Stockard Channing: Grease was dismissed because it was a teen tale

ICONINSIDER — Stockard Channing says ‘Grease’ was “dismissed” when it was first released because it was a teenage love story.
The now 73-year-old actress was cast as Rizzo, a member of The Pink Ladies high school clique, in the 1978 musical movie which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as the romantic leads Danny and Sandy and was based on Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s musical of the same name.
The film is one of the most beloved cinematic stories of all-time and continues to be toured as a stage show across the world, whilst the songs from the soundtrack, such as ‘Summer Nights’ and ‘You’re the One That I Want’, remain as popular as ever.
But in the wake of ‘Grease’ coming out, Channing says it was derided for its storyline but revered for its box office performance but she was very happy with her performance because she managed to successfully portray a teenager at the age of 34.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, she said: “It was dismissed and envied at the same time, which is fatal combination. Envied because it made so much money and dismissed because it was about teenagers. I was way too old, but pleased that I managed to pull it off. It’s true that my Shakespearean background didn’t come into play, but it all came good in the end.”
Channing is also famous for playing First Lady Abbey Bartlet on the NBC television series ‘The West Wing’, a role she landed at the age of 55.
Despite many actresses complaining about ageism in Hollywood, Channing insists she has never felt as though work was running out because of her advancing years.
She said: “The age thing was never a factor for me. Well, it probably is now because I’m so f***ing ancient.
“But I have always been a character actress, so it never applied. I was always a bit odd and I still am. I don’t fit a mould.”
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the film and Newton-John, who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, hinted at a reunion to celebrate the anniversary.
However, Channing thinks it should be left alone after some of the original cast have passed away including her on-screen love interest Kenickie played by Jeff Conaway.
She said: “Reunion? Some of us are dead. We have lost three, I think. God love them. Maybe we should just leave that alone.”

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