Olivia Newton-John, now 63, has served up a new surprise at the Rome film festival. It’s a stand-out performance as a cocaine-snorting, champagne-swigging mother of the bride in the funniest comedy film in years, A Few Best Men.
“These are my best times,” she says, as we talk at the hotel where she’s staying with husband John Easter- ling, 62, with whom she always travels these days.
“I am enjoying a wonderful freedom. I never thought I would be saying this at my age but I do feel happier and sexier than ever. A lot of good things and bad things have happened during my life, which has been a roller coaster. But there is no better time than now. I live for the day, never think of the future and the past is gone. So I am always loving and living as if it is my last day.”
She and her husband, John Easterling, slipped away like teenagers to marry at an Incan spiritual ceremony in Cuzco, followed nine days later by a legal ceremony on Jupiter Island, Florida.
There were no guests at either service. The only person she told in advance was 25-year-old Chloe, her singer daughter by first husband, dancer and actor Matt Lattanzi.
“We wanted it to be about us rather than everyone else,” she explains.
“The last person you think about is yourself. We just wanted it to be about us and our union and commitment to each other. My life has been lived in the public eye and I wanted this one to be private.”
It seems to have inspired her to greater efforts. “I used to be so nervous before performances,” she says.
“But I no longer worry about every little thing and have changed my attitude completely. It has taken my whole life but I have finally worked out what it’s all about.”
Career highlights include working with Sir Cliff Richard on British television, moving to Los Angeles and starring in the film Grease as well as worldwide record sales which have topped 100 million.
But there have been setbacks, none more dramatic than her breast cancer in 1992. “I was forced to talk about it, really,” she recalls.
“I was in Los Angeles and someone found out and told the press. One newspaper, The Enquirer, was going to write that I was dying of cancer. I had not even told my family or friends at that stage. So I had to make a statement.
“On reflection I am happy it happened that way because talking about it was so important. It is much better to talk than keep it inside. That process is part of dealing with the illness.”
There have been many films since but Newton-John produces the performance of a lifetime in A Few Best Men.
She transforms herself from a rich and dutiful wife into a sexually charged mother of the bride.
With a mostly British cast which includes Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop as two of three best men at an Australian society wedding, the film is being rated as the funniest since A Fish Called Wanda.
“The director Stephan Elliott told me, ‘This will kill Sandy’s image off for ever,’” she says, “but I said, ‘The world does not want Sandy to ever die. I will still be her when I’m old with no teeth!”
(vía express.co.uk – click the link to read more of the interview)