Skip to main content

When John Travolta first spotted Olivia Newton-John in her iconic black outfit as Sandy in Grease, he gave her “exactly” the reaction she was hoping for. Read on to find out why she had to be sewn into her pants, how Travolta responded when he saw her, and how their relationship developed after they found they had “undeniable chemistry” from the moment they met.

Olivia Newton-John as Sandy and John Travolta as Danny Zuko in 'Grease'
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta | CBS/Getty Images

Olivia Newton-John was sewn into her black ‘Grease’ outfit

Sparks flew between Newton-John and Travolta as high school lovebirds Sandy and Danny in Grease. She played the shy Australian transfer student, and he was the resident bad boy in the classic film. She goes from a wholesome, poodle skirt-wearing conformist to a rebel in a black ensemble.

In her book, Don’t Stop Believin’, Newton-John revealed that the zipper broke on those iconic skin-tight pants. The costume designer was afraid to put another one in, meaning she had to be sewn in (per Daily Mail).

Though she wondered about bathroom breaks, she knew the outfit would get some attention. And she confessed Travolta gave her just the reaction she was hoping for when he saw her.

Olivia Newton-John said John Travolta’s ‘eyes popped’ when he saw her in ‘Grease’ outfit

According to Newton-John, she was turning heads as soon as she walked on set. She wrote in her book, “There were gasps, catcalls and a lot of whistling.”

Travolta, who later confessed to feeling sexual tension with his co-star, was nearby. And he was among those to voice their approval. “John was filming the song ‘Sandy’ and I strutted on set,” she recalled. “He stopped singing mid-note, as his head jerked up and his eyes popped.”

“‘Tell me more, tell me more,’ he shouted. We laughed so hard,” she remembered. “It was exactly the reaction I wanted.'”

Olivia Newton-John said she and John Travolta had ‘undeniable chemistry’ but didn’t date


‘Grease’: The Surprising Age Difference Between John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John Went Unnoticed in the Film

Notably, Newton-John was 28 when she starred in Grease. She was reluctant to take on the role because she was long out of school and couldn’t speak with an American accent. But when she met Travolta, she said it was a scorching moment no one could ignore.

“John came out to meet me. Our eyes met. When we walked inside the room together, it was magic, and everyone saw it,” she wrote (per Daily Mail). “They couldn’t deny this kind of chemistry.”

Despite their connection, they never dated in real life. And Newton-John once explained why that was a good thing. “We were both with other people when we were filming and I think, respectfully, it just didn’t happen,” she said (per Radar Online).

“I think it was good because I think it kept the tension there and the chemistry,” Newton-John continued. “It might have been a real disaster had we decided to date or we had a falling out or something. So I think it was just as well that it didn’t happen.”