“Grease” is one of our all-time favorites, regardless of how many times we’ve seen it. Check out these insane facts about the filming of the movie, the cast, and the characters that you had no idea about!
Kenickie had a thing for Sandy. Well, sort of…Jeff Conaway had a crush on Olivia Newton-John during filming. He later married her sister. Rest assured, their flimsy yet intricate dynamic made for one or two cringe-worthy conversations at the family BBQ.
The singer didn’t physically appear in the film, but he did play a part in “Look at Me I’m Sandra Dee.” The lyrics “Elvis Elvis let me be, keep that pelvis far from me” were added into the song because the legend died the day they filmed the scene.
All the background dancers were named, which doesn’t always happen in films. Credits might list background dancer #1, or background dancer #2. The dancers in “Grease” were named Bart, Bubba, Moose, and Sauce.
Olivia Newton-John Didn’t Want To Film The Carnival Scene
One of the most well-known scenes and songs from the film, “You’re The One That I Want”, wasn’t all fun and games. Olivia Newton-John was extremely afraid of that scene and John Travolta had to convince his co-star to carry through with the song and film.
The Actors Were Much Older Than The Characters They Played
They might have played high schoolers, but the characters were much older IRL: John Travolta was 23, Oliva Newton-John was 28, Stockard Channing was 33, Jeff Conaway was 26, Michael Tucci was 31, Kelly Ward was 20, Didi Conn was 25, Jamie Donnelly was 30, Barry Pearl was 27, and Dinah Manoff was 19.
The film was almost shot solely in animation, and we would never have gotten to see a live-person Sandy tell Danny “tell me about it stud.” We can’t have that. When the producers and directors decided against the idea, they made the credits animated as a nod to the notion.
There’s A Scene That Honors Highly Celebrated Entertainment Icons
Can you think of a group who Sonny (Michael Tucci), Doody (Barry Pearl) and Putzie (Kelly Ward) resemble? The guys asked the director to play tribute to The Three Stooges, and it was added into the film during the bonfire scene.
Right before the street race, Danny and Kenickie hug, but quickly comb their hair and look away like they never hugged it out big time. Jeff Conaway was the one who had the idea to blow off the embrace because he insisted two males would never have hugged in the 50s.
For the carnival scene at the end, Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into her pants: “They sewed me into those pants every morning for a week,” she said. “Believe me, I had to be very careful about what I ate and drank. It was excruciating… It was 106 degrees on the set for the carnival finale.”
In the stage production of “Grease,” Danny doesn’t get the honor of signing the song, “Greased Lightning”. The song was in fact sung by Kenickie. However, when it came to filming, John Travolta convinced producers that he was more fit for the job.
Lucille Ball Is To Blame For Her Daughter Not Being Cast
Originally, Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, was up for the role of Rizzo. However, when Ball called to say that her daughter was too good to audition for the part, producers opted for a different actor.
While in the stage version, Sandy is an American girl with the last name of “Dumbrowski”, directors decided to make her Australian after the decision to cast Australian native Olivia Newton-John was made.
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