Grease actress Didi Conn and her castmates may have taken a few walks on the wild side while filming the beloved 1978 film.
Conn played Frenchy in the acclaimed musical movie. She starred alongside such figures as Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. Now, 40 years later, the actress has finally opened up about life behind the scenes on what she thought would be a "goofy" high school movie, in an interview with Daily Mail.
Conn sat down with reporters to celebrate the release of Now TV's Sky Cinema pass. She talked about high-profile crushes behind the scenes and wild parties for the young cast as the movie prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Here are some of the highlight's from Conn's discussion.
"Oh yeah [he did fancy her]," she confirmed. "There was an ongoing improvisation happening so the flirting, let's just say the flirting, was fine, it was in the context of the characters and the storyline."
She recalled the moment that the two kissed for the camera.
"They weren't acting in that moment, it was like he had his chance and he was going to take it. It was real, it really was."prevnext
Behind the Scenes Improv
Conn also explained that it wasn't hard for Travolta to act out his fantasy, as the cast spent all of their time on set in character, even when they weren't filming.
"What was so much fun was that most of us were older than the characters we were playing so we just stayed in character all day long," she explained.prevnext
Character Age Discrepancy
As Conn mentioned, the cast members were all older than the high schoolers they were playing. How much older is a bit surprising, however. Travolta's boyish crush on Newton-John is all the more surprising when considering that he was 23 at the time of filming, while Newton-John was 29 years old.prevnext
Conn did her best to recount the film's after party, but admitted that she couldn't remember much, mostly because of some "special" brownies made by her co-star, Stockard Channing.
"I don't remember much about the wrap party because Stockard Channing gave everybody some brownie she made. I really don't remember much, just dancing and lying on the floor laughing with everybody."prevnext
While Grease is now a staple in the American movie pantheon, Conn was quite candid about what the cast all thought of it while they were making it. She described it as a "goofy" high school movie, and said that no one dreamed it would have such a cultural impact.
"We had no idea. Paramount had no idea. Paramount was surprised," she revealed. "The last scene of the carnival when the boys are throwing pies at the coach, and he says 'I'll see you in summer school' well that was to lead into a sequel called Summer School."prevnext
The after party wasn't the only place where things got out of hand for the young cast. Conn said that they did their fair share of partying while the made the wholesome movie.
"Let's just say some of the trailers were rocking and rolling during filming," she teased. "There was. Y'know I played Frenchy and Frenchy is a good friend so she wouldn't tell."prevnext
Saturday Night Fever
Another modern misconception is that Travolta led the film to success as a massive star in his own right. Conn reminded the reporters that that wasn't the case, and said that his amateur status as a part of the reason Paramount had little confidence in the film.
"John and Olivia said 'Yes, we had such a good time let's make another one right away,' and Paramount said 'I don't think this is going to go anywhere. We're glad you all had a good time but no.'"
"Saturday Night Fever hadn't come out yet, he had made it already but it hadn't come out."prevnext
Conn's version of events also helped explain how Grease 2 came to be. While she returned as Frenchy in the film, the studio saw no reason to bring back Travolta or Newton-John.
"They made a goof and passed on a sequel until it was a big success and I guess John & Olivia weren't available and that concept changed to Grease 2," she explained.
"Nobody knew but we really had a wonderful time," she added. "We really did."prevnext
40th Anniversary Edition
Perhaps the biggest tease of the whole interview was the 40th Anniversary Edition of Grease. Conn says that it includes some special features that die-hard fans will love — including an alternate ending with a "juicy" kiss.
"The new 40th anniversary edition has bonus features and one of the features is a different ending," she explained. "So the beginning of the movie Sandy and Danny are kissing and then she pulls away dramatically and sad and wondering if they'll ever see each other again. Well, do they ever kiss in the movie again? They never."0comments
"Randal Kleiser, the director, thought, 'Maybe I should make an alternative ending,' and they fly up into the sky and instead of looking back, Danny looks at Sandy and pulls her closer to him and gives her the juiciest kiss."
"You see for a moment she's surprised and then she responds. It's juicy and it's great," she continued. "They weren't acting in that moment, it was like he had his chance and he was going to take it. It was real, it really was."prev