NEW YORK – John Travolta needs a blockbuster.
Whether his new film Swordfish can deliver remains to be seen. But in a midtown Manhattan hotel suite, the unusually candid once-upon-a-time superstar is willing to talk about being the bad guy, big action and even Scientology.
Travolta looks a bit puffy, but he's well rested. His handlers don't allow him to be interviewed in the morning, so we sit down at almost five o'clock.
Fox News: All of your Swordfish co-stars say on camera that you're one of the most giving actor they've worked with, you'll stick around and run lines opposite them, even though you're not in the shot. Off camera, the best catering they've ever seen.
Travolta: (laughs) True — it's one of the fun things you can have.
Q: You have a reputation for bringing a chef or two.
A: Well, the thing is that you learn very quickly that movie sets are mostly made up of very large men with very large appetites — including myself. And what you realize is that if you make those men happy with food that you've prepared, your day is so much better. It's so simple but if they look forward to lunch or breakfast or dinner, whatever the case may be, they produce better, I produce better, everybody produces better. Even the ladies like it. (laughs)
Q: So the way to an actor's heart..
A: The way to a crew's heart is through their stomach. Actors, some of them, just like to suffer and just have a sandwich and a glass of milk. I don't like to do that. I mean, it will vary with the artist, but the crew definitely likes a good meal and I don't blame them. They have to work harder than we do, physically.
Q: Speaking of action, how do you know, when you're filming a movie so filled with special effects, that it's going to be good?
A: Oh, you can tell immediately by certain shots that are set up, the scope of a movie. For instance, when I come out in the beginning from the coffee shop and you see all those cop cars and all those armed forces, the helicopters in the air, that's a big shot, OK. It costs a lot of money. You know you're in. You know the scope.
Q: They can't screw that up unless there's no film in the camera.
A: (laughs) Right. If you're filling up every inch of that screen, with that many objects, and big ones at that.
Q: What do you hear from your friend Tom Cruise these days. How's he doing?
A: Haven't spoken to Tom in maybe two years.
Q: Will the church of Scientology be equally supportive of Nicole, as they will be of Tom during the break up?
A: I have no idea. I don't really know Nicole that well and I haven't spoken to Tom for a couple of years. I mean, you know, I have no idea.
Q: If you and Kelly broke up, would the church support both of you equally?
A: Well, that better not happen. (laughs) We're planning to be married for the rest of our lives. Sure. We both practice the same religion so why wouldn't they?
Q: While we're talking about the church I have to ask about Battlefield Earth.
A: Ask away.
Q: You were pleased with it?
Q: You liked the way the movie turned out?
A: Yeah. We're hitting the hundred million mark, this month.
Q: Will there be another one?
A: I don't know. It depends on how much those figures go up. But right now, as we approach the hundred million mark, you've got to make enough profit to justify more. So we're hitting that number, you never know.