John Travolta revealed how he handled discussing Kelly Preston's death with their son, 10-year-old Ben, in a new interview with Kevin Hart. Preston, who married Travolta in 1991, died in July 2020 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. After Preston died, Ben was worried that the Pulp Fiction actor would as well, but Travolta explained to his son the differences and how his mother died.
"He said to me once, 'Because mom passed away, I'm afraid you're going to," Travolta told Hart on the new Peacock series Hart to Heart. "I said, 'Well, it's a very different thing.' And I went through the differences about my longevity and her limited life." Travolta, 67, assured his son he would always tell him the truth.
"I said, 'But you know, Ben... you always love the truth and I'm going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they're gonna go or when they're going to stay. Your brother [Jett] left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who's to say? I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can. So let's look at it like it's part of life. You don't know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can.'"
Travolta told Hart his conversation with Ben taught him he was looking at age all wrote. He told Ben he feels "eternally 21" at heart, notes Yahoo! Entertainment. Ben then asked his dad if he remembered things that happened 30 years ago. "I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Does 30 years ago seem like a long time?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Don't you think you have 30 more years in your life to live?' I said, 'Yeah, I do. I have at least 30 more years.' He said, 'What's wrong with that?'" Travolta recalled. "This is a 10-year-old telling me that! It changed my viewpoint."
Travolta and Preston had three children together, daughter Ella Bleu, 21, son Jett, and Ben. Jett died in 2009 when the family was vacationing in the Bahamas and he suffered a seizure. Travolta announced Preston's death on July 13, 2020. They did not announce her breast cancer diagnosis before her death.
"Kelly's love and life will always be remembered," Travolta wrote last year. "I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don't hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal."
Hart to Heart is a new talk show for Peacock, featuring Hart, who acted with Travolta in Die Hart. The episode featuring Travolta was released on Peacock Thursday. Cameron Diaz, Don Cheadle, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Kimmel, and Taraji P. Henson also appeared on the show.