John Travolta is getting a chance to recall his famous dance sequence with the late Princess Diana for a new documentary on her life, produced by PBS. Travolta recalled that he went to the dinner at the White House not expecting much. Even though in 1985 he was still at the peak of his powers as a star. It was a tap on the shoulder by Nancy Reagan though that changed everything that night for Travolta and created the iconic moment!
What Was Diana Doing In The United States?
Back in 1985 Prince Charles and Princess Diana were making their first royal trip to America. At the time, the White House was occupied by a former actor, Ronald Reagan. He and his wife wanted to show that America was as capable as the British when it came to throwing lavish parties. When the Prince and Princess came over to the ball at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Regan’s made sure that a start-studded list of guests was there to greet them! The guest included the likes of Neil Diamond, Clint Eastwood, Tom Sellek, and of course Travolta.
Diana’s Big Break
Nowadays, we tend to remember Diana as a very confident woman that would champion causes that many people wouldn’t touch … literally. At the time, though, the trip to the United States was very much a coming-out party for Diana. As she was thrust onto center stage with other celebrities that were in many cases dwarfed by her presence. Royal historian Kate Williams recalls,
“When Diana went to America in 1985, it cemented her place on a world stage. She was no longer this young, naive girl. She was a huge celebrity, the most famous woman in the world.”
Back To Travolta
Sorry for the slight detour, back to Travolta. The Saturday Night Fever star recently recalled the experience. He said that Nancy Reagan came up to him to say,
“‘The princess, her fantasy is to dance with you. Would you like to dance with her tonight?’”
Travolta agreed to the request and then found himself being escorted by Reagan towards an awaiting Diana like a preteen boy waiting to meet his crush! As any fine gentleman would Travolta was the one who had to ask Diana to dance. Travolta detailed the scene saying,
“My heart starts to race, you know, and I tap her on the shoulder and she turns around and looks at me, and she had that kind of bashful dip [of her chin] that she did, and she looked up at me, and I said, ‘Would you care to dance with me?’”
Are We Expecting Anything Different From This New Diana Documentary?
There are literally hundreds of documentaries that explore the life of Princess Diana. Is this new adaptation made by PBS anything different, or can we expect more of the same? There are some veterans of the Royal documentaries featured in the PBS flick. The addition of Travolta though is an interesting one. They’ve also found Diana’s astrologer and interviewed her? With this in mind we can’t rule out there will be some new information dished out through this new feature. While having some of the same old stories we’ve heard already sprinkled in!