John Travolta talks Wild Hogs to Wild About Movies
Wild About Movies had a chance to catch up with the cast of “Wild Hogs” both in Boston and in Los Angeles, before its theatrical premiere.
We had no idea that it would become the second movie of 2007 to cross the $100 million mark – “300” was the first, yet Wild About Movies predicted that “Norbit” would be the first – (and it never will!)
On that note, we bring you the unedited interview with the four main stars of “Wild Hogs,” including quotes from John Travolta, arguably the biggest star of the four, who dons a wig, mumu and heels this summer in “Hairspray The Movie,” and next year in “Dallas,” the movie based on the TV soap!
Below, our interview with the cast from our afternoon with them in Los Angeles in late February 2007!
Wild About Movies: WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCES DID YOU HAVE RIDING HARLEYS BEFORE THIS FILM? WERE THERE ANY SPILLS DURING THE FILMING?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Okay, I’ve ridden a bike since I was 18, and it was the first transportation when I came to Hollywood because it was inexpensive and easy for me, and then I rode Harleys with the Daytona Bike League several times hither to the movie. So that’s my history.
Wild About Movies: ANY SPILLS DURING THE MOVIE?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: No. Tim Allen was the only one that had spills. And that’s because he was showing off, like he likes to always.
WILLIAM MACY: I rode bikes when I was a kid.
JOHN TRAVOLTA: What was the brand name?
WILLIAM MACY: A Hodaka in college.And I had a bike the first time I moved to L.A., I had a Honda, and I got around on that, but I’d never ridden Harleys, so I went to Harley school. Not really, but we learned how to ride Harleys for about a week. A couple of weeks, before we went there. And I dropped the bike once. Just because we had to pull in and put the kickstand down, and climb off very quickly, and I did all of that except the part about putting the kickstand down.The bike fell. They roll if you don’t put the kickstand down.
TIM ALLEN: I rode many bikes and motorcycles, and my brother was in an accident when he was a kid, and my mom forbade us to use motorcycles and about four years ago I bought a Norton that I’ve been riding around L.A. a little bit, but this was the first time I was on a Harley.
MARTIN LAWRENCE: I rode like a long time ago, but I wasn’t that good, so I got lit up, and the only time I started riding it was on this movie, and I was really nervous, so I feel really good to announce my retirement from riding.
TIM ALLEN: But like Jay-Z, you could come back.
MARTIN LAWRENCE: Exactly.
Wild About Movies: ARE ANY OF YOU STILL RIDING?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Yes.
WILLIAM MACY: I’m hooked.
TIM ALLEN: Here too.
Wild About Movies: WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH PETER FONDA? AND CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE NUDE SCENE IN THE POND?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: For the record, I used to pull my underwear down occasionally just to feel the cool water.It was my idea to have Peter Fonda, and I will take full credit for this idea. Because I was 13 years old when I saw him on the screen in “Easy Rider,” and pretty wowed by that, so I thought it would be the perfect classy cherry on the cake idea, to bring him in as the savior of the day again. So I am very fond of Peter and Jane Fonda, and glad that we used him in the movie. Now, naked in the pond…
WILLIAM MACY: It changed my life.
TIM ALLEN: All of ours. Lord.Where’d you put that sock again? What was that sock you were – he had a sock he was wearing.
JOHN TRAVOLTA: (asking William Macy) Can I ask a question? Is your mother still alive?
WILIAM MACY: No.
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Okay, your father is?
WILLIAM MACY: Yeah.
TRAVOLTA: What will he think of your hiney on that screen?
MACY: He’ll be very proud.
LAWRENCE: It’s safe to say that in the movie, Bill shows his ass.
MACY: I put my ass on the line.
Wild About Movies: DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE ROAD TRIP MEMORY?
