Being an actor requires “effortless technique.” Actors submerge themselves into characters so much so that even when the director calls cut, they are still in that character. This is the wonderful world of acting.
While watching Grease I analyzed three actors’ characters. Frenchy (played by Didi Conn) is Sandy’s best friend. She is part of “The Pinks,” which is a group of bad girls at Rydell High. Instead of being rude and snobby, her character is welcoming and quite caring. Her soft voice and smile gives the audience a feeling of innocence which contrasts from the Pink’s attitude of wanting only sex and drugs. Unlike the other girls, Frenchy whole-heartedly opened her arms to Sandy and includes her into the not so friendly group. When the other girls mock Sandy, Frenchy apologizes and quietly comforts Sandy. When Danny disses Sandy at the school bonfire, Frenchy is the only one that stays to console Sandy. Her kind attitude portray her as someone trustworthy and dependable.
Kenickie (played by Jeff Conaway) is Rydell High’s bad boy. The first scene the audience sees with him is him knocking down a student’s books and bullying him. His nonchalant and rude attitude makes the audience annoyed. Through out the movie, he continues to ridicule women and says the only thing women are good for is sex. As he says this, Rizzo comes by and tugs at his hair. While she does this, he pushes her away and gives her a nasty look. This really enhances his “bad boy” character by showing that he does not care about her at all.
The last and main character I want to discuss is Danny (played by John Travolta). The beginning of Grease starts of with Danny and Sandy at the beach. This is the last time the two of them think they are going to see each other. Sandy is upset they are leaving, but Danny tries to savor the moment and tells Sandy that their summer fling was only the beginning of their journey. This stylized moment perfectly portrays Danny’s charming personality. He immediately targets the hearts of all the audience. Later in the movie Danny is reunited with Sandy, but instead of being his charming self he tries to impress his friends by being “cool” and having a nonchalant attitude. Even though the movie portrays him as being a “jerk” in this scene, the soft sad look in his eyes shows the audience that he really cares about Sandy.
John Travolta also starred in another musical comedy called Hairspray. In this movie he played the main character’s mother and fully devoted himself to this role by wearing makeup, a wig, and even a fat suit. I believe that John excels in this type of genre (comedy) because this is the genre he mainly stars in. Other examples of this are Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. He allows himself to be serious, charming, and funny at the same time in all of these roles. He is most comfortable in a less serious movie and he enjoys roles that involve singing. This shows that his personality is charming and witty and this is what helps him truly commit to comedic characters such as these.
Information on John Travolta:
Videos of Grease:
Video of Hairsprays: