Travolta Says Gandolfini 'Wouldn't Leave' Family's Side After Son's Death

"Killing Season" actor discusses news of actor's death and his role in a new action-thriller.
6:58 | 06/20/13

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Transcript for Travolta Says Gandolfini 'Wouldn't Leave' Family's Side After Son's Death
Back inside, it's good to have john travolta here with us. He has over 50 films and 2 oscar nominations under his belt. Now, he's taking on a dramatic new role in a new movie, "killing season," when he goes head-to-head with the great robert de niro for the first time. Can't believe it was the first time. You two are magic on the screen together. You were talking about your dear friend, james gandolfini earlier. You mentioned how you want to be there for his family. He was there when you lost your beloved son. He was. James went out of his way to come to florida. And he would not leave florida until I was okay. Or he felt that I would be fine. And after a week, I said, jim, you can really -- we'll be fine. I have a lot of support here. But the idea that in our profession, someone would go out of their way and not want to leave you until he felt you were okay, that's the kind of soul that james gandolfini was. He's a people person first. And then, everything else. And you inspired him, much the way that robert de niro inspired you because jim talked about seeing up at your dad's store, picture of you. And early on in your career, you loo robert de niro. And now, you're playing with him. That's how the cycle works. My dad sold tires to james' father. And he would see pictures of me on the wall. Proud daddy. And he decided he wanted to be an actor. And then, when I was younger, you know, de niro was setting the bar for a higher quality of realism. And so, it was in the days of "raging bull," and "new york, new york," where someone really became the thing they were portraying. You really became a boxer. You really became a sax player. And I became a disco dancer in "saturday night fever." It paid off. My first movie I got an oscar nomination for going the distance, like he did. We've seen two big boys on the screen with this one, let me tell you. You more than hold your own, both of you. And to tell people about it, de niro's character is an american war vet. You are a foreign tourist. You're trying to make us feel that you're a tourist. Of course, you are -- I'm a serbian soldier. We're both ex-soldiers. But we're not settled well from our -- not only our experiences in the war but our criminal activities within our experience in the war. And so, we have something to work out. But he doesn't know that he has something to work out with me. So, in the beginning of the movie, I portray myself as just a tourist. And then, it evolves -- oh, boy. Does it ever. Yeah. It's great. Dramatic. And it's great. I think it's an important movie. We haven't made a film like this since "coming home," or "fourth of july," where we're making an essay on war and what the real truth of this is. And there are no answers in it. And these two men at the end, find a mirror reflection of each other. And there becomes a little hope in maybe surviving it. But war is not the answer. And it surprised me, the ending of it. I don't want to give it away. You said, and we're going to play a clip from "killing season." This is when we didn't know truly exactly who you are. He has broken down. And you happen to be on this desolate road. Yeah. And he recognizes the accent from the war. And it makes him a little uneasy. De niro's character recognizes the serbian accent. But isn't quite sure where he's from. And it makes him a little on-edge and defensive. And then -- you're describing this very well. We don't have to see the scene. It came to life. Here's that season from "killing season." I'll take a look. I got it covered, thanks. No trouble. Just have to get it towed into town. But that's 30, 40 miles, no? Back in london for seven years. Eni had no choice but to become an expert on british automobiles. I don't need any help, thank you. Okay. That accent. You really -- you even traveled to bosnia. You even traveled to bosnia on your own nickel. Being in the fashion of who i was playing with, I better do my homework. So, I flew to croatia, bosnia and serbia, to study these people. And I recorded many interviews. And I came home with all my homework. I understood a very complicated war. It took a lot of time to understand really what it was about. And I'm sure only our news people here would understand. And then, the truth behind the smaller wars is always another interesting story, that some of us, you know, think is the real truth. But at any rate, I came home fully briefed on this situation. And then, I studied with a serbian friend, a bosnian friend. And of course, the best vocal coach in the country. Between all these people, the real deal and -- you had the acs. I can't do it like you did it. You travel. THE "Rs" GET ROLLED. It's a very specific accent because it will remind you of that whole area of russia and poland. But serbia -- a serbian accent has a very specific ring to it. Placement in your voice, in your mouth that has to be just right. It takes a lot of drilling. But I love it -- I love doing that. You are a true professional and a true gentleman. And thank you for your thoughts on your friend and for your thoughts with the movie. We really appreciate it. It was a privilege to be able to express it in public how i feel about james. And to be with you. I'm so happy for you. All -- continued blessings on everything going on. Give kelly our best. And baby benjamin. Hopefully he's out of the TERRIBLE 2s BY NOW. He never entered them. He has his own viewpoint. If I say something like, I think it's a good idea for you to take a bath. He'll say, I think it's not a good idea. Where does he get that from? Really.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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