(NEW YORK) — Longtime married couple John Travolta and Kelly Preston have worked together before, but in the new film Gotti the two play husband and wife for the first time ever.
Travolta stars as notorious New York City crime boss John Gotti, while Preston plays Gotti’s wife Victoria.
Preston tells ABC Radio that while they didn’t exactly discover anything new about themselves by working together this time around, they did have a lot of fun playing a couple so different from who they are in real life. She particularly loved gaining insight from Victoria herself.
“[Victoria] said [her husband] could never understand, because he said, ‘Grown men fear me. [S]o many people fear me. Why does my wife have no fear?’” Preston recalls. “Because she would go toe-to-toe with him. They would get into it and she would stand right up to him and they would fight and make up and that was so fascinating to me.”
The Gotti family also gave the film unprecedented access to John Gotti’s possessions.
“It was the first time they lent his clothing, he had his overcoat, he could still smell the scent of the cologne in it, his jewelry, his ties and scarves,” Preston says. “Victoria gave me her wedding ring to wear…that she hadn’t taken off since John had given it to her. And that was really special.”
Seeing her husband transform into Gotti for the first time was a surreal experience for Preston.
“Seeing Johnny for the first time in full makeup, the first thing I saw him was when John was older and he had the stage 4 cancer,” she says. “That was haunting because he looked exactly like the footage that was online and he was completely the man.”
Gotti hits theaters Friday.
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