We wrześniu 1972 trafił do serialu NBC Emergency jako ofiara.
But in this version, which the film's producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron describe as a "re-invention" based on the stage musical, the first choice for the role was always Travolta. '"It took me a year and two months to decide to do it.
They had originally chosen him for the Billy Flynn role in Chicago, but it went to Richard Gere after Travolta turned it down."When they asked me to be Edna Turnblad I said, 'Gee, 32 years as a leading man… It was a long and arduous decision."He was finally convinced by director-choreographer Adam Shankman's vision and passion.
When you've been a sexy teen idol, a tough action star, danced with Diana, Princess of Wales and been nominated for two Oscars, you think long and hard when someone asks you to put on a dress and portray an outsized, overly protective mother.
The decision was a good one, because he makes a sweet, lovable Edna Turnblad, who sings, dances and is madly in love with her husband, played by Travolta's old pal and fellow former Broadway hoofer Christopher Walken, in the third incarnation of John Waters's musical, Hairspray.
, dropped out of high school when he was 16 to begin work in summer stock and made his Broadway debut in 1974 in Over Here! But after achieving worldwide fame with Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978), he became trapped for nearly 10 years in a series of forgettable flops.
He was in danger of becoming one of Hollywood's forgotten men until, in 1985, at a party at the White House, Diana, Princess of Wales asked him to dance and he was once more making headlines around the world."That was an amazing moment for her and for me because at that time I was having a dip in my career and no one was very interested in me," he says."He basically said to me, 'I take this movie personally and if it doesn't come out right, I'm going to die.' And I said, 'Whoa, I've got to go with that guy,' because musicals don't work unless every throttle's on full, so when I got the sense everybody cared, then I said, OK."I had the biggest musical in history, Grease, and I wanted to leave it like that, so excuse the pun but it took a lot of grease to get me back in the frying pan."He was so determined to create the Edna he wanted that he rejected several versions of the fat suit designed for him until he was given one he considered made her suitably curvaceous and voluptuous."It wasn't real to me to make her like a refrigerator," he says."I said, 'Make her as big as you want as long as you give her a waist and make her pretty because it will be more interesting, more appealing and more entertaining.' I wanted people to enjoy looking at her, because if she's grotesque, it's not fun."My challenge was making sure I was convincing as a woman, so I drew on a library of memories of watching great female performances in the theatre and on film and in my family, and I used role models like Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg, Elizabeth Taylor…these women with voluptuous shapes."He had to spend up to five hours a day encased in a full body suit weighing more than 30lb with five separate gel-filled silicone prosthetic appliances for parts of Edna's face.But it had its compensations."I'm happy to be a man, but I miss being groped," he says, laughing. Suddenly having breasts and a big bottom gained me so much attention.You have to go out of your way to activate your dreams and keep them going in this third chapter of your life." "Have I got things to tell you! Dustin Hoffman's portrayal of a struggling young actor who turns himself into a middle-aged woman to get a part - and thereby gains an unwelcome insight into life on the other side of the sexual divide - won him an Oscar nomination. Much confusion among male viewers who found themselves fancying her/him.