TIM ALLEN: I took a trip with the best looking girl in college, got her somehow convinced, she was a rich girl, to take a trip in her Camaro, thinking that maybe I’d hook up somehow, and you know, she’d be stuck with me in that damn car.I was the most frustrated, angry man. She’s driving in a bikini, because we didn’t have air conditioning.So I had to sit there in the car. We drove across country. When we got to Los Angeles, I was just gonna go home because I was going to explode if I didn’t get out of the car. And she says, ‘Why don’t we stop by the capitol before we go home?’ And I said, ‘Of what?’ And she says, ‘We’re almost to Washington.’ I said, ‘That’s, um – that would be Washington, D.C., this is Washington state we’re heading towards.’ And she says, ‘That’s ridiculous. They wouldn’t have two Washingtons in the same country.’
Wild About Movies: ANY OTHER ROAD STORIES?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Well, when I was a kid, I would take short trips to Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. But nothing, no road kill to report or any such thing.
MARTIN LAWRENCE : My road trips have been to Vegas, but you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
WILLIAM MACY: I’d been on a road trip right out of college, with a buddy of mine. It was uneventful. We didn’t get laid. Although one time, it was about 800 degrees, and we were in Texas, and we had shorts on and nothing else, and somehow, a motorcycle cop pulls up beside me, and says ‘come on, get on it, get on, go, go, go!’ So I speeded up, and it turns out we’re in a huge state funeral. There are about forty black Cadillac’s in a row, and then a green van called Mr. Greenjeans, with two guys with no clothes in it, and we went right out of town onto the freeway, I waved goodbye to them, and isn’t that a good story?
TIM ALLEN: No!
Wild About Movies: WITH THE BIGGER COMMERCIAL SUCCESS THAT YOU’LL GET…
WILLIAM MACY: Let’s hope.
Wild About Movies: ARE YOU GETTING THE BENEFITS OF BEING IN A BIGGER FILM?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Oh, yeah, I can vouch for that. He took to riding in private jets and caviar like nobody I’ve ever seen.Haven’t you, Bill?
WILLIAM MACY: I’m a personal friend of John Travolta’s. I was at the Super Bowl, we were in a box. It wasn’t raining where we were. We had shrimp.
Wild About Movies: DO YOU THINK YOU’RE STILL GOING TO HAVE SOME OF YOUR STREET CREDIBILITY AS A SERIOUS ACTOR AFTER THIS?
WILLIAM MACY: No.
TIM ALLEN: If you’re wading in water, he don’t want to swim that day.Hang out with the losers.
WILLIAM MACY: Oh that art, it’s way over…
TIM ALLEN: Forget art, this is commerce. We’re talking about action figures now.
Wild About Movies: WAS THE DANCING ORIGINALLY IN THE SCREENPLAY, OR DID YOU ADD IT?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: The dancing was in the screenplay, actually. We modified it, and made it more about Bill’s dance with Marissa than mine intruding, we actually removed a lot of what they wanted me to do, because I thought it was a little arbitrary. So, basically I said I would teach and let him go do his thing, but I didn’t want to go out there as well, you see, so. They actually eliminated some ideas there more than added to.
Wild About Movies: WHAT ABOUT MUSIC?
TIM ALLEN: Gary Busey, what? Was he in this? He was great. Gary and I are like this. The music, I picked that AC/DC tee shirt because it was the only one Disney could afford. No, we had a whole series, the Allman Brothers Band, J. Geils was my pick. That’s what I wanted, was Full House, because that was what I grew up with, and that’s what the character – I wanted this guy to be old rock and roll, and he’s lost all that, and John’s Travolta character and mine, we were real partiers, and I always just thought that was cool, because I got a bunch of guys like that, that just were – these guys, I thought they were gonna die, the way they partied, and now these guys are dentists.And I said, doesn’t that ever bother you? I think we killed a few people. I don’t even remember what we did, but this is the kind of guy who wanted AC/DC after that – what was that, it was in Spain, that one concert – they were huge. That concert video I loved. I hope that answered something, I don’t have any idea what I just said.
Wild About Movies: YOU’RE ALL BIG HOLLYWOOD STARS…
TIM ALLEN: Yes, the biggest! We’re HUGE Hollywood stars!
