It is hard to believe, nowadays, the social phenomenon that John Travolta was in the 80s, when he was chaining hits like ‘Saturday Night Fever’, ‘Grease’ or ‘Look Who’s Talking’ until, little by little, he was passing into collective oblivion a decade later. It took Quentin Tarantino to resurrect a stalled career with a film that brought him back to the forefront. But of course, to get there, the actor had to do something unheard of: play board games with him.
A game of Risk, Trivia, Parcheesi, etc.
The story goes that Tarantino, fresh from the maelstrom that was ‘Reservoir Dogs’, called the star at his house to do something in the early 90s. The actor thought it would be a casting or a way to get to know each other, but nothing of the sort. The director drew on his collection of board games based on Travolta’s films: ‘Grease’, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and even the sitcom ‘Welcome back, Kotter’, which in Spain doesn’t ring a bell but lasted a good four seasons.
You may be thinking what the hell is a ‘Grease’ board game all about, but once we explain it to you, you won’t be satisfied. It is a game in which you will have to bet on different discs, and the one with the most at the end is the winner. What does it have to do with the movie of the same name? Well, the box features Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, so why else?
Meanwhile, in the ‘Welcome back, Kotter’ game, each player has to take the place of one of Mr. Kotter’s students and move to the initial desk until completing the phrase “Up your nose with a rubber hose”, the phrase made popular by Travolta himself playing Vinnie. There is also a card game based on collecting characters with points: the first to reach 100 wins.
There is no information about the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ game, not even in Board Game Geek, the world’s largest board game database, so it is possible that the actor made it up. Of course, they must not have had a bad time when, at the end of the night, Tarantino offered him two roles: that of ‘Open until dawn’ or that of ‘Pulp Fiction’. the rest is history.
By the way, this doesn’t mean that Travolta gave up board games forever: on the contrary, he is one of the few people in the world who insists on playing ‘Monopoly‘ with real money. Oh, who would be a millionaire.
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