John Travolta reminisced about his late pal James Gandolfini as he took to the stage for a British Film Institute (Bfi) event in his honour on Tuesday (25Jun13).

The Grease star opened up about his career at the retrospective, but the evening took a sombre turn when he spoke about his Get Shorty co-star, who died in Italy last week (19Jun13).

Travolta told the audience, "He was one of those people you fall in love with the moment you meet him. He was people first, showbiz second."

The actor also heaped praise on the moviemakers behind his films, saying, "The great directors leave you alone for the most part... because they know you're going to show up with a performance."