Three decades after she and John Travolta first made sweet music together as lovestruck '50s teenagers in Grease, Olivia Newton John returns to theaters this summer in a newly remastered version of the 1978 musical, with singalong onscreen lyrics. Tell us more! Tell us more!
Does the idea of theaters full of tone-deaf people singing your songs at the top of their lungs horrify even a small part of you?
No, I think that's part of the fun. It doesn't bother me at all. You get enough people together and you can't tell.
What's your all-time favorite Grease song?
Probably "Hopelessly Devoted." It's a classic, beautiful ballad. And I love "You're the One that I Want." It doesn't date.
If there were a Grease postage stamp, would it have pony-tailed Sandy, from
early in the film, or leather catsuit Sandy from the end?
I think leather Sandy. It's more fun. But pony-tailed Sandy might be a cleaner image for a stamp.
Are you wearing a leather catsuit as we speak?
No, but I am wearing a leopard dressing gown. How's that? I couldn't resist telling that.
Will we see more of you as a result of the Grease rerelease?
I've been talking with my manager about putting together some kind of show next summer. So that could happen. I've got a lot of themes in my life. I started out country, then I went to pop, and then I did Grease and then I did Xanadu and then I did the album Physical. And now, healing music. It's like a different era every 10 years. I'm open to seeing what comes.
What's the secret of Grease that keeps generations of fans loving it?
It's a combination of the music, the time period and the great energy. And it's at school. See how many [school-themed musicals] have gone on since from Glee to High School Musical. It's easily relatable.
Speaking of Glee, compare dancing with Jane Lynch to dancing with John
I laughed so much dancing with Jane. She's so funny and so sweet. But it was very, very different.
What was the reaction to your guest appearance on the show?
People were surprised with my character. The fact that I was a bitch, which I have never played before and have tried not to be in real life.
Might you be entering the bitch era of your career?
It doesn't fit as comfortably with me. But I did enjoy it. It was fun.
You looked amazing on Glee, are you sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber?
You're too kind, but I think it was good lighting. And I use my husband's facial products, they are all natural from the Amazon rain forest.
When's the last time you danced with Travolta?
Probably when we were filming Grease.
Aren't we overdue?
I think the world can do without my dancing. But John is amazing.
On Glee you sang your hit "Physical" with the famous line "you're bringin' out the animal in me." So what's doing that these days?
Well, my husband John [Easterling]. There's so many things that inspire me. I'm building a cancer and wellness center in Australia that's been a passion of mine for the last seven years. My work with the rainforest and the hospital are just a few things that bring out the animal in me. And our wonderful dog an Irish setter, Jack, who is lying under my desk as I speak to you. And our other dog Sherlock who is 17 and gorgeous.
You're very active in working with South American tribes living in the rain forests, do they know Grease?
They don't have electricity, so I don't think so. When we go there, I'm just [John's] wife. I love that other side of my life.