Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Westbury Welcomes OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN!
For more than four decades, OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN has captivated the world over with her talent, charm and numerous acts of humanitarianism. She is a fine actress in many hit movies, a four time Grammy Award winner and has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Today, Olivia continues to record, appear in movies, and support her favorite charities. Her short December tour comes to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on December 8th. I was thrilled to speak with Olivia prior to the start of this tour!
MICK: I'm sure you've been very busy since last October with Breast Cancer Awareness month and your other projects. Did you get a chance to rest at all?
OLIVIA: I made a movie recently so I've been promoting that. I've always been an advocate of self exam and breast cancer awareness for a long time. I do get to rest when I can!
MICK: Please tell me about your first book "LivWise: Easy Recipes For A Healthy, Happy Life" (Murdoch Books) that was recently released in Australia!
OLIVIA: It's a cook book that will be coming out in America next year at some point. The money raised from the sale of the book will go to my cancer wellness center in Melbourne, Australia that will be opening next year as well. This book is a healthy look at eating and as I'm not a gourmet chef of any kind, I asked some friends to contribute to my book. Gaia Retreat & Spa is a spa that I'm a part owner in Australia. We have the most amazing chef and we have our own garden to grow amazing food. They contributed some recipes. Another friend of mine who contributed is Karen Inge, who is a nutritionist in Melbourne (which is where my hospital is). She will be advising us at the hospital. Another friend is Kristine Matheson who heals herself through food. She talks about growing your own sprout and things like that. I also include a few of my own recipes. They've made a really pretty book out of it and it did really well in Australia. We are hoping is does well in America too. Again, all of my money from the book goes to the hospital!
MICK: Your new CD "Portraits: A Tribute to Great Women of Song" was produced by Phil Ramone. What was it like working with him?
OLIVIA: He's great! He's an old friend of mine. I've known him for a very long time. In fact, the first movie I ever made was a movie called "Tomorrow" in the 1960's. Phil was the musical director so I've known him since then! Its time we got to do an album together. This was done a number of years ago so this is a re release.
MICK: How did you choose the songs for the CD?
OLIVIA: It was all women that I've admired. Their songs or their singing affected me in some way so I picked all of the women whose songs that I loved.
MICK: In your amazing life, what would you consider your biggest thrill up to this point in your life?
OLIVIA: Having my daughter! Nothing compares to that!
MICK: And how is she doing?
OLIVIA: She doing quite well thank you!
MICK: Do you keep in touch with John Travolta?
OLIVIA: Yes we do keep in touch!
MICK: In 2007, your holiday recording “Christmas Wish” was a big hit. Is Christmas your favorite holiday?
OLIVIA: I do like Christmas because people do get together at that time of year. When I lived in Los Angeles, my house was the place where we would do a lot of the traditional things on holidays like Easter. I used to love Easter when my daughter was small because we would have all the kids over looking for Easter eggs. But Christmas is a lovely holiday because people make an effort to get together.
MICK: You and your husband John Easterling are very big on spreading the word about saving the rain forest. Have you seen more progress in this movement?
OLIVIA: It's hard to say. I think the more awareness and education, the more improvement will be and the word eventually gets to paths of people who really care. My husband is very optimistic about this and he believes there is change happening. I'd rather be on the edge of optimism because I think we can turn things around before its too late. My husband's company gets herbs from the Amazon rain forest and these herbs have amazing healing qualities. Most of our pharmaceuticals are based on research they done on these pharmaceutical plants. I think that when they realize if we lose the rain forest, we will lose all of these keys to healing. It is incredibly import to save!
MICK: How did you meet your husband?
OLIVIA: I met my husband about 18 years ago through my friends Nancy and Jim. They went to a health and wellness convention and he was demonstrating his herbs to people.
They took the herbs and felt so amazing that they went back the next day and became friends with him. Then they introduced me to him when I went to a talk about the rain forest. That was almost 19 years ago, right after I had breast cancer. I ended up giving him a puppy because he loved my dog so much. That dog just passed away last year. We were friends for a long time and then four years ago, he invited me to the rain forest and we fell in love!
MICK: 2012 already looks like a very busy year for you with the new movie and the new CD. What's coming after that?
OLIVIA: It's going to be a real incredible year because the first section of my hospital in Melbourne will open. The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre which is something I've been working to help raise money for the last eight years. The building is almost complete and we will be opening the first part of it in June. That's really exciting! The culmination of many years work! I'm also doing a tour in Australia with a symphony and we will be raising money for the hospital.
MICK: Which of today's artists do you like?
OLIVIA: Oh gosh there's so many talented people! I love Pink! I love Beyonce. There's so much talent out there, I'm always blown away! The standards of the singing and writing are just fantastic!
MICK: Do you still live in Australia?
OLIVIA: I have a place in Australia and my husband and I are based out of Florida now. I moved from California to Florida because that's where he is. That was a whole change of life but it's been wonderful.
MICK: Is there anybody you would still like to work with that you haven't worked with already?
OLIVIA: Yes tons of people! I'd like to work with Rod Stewart again sometime. We something together around 30 years ago. Of course you always want to sing with a Beatle so I'd love to sing with Paul McCartney. I'd also like to work with Eric Clapton. There's so many talented guys out there and some amazing girls too!
MICK: You are coming to Westbury on December 8th. What can your fans expect to hear?
OLIVIA: They will hear the songs they expect to hear from what I gather from my fan mail and when they write to me. They will hear my hits, plus I'll put a smattering of new things in like from the movie I just made. I do a new song for that so that will be in the show. I will probably do some Christmas songs because we are close to Christmas! And a song off of "Portraits". It will be a mixture of my whole career.
Olivia Newton John comes to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury
in Westbury NY on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 08:00 PM
For more on Olivia,