Olivia Newton-John’s story comes to TV in Lifetime’s beautiful and unflinching biopic Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You. The film follows Newton-John’s life from her days as a shy schoolgirl through her rise to superstardom, into motherhood, through her battles with cancer, to what might be her greatest and most lasting legacy — her tireless work as a philanthropist for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia.
Fellow Aussie Delta Goodrem stars as the grownup Newton-John and shares her deep connection to the legendary entertainer. “When I was a young Australian girl growing up, obviously there was something musically that I connected to. And I crossed paths with her at a young age, and we had the opportunity to work together [on the song ‘Right Here With You’]. We became friends, and she became like a mentor, and she took me under her wing.”
Goodrem adds, “I remember when I was signed to Sony Music when I was 14-15 years old, they asked me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I said, ‘I want to be Olivia Newton-John!’ And then this comes along! [Laughs] I can’t believe this happened.”
Even though Goodrem and Newton-John are close friends, Goodrem is still floored that she gets to walk in the footsteps of her idol. “When I was on set doing ‘Physical’ or playing Sandy in Grease, I was like a kid in a candy shop,” laughs Goodrem. “Let me say, there’s nothing like the real thing — Olivia Newton-John is the one and only — but being able to really celebrate her and honor her in these pieces and in these iconic moments, I was so excited!”
Goodrem says that re-creating the biggest moments of her hero’s life was a surreal experience and admits, “The day I got to wear the Grease pants was just out there. It felt like it was my birthday, it was such a special day.”
Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted To You > Lifetime > Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8/7c