John Travolta was really able to nail the style of late mob boss John Gotti in his new biopic because his costumes were taken straight from his wardrobe.
The Grease star brings the late leader of the powerful Gambino crime family in New York City back to life onscreen in Gotti, and he didn’t have to worry about picking clothing his real-life character would approve of, because Travolta and director Kevin Connolly were given full access to his closet.
The fashions were so authentic, they still carried the scent of Gotti’s cologne.
“That was the haunting part, because in the opening and the closing of the movie, I actually wear his overcoat, this checkered tweed type of thing with a velour collar, and his cologne was on the coat,” Travolta shared on breakfast show Good Morning America. “The scent was apparent and actually, it helped (with the role) in an interesting way, ’cause he was quite a character…”
Travolta wasn’t the only one wearing real wardrobe items from the Gotti family – his actress wife Kelly Preston, who portrays the mobster’s widow, Victoria, was offered the matriarch’s actual wedding ring and other jewellery to use onscreen.
John Gotti lost his battle with cancer in 2002, while serving a life sentence for five murders and illegal gambling charges, among other counts.
Gotti marks John and Kelly’s fifth film together, but Travolta admits starring opposite one another can be a dicey decision for their careers if they pick the wrong movie.
“We are very careful about acting together because there’s a sensitivity in Hollywood about that for many reasons, so I had decided years ago that we would wait for the right project…,” he explained. “You kind of pick the movie that you would be cast in whether you were a couple or not.”
“You enjoy it more if you have an integrity about your choice of what you did together,” he added.