of Heaven but then he could not do it because of his commitments to his TV series Welcome Back, Kotter; Richard Gere then was given the role; seen with Brooke Adams

This could have been his movie: Travolta also said he landed the movie Days of Heaven but then he could not do it because of his commitments to his TV series Welcome Back, Kotter; Richard Gere then was given the role; seen with Brooke Adams

John also said during his interview that he was ‘impressed’ Hart has become a talk show host to which Kevin said, ‘Thank you!’ 

John had a sad loss last year when his wife Kelly Preston died. She didn’t tell anyone on her final film she had cancer.  

The 57-year-old actress died of breast cancer last summer. Together they had son Jett, who died in 2009 aged 16, Ella, 21, and 10-year-old Benjamin.

On Mother’s Day he paid a touching tribute to the actress to mark the special day.

Taking to Instagram, he wrote in a poignant and sweet message: ‘Dearest Kelly, you brought into my life three of the most wonderful children I have ever known. Thank you. We love and miss you. Happy Mother’s Day.’

Not his role: The superstar also said that he lost the lead role in 1973's The Last Detail to Jack Nicholson

Not his role: The superstar also said that he lost the lead role in 1973’s The Last Detail to Jack Nicholson

Ella, 21, the oldest of their children, also penned her own message for her late mom.

She wrote on her social media accounts: ‘Mama, thank you for all you have done for us and for this world. I miss you and love you very much, but your smile, warmth and love is ever lasting. Wishing all of the moms a happy Mother’s Day.’

Kelly had been secretly battling breast cancer for two years prior to her death.

At the time of her passing, a spokesperson for the family said: ‘On the morning of July 12, 2020, Kelly Preston, adored wife and mother, passed away following a two-year battle with breast cancer. Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends. She was a bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched. Her family asks for your understanding of their need for privacy at this time.’

And John later confirmed the news in a social media post.

Hard loss: John had a sad loss last year when his wife Kelly Preston died. She didn't tell anyone on her final film she had cancer. The 57-year-old actress died of breast cancer last summer. Together they had son Jett, who died in 2009 aged 16, Ella, 21, and 10-year-old Benjamin. Seen in 2017

Hard loss: John had a sad loss last year when his wife Kelly Preston died. She didn’t tell anyone on her final film she had cancer. The 57-year-old actress died of breast cancer last summer. Together they had son Jett, who died in 2009 aged 16, Ella, 21, and 10-year-old Benjamin. Seen in 2017

The post read: ‘It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many.

‘My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side. Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered.’

Kelly’s co-stars in Off the Rails – which follows three friends in their 50s and the teenage daughter of a late pal repeating a European trip they took when they were 18 – said in July that she had no idea there was anything wrong during filming.

Co-star Sally Phillips said: ‘When we made the film in 2019, Kelly had stage three breast cancer. 

‘We had no idea she was ill. No one knew, except Bill Kenwright, our executive producer. Kelly kept it quiet. I think this is standard practice in the US, due to insurance issues, plus TV and filmmakers over there seem to think you won’t be capable of doing the job if you have cancer.’

Sally recalled Kelly being a positive force on set.

Her latest film: Kelly's co-stars in Off the Rails ¿ which follows three friends in their 50s and the teenage daughter of a late pal repeating a European trip they took when they were 18 ¿ said in July that she had no idea there was anything wrong during filming

Her latest film: Kelly’s co-stars in Off the Rails – which follows three friends in their 50s and the teenage daughter of a late pal repeating a European trip they took when they were 18 – said in July that she had no idea there was anything wrong during filming

She added to Yours magazine: ‘Kelly was ore than capable. She had so much energy on set and was a bit like a mum to us. She kept our spirits up and was always laughing and joking.’

The cast and crew found out about the actress’ illness during post-production work on the film and at that point, Kelly was ‘too ill’ to do anything else.

Sally said: ‘It was a massive shock. By then Kelly was too ill to do anything. It was pre-Covid and I desperately wanted to see her but when someone is that ill they need to be with their family.

‘We did have some really interesting chats away from set. My eldest son, Ollie, has Down’s syndrome, while Kelly and John [Travolta]’s son Jett, who died in 2009 aged 16 from a seizure, was on the autistic spectrum and had learning difficulties. Jett was still very present for her.’


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