John Travolta wanted his hairspray appearance to have a key difference to Divine’s

Before her casting in “Hairspray” was announced, Travolta enjoyed showing her screen tests to her friends and tricking them into thinking they were really looking at an unknown actress. The actor even had trouble recognizing himself when he first appeared on screen in his Edna costume.

“I couldn’t see myself in it,” he explained (via Collider), “and I tested it on other people […] I let them watch for five minutes, about 15 minutes of film, and I said, ‘What do you think of her?’ They said, ‘She’s fun, she’s adorable, she’s kinda cute,’ I said, ‘Well, that’s me.'”

Her co-star Queen Latifah, who plays Motormouth Maybelle, felt like Edna Turnblad was a real person even though she knew it was Travolta underneath all the makeup and costume.

“I mean, it was Edna Turnblad,” she told Artisan News “I got used to seeing him as this girl, this big old woman, you know what I mean, with this body all in curves that really just moved – and he was able to move like it was his own. That was cool.

Christopher Walken, who plays Edna’s husband Wilbur, wasn’t so easily fooled by Travolta’s acting. “I never looked at it like Edna, it was always John,” he admitted. Although he wasn’t thrilled with Travolta’s transformation, the actor still had no trouble playing his romantic interest. “I really like John and got on really well with him,” Walken explained, “so I think that trickled down to Wilbur and Edna.” That’s sweet and all, but if he’s trying to say there wasn’t at least one moment during “You Are Timeless To Me” where he wasn’t totally transfixed and convinced by Edna, forgive me. me if I just don’t believe it.


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