Wild About Movies: YOU HAVEN’T HAD THAT CHANCE TO GO THROUGH THE MIDDLE AGE SOUL SEARCHING…
TIM ALLEN: We’re not allowed to.
Wild About Movies: SO HOW DID YOU RELATE, WHAT WAS THE PERSONAL CONNECTION TO THESE CHARACTERS?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Well, we’re too blessed to be stressed. Woo! Well, the only thing I ran into is that I am a wanderlust, as far as travel and adventure, so I will go off on any given moment with the family and friends to explore the world. I go around the world once a year. I go to Africa, you know, Russia, wherever, I love it. So I do, that’s probably the only thing I identify with my character, is the wanderlust aspect of it.
TIM ALLEN: I went to all my old high school reunions, that’s where I came from, is high school reunions, that I love all my old friends, I’m still in contact with them, and I’ve got three guys, one who took it in his head to raise one of his brother’s kids, he’s got two of his own kids, he took over his drywall and plumbing business when the dad had died, and all of a sudden, we were both at this party and he goes, what happened to my life? And this guy was gonna be, go to Africa and I don’t know, skin beasts with a pocket knife, I don’t know what he – and he had all these plans, and now he turned around and look what he’s got. He’s living in a modest size home outside of Warren, Michigan, and he goes, what the hell happened? Does that make any sense to anybody? You all just want to go get something to eat.
WILLIAM MACY: I think we’re all confused.
TIM ALLEN: Isn’t there a meal penalty coming up soon? Sandwiches and Orange Crush for everybody. Come on, sign up!
WILLIAM MACY: Orange Crush? It’s Fanta.
Wild About Movies: THIS QUESTION IS FOR ALL FOUR OF YOU.
TIM ALLEN: Good luck. Good luck with that.
Wild About Movies:HAVE ANY OF YOU GONE THROUGH A MID-LIFE CRISIS IN YOUR ROMANTIC LIFE OR RELATIONSHIPS? DO ALL GUYS?
MARTIN LAWRENCE : Romantic? I don’t know…
TIM ALLEN: Martin’s too young for any of this shit.
MACY: I don’t think the film’s about four guys having a mid-life crisis as much as four guys who are trying to regain something.One of the things that I love about it, what I love about it is that these guys adore each other, but they don’t know how to say it. They don’t know how to express it. And because they face this danger together, it never has to be stated, but it’s more palpable at the end of the film. And secondly, I think it’s four guys who are tired of being afraid, just afraid all the time, they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, of not being there when they’re needed, they’re afraid in their jobs – the whole thing, they’re just afraid.Then they hit the road – one of the things about the whole Harley motorcycle culture is that it’s a little bit renegade, and it’s a little bit dangerous, and then it gets intensified when they run afoul of this other motorcycle gang, and they stand up for once in their lives.So it’s not about the midlife crisis as much as, four guys who need to sort of plant their flag.
JOHN TRAVOLTA: It can happen at any age, really.
WILLIAM MACY: At any age.
Wild About Movies: SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE LOVE MEN CAN HAVE FOR OTHER MEN, LIKE IN THIS FILM.
WILLIAM MACY: John?
TIM ALLEN: What?!
Wild About Movies: IT’S A GAY QUESTION.
WILLIAM MACY: You know, there’s some – it’s a gay question, yes. We talked about homophobic moments in this film, we talked a lot about –
TIM ALLEN: It should be called ‘Homophobe On Bikes.’ That’s what it is.
WILLIAM MACY: Homophobia. I think women are a lot better – I think women are better, especially after marriage and kids, women are a lot better at staying in touch with their friends, and guys have a tendency to isolate.
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Well my character, it takes the whole movie for him to admit that his wife left him. If it was two women, they’d get it out there in the first five minutes. So it takes guys longer to get in communication with each other in an emotional way.And in this movie I think these guys have a lot of growth in that way. And actually end up in a good place with each other, and trust.
Wild About Movies: SO WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE OSCARS COMING UP?
TIM ALLEN: We expect one for this, yes.
