John Travolta: “I gave Tom Hanks and Richard Gere a career”

John Travolta has an interview with Reuters in which he promotes Bolt, his new animated film in which he plays the lead dog. The film came in second at the box office this holiday, falling behind the Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon comedy Four Christmases. Travolta waxes poetic about all the great roles he’s turned down in his career, but he has no regrets because he realizes he had to step aside to let other actors shine. According to Travolta, he’s personally responsible for the careers of Tom Hanks and Richard Gere because he turned down big roles that subsequently went to them:

Q: You have four more movies coming out in 2009. Is quality or quantity most important to you?

A: “You can’t control the quality of projects that are coming to you, so if you get several in a row that are quality you take them. The money has been made. I just need to do good work now. You put as many positive eggs in the basket and hope for the best and that the basket doesn’t fall. I was offered several big movies recently that I just couldn’t do anything with, so I turned them down. And I was proud of myself.”

Q: Which parts do you most regret turning down?

A; “‘Chicago’ probably (Travolta was offered the role of Billy Flynn). I wasn’t all that into the stage show. It was a lot of women who hated men and I like women who like men. (laughs) The stage show was kind of vicious but the movie had a heart. ‘Green Mile’ I probably should have said yes to and ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’. But I gave Richard Gere and Tom Hanks a career! What you turn down can be a gift to someone else. There is enough to go around.”

He doesn’t just say he’s glad that the roles were filled by talented actors, he says “I gave Richard Gere and Tom Hanks a career.” As Courtney Hazlett at MSNBC’s The Scoop points out, Chicago and Officer and a Gentleman were seminal roles for Gere, but Tom Hanks would have had a great career without Green Mile. At least Travolta is able to magnify his greatness in his own mind. They probably teach that in Scientology lessons. The Scientologists are the only ones who can achieve greatness. All success in non-Scientologists can be attributed to a cult member deciding to forgo some achievement out of the kindness of his heart.

John Travolta is shown at the Bolt premiere in Hollywood with Miley Cyrus on 11/17/08. Credit: David Gabber / PR Photos

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22 Responses to “John Travolta: “I gave Tom Hanks and Richard Gere a career””

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  1. Ria says:

    What a pompous a$$. Gere is waaay better looking than him and is wonderful at playing sensitive caring roles. Hanks, well, he’s Tom Hanks. Travolta always seems to come across as some sort of self-righteous, arrogant goof in his roles. Maybe he could have toned it down and done Forrest Gump though.

  2. devilgirl says:

    Excuse me, but I do believe that Tom Hanks had quite a big career before Green Mile- Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan etc.. Not to mention he won two Academy Awards for his roles in Gump and Philly. What kind of an ego maniacal fool is Revolta anyway?Truth be known, Michael Madsen (the original choice for Revolta’s Pulp Fiction character) GAVE him his career revival, which for years had been in the toilet. Scientology must be messing with his head, along with his bad rug!

  3. Baholicious says:

    Arrogant, much? He looks like his only career now is handing out towels at bath houses.

  4. Kaiser says:

    *shiver* What would have been… Travolta in “Officer” or “Chicago”? Yikes.

    I hate when actors talk about what movies they passed on – it’s disrespectful and unprofessional, and can lead to such arrogant statements as this. :x

  5. Codzilla says:

    To add to devilgirl’s point, Travolta should have a Tarantino shrine in his house that he worships every chance he gets. Without Pulp Fiction, he’d just be another douche on the has-been pile.

  6. embertine says:

    Scientologists scare me, but in fairness to him I’d like to have seen the interview live, because this could easily have been a joke that didn’t translate well without the accompanying body language.

  7. tigerlille says:

    I suspect that his remark was facetious. That is more his style.

  8. I choose me says:

    He’s joking. He couldn’t possibly be serious.

  9. Syko says:

    I think he’s probably joking. Nobody would be conceited enough to think that they gave two actors careers.

  10. Ling says:

    A few years ago, didn’t he refer to his children as “the children of hollywood royalty”? Can we get an order for some superglue on his pillowy lips?

    Is it very wrong of me that I wish he had taken the Billy Flynn role?

  11. Feebee says:

    I think he’s only half joking. I can’t imagine him in “Officer”, he lost what Gere has a long time ago. He’s over-rating himself with Chicago and I agree with what other have said re Hanks. Now if he’d said he’d passed on Pretty Woman, then I’d know he was joking, or a joke, one of the two.

  12. geronimo says:

    I really read that as him joking. The exclamation mark, the tongue-in-cheekiness. He’s a lot of things but I don’t believe him to be in the least bit arrogant. I’ve read very humble interviews with him where he’s talked about his own comeback from the wilderness and how grateful he was to Tarantino for having faith in him. Definitely not a serious comment.

  13. bwoz says:

    Psychopath Scientologist. I won’t even buy Neutrogena because his (also) psycho wife schills for them. If he didn’t get Pulp Fiction, he would have been a has-been loser long ago, therefore I regret Tarantino’s choice. No child of mine will ever see a movie he voices for….what a nutjob.

  14. Mike Stewart says:

    “Up ya nose wit a rubba hose” The only decent line ever delivered by Travolta.

  15. vdantev says:

    All I see is another Scientologist cozying up to Miley Cyrus.

  16. Joy says:

    Actually, Gere gave him a career since Gere was the first pick for Grease. 8)

  17. sandy says:

    has john ever seen “Breathless” or “American Gigolo”? honey, gere did not need your sloppy seconds to have a good career. gere had his fans WAY before “Chicago”.
    and as far as john goes, he should also thank bruce willis and the baby in “Look Who’s Talking”.

  18. bwoz says:

    Joy, ha ha, you have MADE my day! :-)

  19. Tina says:

    Travolta’s harmless enough. Let’s nod our heads and let him go back to flying his jets, airplanes and what-nots.

  20. kiki says:

    :evil: OMG, I thought that HE of all the weirdscience people was still pretty down to earth (exception~ his house) but DAYUM! He is JUST like the rest of them. CULT CULT CULT ~~~ RUN while you still can people, get away from the freaks of weirdscientologist!

  21. brista says:

    That dog movie looks really cute but Travolta + Miley Cyrus = Baaaaad, so I’ll keep directing the little kids I know to Monsters Inc and The Incredibles.

    Also, this: It was a lot of women who hated men and I like women who like men. Sounds like he’s trying a little too hard…

  22. john travolta should consider making a movie with tom hanks instead of giving away his roles to him,maybe tom hanks can help john travolta get an oscar instead.