The popular new book Unbecoming Travolta: a memoir of mania and multiple personalities chronicles Rikki Lee Travolta’s battle with mental illness. Diagnosed in 2008, Travolta suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder), Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression), Borderline Personality Disorder, and Paranoid Schizophrenia.
Films depicting such mental illnesses have long proven award-worthy in both film and television. Geoffrey Rush earned an Oscar and Golden Globe for his portrayal of savant pianist David Helfgott in the film Shine. Helfgott suffered a nervous breakdown , was treated with electro shock therapy (ECT), and spent years institutionalized with mental illness. Sally Field won an Emmy for her turn as Sybil Dorsett in the television movie Sybil. The title character suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder. In the 2002 film A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crowe portrayed Nobel Laureate in Economics John Nash, who suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia. Crowe received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal and the film won a Best Picture Oscar.
As Travolta’s memoir Unbecoming Travolta gains popularity, a film adaptation seems a natural next step. To that end, the author voices his opinion on the actor he’d like to see play him in a possible film.
“Hollywood is filled with talented actors, any one of whom could do a credible job in the role,” expressed Travolta. “But, the young man I think would be the ideal casting choice would be Zac Efron. He not only has the acting chops to do justice to the role, he also has the song and dance talents that are an underlying quality of the character.”
Efron sprung to fame as the protagonist in Disney’s High School Musical films. He has continued his climb to fame with appearances in Hairspray (opposite John Travolta), Me and Orson Wells, The Paperboy, and The Lucky One.
Rikki Lee Travolta was the first celebrity guest star in the Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding stage franchise. In 2005 he was named alongside Donny Osmond and Patrick Cassidy as one of the Top Three headliners in the world for the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Unbecoming Travolta is the true story of a young man who suffered multiple traumas (both physical and psychological), spawning multiple personalities, paranoid schizophrenia, and manic depression. One personality, Rikki Lee Travolta, gained fame throughout the world as John Travolta’s nephew – convincing even John Travolta’s management and security of the legitimacy of the fake relationship.
In 2008 Rikki Lee Travolta suffered a nervous breakdown. While hospitalized he learned the truth – that he was not in fact a member of the famed Travolta entertainment family. The book, Reality Optional, was published in 2013 to set the record straight.
Unbecoming Travolta is available through www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com, and www.TravoltaNet.com.