ROME, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. actor John Travolta enchanted the audience at the ongoing internaional Rome Film Festival on Tuesday, meeting fans and discussing his success at a special event.
In the role of special guest in one of the 12 "Close Encounters" planned at the festival -- a section entirely devoted to relaxed talks between stars and public -- Travolta reviewed the most significant steps of his 50-year-long career in cinema.
The major Sala Sinopoli at the multicultural complex Auditorium hosting the festival was packed for his arrival.
"An actor's career is not always full of success or of lucky choices," the actor told Antonio Monda, the festival's artistic director moderating the talks.
"Sometimes, you refuse a role in films that will later become cult... it happens," said Travolta smiling, hinting at famous movies such as 'American Gigolo', 'An Officer and a Gentleman' and 'Chicago' in which he refused to play.
"It is true I did not play in them, but I did play in other movies and I have no regrets."
Reconsidering some of his key interpretations, the actor acknowledged having been born in an artistic family proved helpful.
"My mother was a director and an actress, and my sister was an actress as well... all obsessed with cinema, and since I was very little we used to watch successful movies, such as 'The road' by Federico Fellini (1954) or 'Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow' with Sophia Loren (1963)," Travolta explained.
"This somehow injected a kind of entertainment spirit in my blood."
He stressed one thing he did learn from his family was to approach the artistic career with dedication and professionalism.
The dialogue between Travolta and Antonio Monda before audience was punctuated by nine video clips from some of the actor's most successful movies, which allowed the talks address the versatile talent that brought the American artist to play leading character in so many different screenplays.
"I am proud of being able to make any film that leaves a trace decades after it has been released, meaning that you do something that allows people enjoy the work throughout time," Travolta said.
Asked about which of his films he considered the best, the actor selected the romantic music comedy 'Grease' (1978), 'Saturday Night Fever' (1977), and 'Pulp Fiction' (1994).
Warm applause indeed welcomed the clip showing his most famous performance as Vincent Vega, one of the two memorable villains portrayed in Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction', which brought Travolta back into cinema spotlight in the 1990s after a long absence from international stage.
In the closing part of the encounter, Travolta discussed his role in his latest film, 'The Fanatic', which would be screened here at the festival on Oct. 27 (out of the main selection).
The movie focuses on the story of cinema fanatic, who is obsessed with a celebrity actor and slowly starts stalking him.
"I accepted the role mainly because that character reflects an aspect (of human personality) that I do know, that is loving someone so much that you become enthralled, a true enthusiast and full of emotions about that person," Travolta explained.
"I for myself admired and loved (stars such as) Federico Fellini, Sophia Loren, the Beatles, Liz Taylor, Bernardo Bertolucci, for example."
At the event, the festival honored Travolta with a Special Award for his long career, for having worked with some of the most relevant contemporary directors, from Oliver Stone and Terrence Malick to John Woo and Mike Nichols.
The 14th edition of Rome Film Festival runs on Oct. 17-27, and has 12 Close Encounters in schedule, including with Bill Murray and Viola Davis (both honored Lifetime Achievement Award), Ethan Coen, Ron Howard, Fanny Ardant, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Olivier Assayas, and Jia Zhangke and Zhao Tao.