Travolta's Embarrassment Of Riches

In a career that has spanned more than three decades, John Travolta has created many memorable characters, and one of his most popular makes his way back to video stores Tuesday.

Jess Cagle, People magazine senior editor and The Early Show entertainment contributor, observes that "Chili Palmer" is one of audiences', and Travolta's, favorites.

Travolta first appeared as Palmer in 1995's "Get Shorty," based on the Elmore Leonard novel.

Now, a decade later, Palmer's back in the sequel, "Be Cool," in which Travolta plays the mobster-turned-Hollywood producer, who decides to give up the movie business for the music industry.

It is Travolta's 38th movie.

Cagle observes that Travolta has lasted this long because, "He was so young when he became an icon. He has all that good will. But also, since 'Pulp Fiction' in the mid '90s, which gave him his comeback, he has really become a terrific character actor, and that's really the key to longevity."

Travolta is writing his autobiography and hopes to have it on store shelves next year.

Cagle asked the actor to reflect on his long career and pick the three roles for which he thinks will be best remembered.



"What do I think?" Travolta sighed. "It won't -- it won't be three, it'll be probably more than that. And I can only say that because everybody I meet has a different favorite part. …But, if you had to pick, you could pick one easier than three."

Which one?

"I think," Travolta responded, " 'Grease' is the one that is the most embedded in every generation's mind.

"But, after 'Grease,' everybody's got a different favorite movie. You know, it could be 'Get Shorty,' it could be 'Pulp Fiction,' it could be 'Face/Off,' it could be 'Urban Cowboy,' one that a lot of people love. And there's like 10 more, but I don't know. You know, they seem to express something different. 'Michael' is another one people love a lot. 'Phenomenon' people love a lot. So, you know."

"Be Cool" re-teams Travolta with his "Pulp Fiction" costar, Uma Thurman.

Together, they once again heat up the dance floor, Cagle points out.

"Be Cool" also stars Vince Vaughn, The Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, and rock star Steven Tyler.

The DVD is "full of special features," Cagle notes, including a gag reel, a deleted scene, and a music video featuring The Rock as his character, Elliot Wilhelm.