The dedicated actor that he is, film icon John Travolta did his own research into the life of famous mobster John Gotti in preparation for his titular role in the 2018 biopic “Gotti.”
In an interview with ABC 7’s "Windy City Live," John revealed that he was amazed to find out that the “Teflon Don” was beloved by the people in his neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.
“The first thing I found out, through many interviews with local venues, was that when he took a percentage of your business, you never run out of business as long as you’re in the black,” he said. “if you went into the red, he would not only take it but get you back in the black. That was one big reason why everyone liked him. The second reason was that he financed a lot of celebrations in the neighborhoods and he would also help people out if they weren’t doing well.”
Not only was John dedicated to learning everything he could about the man he would be playing, he also had the opportunity to wear the Gambino crime boss’ actual clothes for the film.
“They (the Gotti family) were very generous in allowing us to use his personal effects,” he said. “The coat that I wore in the beginning and the end of the movie actually still had the cologne scent of his. The jewelry I got to use, the handkerchiefs.”
“It was a little haunting but interesting. I think those little things help an actor become more into the role,” John added.
The 64-year-old actor was handpicked by the mobster’s remaining family to portray their patriarch in the film based off of John Jr.’s book, “Shadow of My Father.” Junior, along with his mother Victoria Digiorgio, was very hands-on with the production, guiding John and his wife Kelly Preston, who plays Victoria, in their roles.
“They were very helpful. They had criteria for both of us, so we wanted to live up to that criteria,” the “Pulp Fiction” (1994) actor said. “Being on the set, it was a good kind of pressure because we felt that if they believed it, then we would convince others that we’re actually in character.”
John Travolta is known for his iconic roles in “Saturday Night Fever” (1977), “Grease” (1978), “Face/Off” (1997), “Hairspray” (2007), and many more. Catch him in “Gotti” this June 20!
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