John Travolta and the Limp Bizkit frontman go back a long way

By Alexia Fernandez Mia McNiece
August 30, 2019 02:45 PM

What could link John Travolta to the rap-rock group Limp Bizkit? A movie about an obsessive stalker.

The actor, 65, currently stars as a crazed fan, Moose, who breaks into the home of his favorite horror movie actor, Hunter Dunbar (Devon Sawa). The role, which finds Travolta decked out in Hawaiian-styled shirts, a short haircut and glasses, came from the mind of his longtime friend, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.

“I met Fred Durst maybe 15 years ago. We got along well. I hadn’t heard from him since then and suddenly I get a call saying, ‘I’ve written a script with you in mind,'” Travolta told PEOPLE. “He wanted to meet me. I think he was a huge fan. It’s based on a real person I know. I had no idea that Fred was this talented writer or director. But then I discovered both were true.”

Travolta said he “loved the script” and could visualize how he’d play the character of Moose.

“It read very clear how to play him. He is on the spectrum of some sort but it is not totally clear to the viewer,” Travolta said. “I just liked [Moose’s] heart. He just gets confused. Sometimes celebrities are good people but they are bad celebrities. I think that Hunter Dunbar is one of those people. He is a bad celebrity.”

John Travolta and Fred Durst
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Travolta continued, “Some people just don’t tune into how to behave as a celebrity and therefore the wrong target. He doesn’t see who is in front of him. He only sees this guy is intruding in a bad way. You think Moose is the psychotic one but it turns out that actually, Hunter has these moments of psychosis where he is against this imaged enemy. Moose is to some degree an imagined enemy if you understand where he is coming from.”

The film brought up a scary incident for the actor, in which “someone snuck into my house,” Travolta told PEOPLE earlier this week.

“I lived in Santa Barbara for about 30 years. I opened the closet, and there she was,” Travolta said. “It did scare me, but it turned out to be an innocent person. She was a girl who probably wanted to meet me and didn’t know how to do it.”

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Travolta, who has been acting for more than 40 years, said he is grateful for all that fame has given him.

“You have a golden ticket all over the world,” he said. “So what if you have to sign autographs and take pictures? For me, it’s not a big price to pay.”

The Fanatic is in theaters.