John Travolta Recreated an Iconic “Grease” Moment, Plus 4 Other Actors Who Honored Past Roles in 2023

year ago

Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year in the United States. Although, for some, the focus is entirely on the football game itself, which determines the NFL’s champion, for others, it’s the perfect opportunity to witness new iconic moments in pop culture history. And we’re not just talking about the halftime show, which in 2023, saw Rihanna return to the stage after a 7-year hiatus from music and where she announced her second pregnancy live. It’s also about the incredibly creative commercials which, this year, allowed us to see a few Hollywood stars revisit their beloved characters and shower us with nostalgia.

John Travolta as Danny Zuko from Grease (1978-2023)

Paramount Pictures/Robert Stigwood Organization/Collection Chris/East News, © johntravolta / Instagram

45 years after taking on the role of Danny Zuko in the classic Grease, John Travolta accepted the challenge of taking on the character once more. The now 68-year-old actor joined Scrubs (2001-2010) stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison in an ad where the 3 sing to Summer Nights, from the movie’s soundtrack, with adapted lyrics.

This was the first time Travolta has portrayed Danny since his Grease co-star, Olivia Newton-John, passed away in 2022, whom he remembered then in a social media post as his “dearest Olivia.”

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad (2008-2013 and 2023)

For fans of the TV show Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul’s recreation of the famed Walter White and Jesse Pinkman scene for a Super Bowl commercial might just be a bittersweet one. According to Paul, this is the last time they’d revisit their characters from the series: “I feel like this is sort of where we all kind of hang our hats, at least with the Breaking Bad universe. And what a fun way to go out.”

However, the actor did admit that playing Pinkman is something that comes naturally to him. “It’s so easy to kind of zip on that skin again,” the actor said. “It’s just like revisiting a very familiar friend.”

Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander from Zoolander (2001)

The time also came for Ben Stiller to reprise his role as Derek Zoolander, which he played twice before in the 2001 and 2016 movies, for another special Super Bowl ad. For the actor, being Zoolander is “always fun,” and he admitted he’s happy that he’s a character that fans still want to see more of.

“It’s been a long history with him, so it’s great that people still want to see Derek in their lives,” Stiller said. “I think he represents something for people in terms of a sweet vapidity that’s very endearing.”

Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz from Clueless (1995-2003)

Alicia Silverstone once again put on her yellow plaid skirt-suit, so easily recognizable as part of Clueless’ Cher Horowitz wardrobe, in order to recreate an iconic moment from the ’90s flick. The ad teamed Silverstone with her former co-star Elisa Donovan, who played Amber Mariens, Horowitz’s fierce debate rival.

Back in 2021, Silverstone revealed she’d love it if a sequel were made. “It would be hilarious to see these people as adults,” the actress said, while also admitting she wouldn’t hesitate to return to the role. “Amber would probably be running her own fashion line, bossing a lot of people around — and driving a very wealthy husband crazy,” she added jokingly.

Bonus: This isn’t the first year actors recreated iconic movie or TV show scenes for Super Bowl ads.

In 2020, Bill Murray surprised everyone by reprising one of his most famous characters, Phil Connors from the 1993 film Groundhog Day. In the commercial, Murray goes through the same events of the movie, for a nostalgia-inducing experience.

And we can only hope that Hollywood stars will continue returning to our favorite roles, so we can see them in all their glory as they age!


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