Drag Not Really a Drag for Travolta in Hairspray

Going further than his most recent chat with W magazine, John Travolta gave an interview with the Daily Mail in which he noted how horrible it was that rumors about his sexuality resurfaced last August. It was then that the National Enquirer published photos of the actor kissing another man on the tarmac.

Travolta_kissSaid Travolta: “You have to be ready to battle the worst insults, the worst innuendos. People say things that hurt. I think: ‘Wow, so because I have money or fame, I don’t have problems? I don’t have feelings?’ OK, I’ll try not to take offence at that.”

Yeah, it’s horrible to be thought of as gay. Though Hairspray‘s director Adam Shankman, or producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, or executive producer John Waters would likely have a difference of opinion.

Curiously, enough, Travolta said just the opposite about the rumors to W: “I don’t think anyone can hurt me.”

At the time, Travolta’s publicist called the kiss (with his male nanny) a “customary, non-romantic gesture.”

Travolta also goes further into the creation of his Edna Turnblad role:

Edna_turnblad“I wanted [Edna] to look like Sophia Loren if you added 200lb. I wanted her to be a sexy bombshell who was fun to look at. “Being Edna was fun, but becoming Edna was not fun. I loved the effect the look had on people when they would see me on set as Edna, but I did not love the process involving the prosthetics and the fat suit. It was very hot. I knew from Robin [Williams, who starred in Mrs Doubtfire] and Martin Lawrence [from Big Momma’s House] that it was hell on wheels! It was like wearing seven layers of very uncomfortable clothing and I remember thinking I would never want to be a woman if that was the case. I know my mother had a girdle, bra and sometimes a cinch, but, wow! How do they endure stockings and high heels? The discomfort level was astonishing, but losing the suit was like coming out of a prison. I didn’t want to do a drag joke. I wanted to do Edna like the great musical stars, so people could have the joy of me really being someone else. They were determined to make her like a refrigerator and I said: ‘That’s not going to work, I won’t do it.’ I took a personal interest in designing that lady so she had a figure. I said: “Give me a little waist. Give me big breasts and a big butt. I want her to look like a woman. Imagine Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg – that’s what I want.’ And I won that [battle]. They kept bringing me these skinny high heels but when I was growing up, I saw girls in the chorus with a thicker-heeled shoe, more like a dance shoe, and when they finally found it, I said: ‘Make it in many colours. The polka dot dress, because it reminded me of images I have in my mind of the Fifties and of people like Sophia and Anita. And of course, we had to get the right wig, too, which was a hoot.”

And what seems to be the most exciting part for Travolta:

“It must have worked since guys from the crew were hitting on me. I was so flirted with and so groped! I was convinced I was a slut because I was like: ‘Go ahead – touch me! I don’t care!’ But as soon as I took it all off, there was a real coolness, like: ‘Oh well, it’s just him. I liked the other person more.'”

We probably will too.

More on this topic from Michelangelo Signorile…

you may have missed…
John Travolta Not Bothered by Gay Rumors [tr]
Atty: Travolta Manny Kiss a “Customary, Non-Romantic Gesture” [tr]
John Travolta: Global Warming Hypocrite? [tr]
Trick or Treat: More John Travolta as Edna Turnblad [tr]


  1. David says

    What a homophobic jerk. I guess hitting on guys in steamrooms at the downtown Los Angeles Y doesn’t count as being gay. Another classic case of gay self-loathing perpetuating hate.

  2. ggreen says

    Hairspray has had no official press screenings. (No reviews are better than BAD reviews.) Very little in the way of promo material has surfaced on the film. 2 or 3 stills of Travolta in drag but always the same ones. Only one official trailer has been released and it looks like Hairspray is a non-musical. No matter how much lipstick is put on this pig it’s still a pig. The movie or Travolta take your pick they both stink. There have been a lot of public relations firm hired posters posting to comments sections all over the internet giving this stinker favorable reviews hoping for some kind of viral buzz on this bomb, but no soap. Even the phony buzz folks cant save this turkey.

  3. Marc says

    What sucks is that I want to support the movie, having loved the play and the music, and want to support Fierstein’s day in and day out dedication to performing the musical during his entire run. These Travolta interviews just are annoying and I won’t be able to get past his bullcrap while watching it.

  4. Rob (lrdarystar) says


    Can they interview some of the cooler people in the movie please?

  5. Jack Scribe says

    Does John have the same PR flack as Isaiah? Mr. T. is usually an articulate man…I think there’s definitely something lurking in his past. Vinnie, baby, just chill.

  6. anon (gmail.com) says

    How many thetans does he have left? He sounds completely nuts. The end result does not remind me of Sophia Loren.

  7. Kitkats99 says

    GGreen: Are you on crack? There has been nothing but positive buzz about Hairspray. They had an entire hour long concert preview at Showest in Las Vegas. They did an entire hour on Oprah. They are having a huge premiere at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle where the musical premiered before transferring to broadway. The movie doesnt come out for another month and its already all over the internet. The soundtrack hasnt even been released yet, and there are webpages devoted to posting the leaked songs. I think you’re a little bit delusional, or you just dont pay attention.

  8. GregB says

    “Yeah, it’s horrible to be thought of as gay.”…
    Sorry to hear that Travolta thinks:
    1.Gays are horrible
    2.It’s horrible being gay
    3.Gay thoughts are horrible
    Consider me 1 less fan.Because I know I’m gay and none of the above.

  9. GREG says

    I’m a Scientologist and proud of it. Scientology is not a cult. It is a religion! Scientology cured my learning disability and cured my gay-disease. Scientology taught me how to file lawsuits against my enemies, and made me taller. Do gays fly planes and ride motorcyles AND have girlfriends? NO! Of course not. I do all those things. I have a HARLEY! Not exactly gay, huh? Scientology costs a lot of money because the secrets of life are valuable, AND they are the legal property of Scientology. Do I mind that I’m in debt to Scientology? Of course not. Look at me. I’m taller even. I don’t mind the past-due notices they send me. I just keep paying late fees. Scientology is proud of me. I can read and I’m not gay and I’m taller. Psychiatrists are bad. They are nazis, worse even. I want to help clear the world. Thank you Scientology.

  10. canttellyou says

    So it isn’t horrible to get asked to stop harrasing the male staff at The Inn at Spanish Bay (Pebble Beach), AND the male staff at The Ojai Valley Inn,
    and it isn’t horrible to get asked to leave The Bacara Spa and two years later hit on a married guy in the steam room at The Bacara…
    It’s a small world, John ….