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Q&A: John Travolta (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday February 28, 2007 4:18PM; Updated: Monday March 5, 2007 1:11PM
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Lucas Neill of the Socceroos, actor John Travolta, John Aloisi and Josip Skoko of the Socceroos celebrate in the changing rooms after Australia's victory.
Lucas Neill of the Socceroos, actor John Travolta, John Aloisi and Josip Skoko of the Socceroos celebrate in the changing rooms after Australia's victory.
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SI: How did you end up in the locker room of the Australian national soccer team after they defeated Uruguay to qualify for the 2006 World Cup?

Travolta: I'm the world ambassador for Quantas Airways and they sponsor the Socceroos. My wife Kelly and I were there to give them support. As soon we walked in the locker room afterward they started singing You're The One That I Want' from Grease. Then [Defender] Lucas Neill came up to me and said, This is the most exciting day of my life. I said, 'You know, it is. Going to World Cup has to be!' He said, No, man, meeting John Travolta.' (laughs). That was pretty flattering.

SI: After the team qualified for the World Cup, you offered to fly them to Germany for the event. What happened?

Travolta: Quantas for various reasons did not want me to fly them. I think it was political airline type things. It wasn't the team. They loved the team and still sponsor them. I think the airline didn't want to look extravagant was the point, and I think it would have looked that way to have me flying them over. So I sent video instead and they played it on the plane. They had an amazing run. I was very proud of them and I felt personally involved.

SI: Did you play sports at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, N.J.?

Travolta: I played football in the ninth and 10th grade. I looked a lot like Joe Namath, so I think my looks got me there more than my abilities.

SI: Are you aware that Gabe Kaplan has become one of the world's most foremost experts on poker?

Travolta: He was always a professional gambler even in our day [on Welcome Back Kotter]. It's not a surprise. It was his passion. Baseball his is other passion.

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