How many times have you found yourself in this situation: you’re at a 1950’s-style greasy spoon diner with the wife of your mob-boss, and the waitresses all look like Mamie van Doren and Marilyn Monroe as they serve you a $5 milkshake. Then an uncomfortable silence ensues, so you decide to enter into a dancing contest. Highly relatable, right? Only problem is, you’re cursed with two left feet. Don’t worry, John Travolta and James Corden have got you covered.
Wednesday night, John Travolta stopped byThe Late Late Show with James Corden (weekdays at 12:37ET on CTV) and revealed that the iconic Pulp Fiction dance was actually inspired by moves he learned as a child. The discussion was prompted by Corden’s other guests, writer-director Sam Taylor-Johnson and actor hubby Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who are big fans of Travolta and Pulp Fiction and previously dressed up as Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega for Halloween and were hanging on Travolta’s every word as he explained the origin of the famous dance scene.
“Quentin [Tarantino] was dead-set on both of us doing The Twist,” he explained, referring to his dance partner Uma Thurman who played Mia Wallace in the 1994 film. “Which is a very fun dance but it’s limited to how long someone wants to watch someone do The Twist. So I said to Quentin, ‘You know, when I was growing up, there were novelty dances, there were dances like The Swim, and The Batman, and The Hitchhiker, and The Tighten-Up. Maybe we should widen the spectrum.’ He said, ‘Show them to me!’ And I did. And he said, ‘Okay let’s do more than the twist.’ That’s how it came to be.”
After he finished explaining the backstory, and before you could sing, “It was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished them well,” John rose to his feet to teach everyone the moves and the audience went wild.
Seeing John Travolta cut a rug is always such a treat, and given that he rose to stardom in films like Saturday Night Fever and Grease by being footloose and fancy-free, it’s no surprise he’s still got the moves. And his trio of surprised dance class pupils were only too happy to oblige by doing The Twist and The Batman, with Corden cackling with glee during the whole thing. Did you notice that Aaron took off his shoes? He was serious about getting The Mashed Potato just right.
Travolta is truly dancing royalty (or a Royale with Cheese, if you will). Pardon us while we brush up on our moves, honey bunny.