Fresh from his Emmy-nominated turn as Robert Shapiro in American Crime Story, John Travolta returns to the world of movies with Life On The Line, a film that takes us into the surprisingly dangerous world of high-wire electrical grid work.
Lineman rarely get a mention when it comes to naming some of those dangerous but necessary jobs in life but Travolta will be hoping to change that in David Hack’s new film.
It helps that he’s joined by a pretty interesting cast that includes not only Kate Bosworth and Sharon Stone but also Shawshank Redemption fave Gil Bellows and Devon Sawa – an actor best remembered for bleaching his hair blonde in the music video to Stan.
Ahead of the film’s arrival on DVD and video on demand, Travolta and his cast-mates told loaded a little bit more about the film, their preparations and what it was like working together.
Gil Bellows: This story is about a group of people who work on power lines and it focuses on Beau, played by John Travolta, who becomes this adoptive parent of his niece after a tragic accident he feels responsible for.
John Travolta: He starts the movie on a Harley and he’s a badass, getting into trouble and now he wants to play a responsible adult out of nowhere. He asks his younger brother for a job, so it’s a test.
“He starts the movie on a Harley and he’s a badass”
But I think when his brother dies he comes through, because the necessary level of responsibility rises and becomes something he has to do for survival. As (power) linemen, you’re only inches away from losing your life at any moment. So what they ask you to do is respect the job. And if you don’t, it’s clear you’ll either hurt yourself or lose your life.
David Hackl: John Travolta is amazing as Beau, he really brought this character to life. From the first time I met John he really wanted to become the definition of what these guys are.
Devon Sawa: John, Kate (Bosworth) and I went to northern Texas to a training facility where we got to climb poles and learn all the different techniques they use, it was incredible. It was a crash course so we learned as much as we could in one week, it was a lot of fun.
John Travolta: I started training where I live in Florida before I went to Beaumont, Texas to finish training and then we did further work when we got to Canada to film the film. So I had three times the training. It was impressive when I first saw them and thought I really need to start looking like that. I remember my first impression was that the guys look like they’re performing an operation, they were so quick and they interacted with each other so well.
David Hackl: Kate Bosworth has been fantastic, she has personified the character of Bailey so much. It was really great when she signed on because, to me, she has the look and the feel of this All-American girl and yet at the same time she’s got this edge to her that really helps bring this character to life.
Kate Bosworth: I love this character because she’s inherently very good and kind. As she’s been raised by her uncle Beau, she hasn’t really had any feminine influence and so it’s very sweet to see it in her where she’s trying to discover it, explore it and bloom. Yet she’s in this very manly environment and has had to hold her own and be strong. She is at a crossroads where she needs to make a decision and it’s something that she really goes back and forth with. Ultimately, it’s the making of her, it’s the making of her as a woman and a person in the world, she has a really beautiful character arc.
Primo Brown: His character is kind of a roughneck guy but he means well. He’s a kid, he’s still learning and he has a lot to learn about being a lineman.
“Whenever you do something bigger than yourself … good things happen”
Gil Bellows: Devon is a solid young man and a really good actor and I think the ladies are going to be very happy watching Devon in this movie.
David Hackl: In the story, Duncan is a character who is from a lineman family as well, but his father died years ago on the job.
Duncan’s mother, played by Sharon Stone, looks at him as a representation of his father. To her, he is everything that his father was, he’s charming, handsome and at the same time he’s dangerous.
David Hackl: She brought a quality to the film that was profound. What fascinated me was how much she bought it to life in such a realistic way, I think the audience will find her fascinating and really compelling.
Devon Sawa: Working with Sharon Stone was amazing, she got into character the moment she was on set and didn’t get out of character until we wrapped and it was awesome to watch.
Life on the Line…
Gil Bellows: I think the thing that makes this movie accessible and dynamic is that it’s very human. There’s humour, there’s some really sad moments, we’ve got action, a love story, friendships, heroic acts and we’ve got John Travolta.
John Travolta: Whenever you do something bigger than yourself, and something that has depth and meaning, I think good things happen. It happened for us on Ladder 49 and I think it happened for us on this movie.
It’s got all the elements of a great drama, but with great family feeling behind it and great camaraderie of men. So, you have family, camaraderie of your fellow man, and you have a greater understanding of what keeps the world electrified.
Lionsgate UK presents Life on the Line on Digital Download 20th February and DVD from 27th February, 2017.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.