Wow, it’s hard to believe that Saturday Night Fever premiered 40 years ago already! Where has the time gone? In honor of the iconic movie recently reaching this big milestone, we’re checking out John Travolta and the rest of the cast then and now — and also finding out what they’ve been up to since 1977!
While Saturday Night Fever made John very famous (he went on to star in Grease, among many other films), he was already super well known when he made the movie thanks to his role in the sitcom Welcome Back Kotter.
The movie was shot on the streets of Brooklyn, so whenever fans would catch world that they would be filming, there would be a massive amount of people near the set! “The fans—oh, my God, they were all over him. It was scary to watch,” John’s late girlfriend Donna Pescow shared. Director John Badham added, “By noon of the first day, we had to shut down and go home.” Because of this, they had to start filming the movie in the middle of the night and during the early morning hours!
In 1983, John reprised his Tony Manero role in a sequel called Staying Alive after the success of the first film, and in a previous interview, John revealed it was his co-star Diana Hyland who convinced him to take on the part in the first place. “I got the script, I read it that night,” John told Vanity Fair. “I wondered if I could give it enough dimension. Diana took it into the other room, and in about an hour she burst back in. ‘Baby, you are going to be great in this—great! This Tony, he’s got all the colors! First he’s angry about something. He hates the trap that Brooklyn and his dumb job are. There’s a whole glamorous world out there waiting for him, which he feels only when he dances. And he grows, he gets out of Brooklyn.’”
He then recalls answering, “‘He’s also king of the disco. I’m not that good a dancer.’ ‘Baby,’ she said, ‘you’re going to learn!’” John sure learned — and we can’t even imagine anyone else in that role!
Click through the gallery below to see the cast of Saturday Night Fever Then and now!