Before his casting in “Hairspray” was announced, Travolta took pleasure in showing his screen tests to his friends and tricking them into thinking they were really watching some unknown actress. The actor even had trouble recognizing himself when he first came onscreen in his Edna costume.

“I didn’t see me in it,” he explained (via Collider), “and I tested it on other people […] I let them watch for five minutes, about 15 minutes of film, and I said, ‘What do you think of her?’ They said, ‘She’s fun, she’s lovely, she’s kind of cute,’ I said, ‘Good, that’s me.'”

His co-star Queen Latifah, who plays Motormouth Maybelle, felt like Edna Turnblad was a real person even though she knew it was Travolta under all the makeup and costume.

“I mean, he was Edna Turnblad,” she explained to Artisan News “I got used to seeing him as this girl, this big old woman, y’know what I mean, with this curvaceous body that really just moved — and he was able to move like it was his. It was cool.”

Christopher Walken, who plays Edna’s husband Wilbur, was not so easily fooled by Travolta’s acting. “I never looked at him like Edna, it was always John,” he admitted. Despite being unenchanted by Travolta’s transformation, the actor still had no trouble playing his romantic interest. “I like John a lot and I got along really well with him,” Walken explained, “so I think that just carried over into Wilbur and Edna.” That’s nice and all, but if he’s trying to say that there wasn’t at least one moment during “You’re Timeless to Me” that he wasn’t totally transfixed and convinced by Edna, forgive me if I simply don’t believe it.