Wild About Movies: ANY THOUGHTS ON AWARDS, FROM THOSE OF YOU ON THE RECEIVING END OF A NOMINATION?
TIM ALLEN: Have you looked at the group up here?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: I’ve been nominated twice thank you, so I’ll start.
TIM ALLEN: You have? Of course you have, I remember, it was unbelievable, John!
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Well, you weren’t in the business, you weren’t around yet, Tim. I’m very proud of the Academy and the experience. I love giving out awards, and I love being nominated for them. It’s a pinnacle in your work, where you’re recognized, I think it’s a great part of your career to be involved in. So I take great pride in it.
Wild About Movies: WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER OF THE EXPERIENCE?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Well, I remember being nominated for “Pulp Fiction,” nominated for “Saturday Night Fever,” and I won the Golden Globe for “Get Shorty.” And a few other Golden Globes , but I think the award process is a wonderful acknowledgement of your work. I don’t want it to be taken away. I’d like it to stay.
TIM ALLEN: I think I would like to take away everybody’s awards.
Wild About Movies: AND TIM, WHAT’S THE WORD ON ‘TOY STORY 3?’ JOHN, WHAT ABOUT ‘DALLAS?’
TIM ALLEN: We’re combining it. “Toy Dallas.”
Wild About Movies: SO HOW’S “TOY STORY 3″ COMING THEN?
TIM ALLEN: Disney would like us to not talk about it for some reason, even though it was in the Wall Street Journal, they’d like us not to talk about “T3,” I don’t know what it was. They’ve just stopped talking about it. (Editor’s note: Disney sent us the teaser poster for “Toy Story 3″ a month ago. So, we’re betting the movie is half-way in the can!)
Wild About Movies: AND JOHN, “DALLAS” AND “HAIRSPRAY THE MOVIE”?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: “Hairspray The Movie” comes out July 20, and “Dallas” starts whenever they say it is. I’ve already started to get paid on that. I just haven’t gotten a start date.
Wild About Movies: HOW WAS IT TO DRESS IN DRAG?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Oh honey, it’s amazing – I would get in that get up, and the men would flirt, and I’d be like do they even realize it’s me under here? How ya doin’, Edna?You get those things going, and everybody gets happy about it.
Wild About Movies: AND WHO’S GOING TO PLAY SUE ELLEN AT THIS POINT? ANY SUGGESTIONS?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: There have been so many changes. I don’t know who it will be now.
Wild About Movies: AND IF YOU COULD CHOOSE?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: I’d choose my wife, of course. Personal choice. (Editor’s note: Kelly Preston)
Wild About Movies: FOR SUE ELLEN?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Yes, but that’s just my choice.
Wild About Movies: WHAT WAS THE FIRST MOVIE YOU EVER SAW?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: The first move I ever saw was probably something like “Peter Pan.” Or some movie with Sophia Loren. I was three or four years old.
Wild About Movies: AND WHAT ABOUT A FUNNY MOVIE?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Oh gosh, what’s a funny movie, what’s a recent funny movie that I’ve loved…
Wild About Movies: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE RECENT.
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Oh, it can be anything? DVD. Let me think about this for a second.
Wild About Movies: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE GREASE REALITY SHOW?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: As long as they’re not re-casting the movie, I’m absolutely fine with it.
Wild About Movies: AND A FAVORITE FUNNY MOVIE?
JOHN TRAVOLTA: Funny movie, oh gosh. What did I love? I do love comedies. I used to love Charles Grodin. What was that movie? Recently I loved “Devil Wears Prada,” and I also loved, earlier than that, man, what is like my ultimate favorite movie?
And they all zoom out of the room…
John Travolta is married to actress Kelly Preston
William Macy is married to actress Felicty Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”)
Martin Lawrence was married for a year 1995-1996 but is divorced from a non-actress and is a Hollywood player. (Wild About Movies knows – when he was in Boston filming What’s The Worst That Could Happen, in 2001, he was a ladies man virtually every night at Boston’s nightclubs!)
Tim Allen is divorced from a non-actress – although he did spend over two years in jail in the late 70s for drug dealing…