John Travolta was honored with Variety’s first Cinema Icon Award at a party on Tuesday night at the Hotel du Cap in Cap d’Antibes in Southern France, following the world premiere in Cannes of his new mob biopic “Gotti.”
Arriving alongside wife and co-star Kelly Preston, daughter and “Gotti” actress Ella Bleu Travolta, director Kevin Connolly, producer Edward Walson, and members of the “Gotti” cast, Travolta said it was a “humbling moment” to be honored by Variety 40 years after his first appearance in Cannes.
The star said the reception to the new film, which will be released June 15 by MoviePass, in conjunction with Vertical Entertainment, “blew me away.”
“There’s nothing like the Cannes Film Festival” to premiere a new film, he said.
With fireworks bursting over the Croisette and 50 Cent performing to a packed terrace outside the Eden-Roc restaurant, the night featured a video montage of the star’s career highlights, including tributes from the likes of Robert DeNiro, Oprah Winfrey, and “Grease” co-star Olivia Newton John.
It was while promoting “Grease” that Travolta made his first visit to Cannes in 1978. The film will be screening as part of the fest’s Cinema de la Plage movies-on-the-beach program on Wednesday night.
Also in attendance were Benicio del Toro, producer Norton Herrick, and actress Lala Kent. “He’s a great actor. He can do everything,” said del Toro, who starred opposite Travolta in the 2012 crime thriller “Savages.” “I had the opportunity to work with him, and we had a good time working together, and that’s probably the best thing you can say about working with another actor.”
The event was hosted by MoviePass Ventures.