"Tell Me More, Tell Me More": Grease director Randal Kleiser
What's way more fun than watching battle scenes through plastic glasses? Why, the new sing-a-long version of Grease, of course! The original high school musical is back in theaters next month, and the gang from Rydell High is kicking things off this evening with a special screening at the legendary Hollywood Bowl.
Tonight's star-studded presentation includes appearances by Pink Ladies, T-Birds, and the film's director, Randal Kleiser (left, on set in 1977)—who descended from the heavens like our own teen angel to answer a few fun questions about cocktails with Frenchie, which Greaser he's most like, and a musical version of another iconic film of his, The Blue Lagoon.
Grease continues to resonate with each new generation. Why do you think that is?
The chemistry of the cast: They were all so good, and they connected on-screen. A lot of them had worked together on Broadway in the original Grease, so they knew each other. And John and Olivia just spark together. The other thing is that anybody who's been to high school can identify with the cool guys, and the nerds, and the peer pressures. There’s a lot of universal themes in it.
Glee has done several themed episodes, and Grease seems perfect for the show to tackle. Any interest in directing that episode?
I've already done it [directed Grease]. But I would love to see how someone else would do it.
A popular online quiz determines which Sex
and the City character a person is most like. If there were a "Which Grease Character Are You?" quiz, who would you be?
I’d wanna be Zuko—he’s the guy in charge.
Which Pink Lady would you most want to have a cocktail with?
Who would you cast as the two male leads in the gay version of Grease?
Taylor Lautner. And, I guess, Zac Efron.
Another one of your iconic films, The Blue Lagoon, celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. Since so many movies are turned into Broadway musicals these days, would you be on board for a Blue Lagoon musical? “You’re Always Staring at My Buppies” could be a great number.
I’ve never thought of it, but you’re right—that sounds like a fun idea! It would have to be slightly campy, I would think.
A little off-topic, but I have to ask: You have been out for such a long time, way before so many other public figures came out. What advice would give to someone in the industry who is grappling with the idea of coming out?
For anybody who's in production, it doesn’t matter at all. You’re mostly talking, I would assume, about leading men. I think that there are a couple of people who have demonstrated how to do that. Neil Patrick Harris is a great example of somebody who has successfully handled that. I think he’s a big role model right now; he’s really so adept at everything. Actors can look up to him as a way to accomplish that. He’s liked by everybody. Sean Hayes is another. I think there is a backlash against the people who said he’s not able to do a hetero role, which is nice to hear. Both of these guys are the role models of today, and probably the next generation will find more, because I think less and less people are getting uptight about being gay.
What can people expect at the sing-a-long version of Grease?
A lot of fun! And so far, the screenings with gay audiences have been the most entertaining.
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