From TV's "Welcome Back Kotter," to his overnight fame as Tony Manero in "Saturday Night Fever" and then Danny Zuko in the biggest money-making musical, "Grease," John Travolta has been entertaining us for decades.
After falling out of favor with
Hollywood, the New Jersey kid hit it big again
with the success of "Pulp Fiction" where
he showed off his good-natured personality in
a gritty, low budget film. That career move
resurrected an otherwise flailing career and put
Travolta in legend status. Being able to command
upward of $20 million per picture, it's a far
cry from what Quentin Tarantino offered the then-struggling
actor for "Pulp Fiction."
"Quentin cornered me at a photo
shoot and said, 'You won't get paid anything for
this, but you shouldn't be denied good material
just because there isn't a budget,'" he laughs. Now
the father of two -- son, Jett and daughter Ella
Bleu -- and married to actress Kelly Preston since
1991, Travolta revels in his success as an actor. It's
not too shabby what financial success brings in
the way of "toys," either.
Bankrate: I know you're a licensed pilot -- what crafts do you fly?
Travolta: Well, I'm rated in a (Boeing) 747 and a 707 -- I own one of those. I
also have a Gulfstream, Hawker, Lear Jet, Vampire Jet and two bomb jets. So
I have quite a few jet licenses and quite a few planes.
Bankrate: Describe the thrills you get from flying a plane?
John Travolta: Oh, wow, there are many, but it's a very extroverting
experience. It's sensational; it's movement. There's
an art to it. There's a beauty to aircraft,
and I like the perspective of being in the sky. Everything
is very proportioned, I'd say and I feel a certain
relief when I'm in the air. I can't explain
why I get relief other than maybe those other
Bankrate: Do you feel the machinery under you?
John Travolta: I do. I sense the machine and I estimate
its abilities. I've flown it for 27 years
so I've really grown to know that scene quite
well. I also have a few motorcycles, too. It's
nice to be able to fly my family because we live
in different places in the country at different
times (Travolta has homes in California, Florida
Bankrate: You once took a two-month around-the-world flight that you piloted along with
your wife, Kelly, as a passenger.
Travolta: Yeah, that was fun. I wanted to do my part to get people
traveling on planes again after 9/11.