It’s been 29 years since Patrick Swayze said the classic line, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” While a new Dirty Dancing musical is being planned for television, original star Jennifer Grey will not participate in the new version.
While the appeal of the 1987 film, Dirty Dancing, is hard to recreate, ABC hopes to revive the classic in a new format. The network plans on turning the movie into a three-hour musical.
Swayze, who played Johnny in the classic film, died from pancreatic cancer in September, 2009. Grey told The Hollywood Reporter that ABC did approach her to see if she wanted to be a part of the Dirty Dancing musical, but Grey felt that while it was nice of them to ask, she would feel weird to appear in the reboot after being in the starring role on the silver screen.
“It feels like if you’re going to do your own thing, do your own thing. I wouldn’t say [what role was offered] but I will tell you, it wasn’t Baby!”
Scream Queens Abigail Breslin will play the character of Baby, the role that made Jennifer Grey a star. Rock of Ages Colt Prattes will star as Johnny the dance instructor, the role originally played by Swayze.
Dirty Dancing is a romantic drama set in the 1960s, which a young, naive woman learns to dance and falls in love with her instructor while on summer vacation. The musical adaptation will be written by American Horror Story writer Jessica Sharzer and directed by Wayne Blair.
The ABC musical will also feature singer Nicole Scherzinger as Penny; Awkward Shane Harper as Robbie; Modern Family Sarah Hyland as Lisa, Baby’s sister; and Will and Grace Debra Messing and The People vs O.J. Simpson Bruce Greenwood as Marjorie and Dr. Jake Houseman. Sons of Anarchy Katey Sagal has the role of Vivian Pressman, Johnny’s seductress.
Grey told THR that she looks forward to how the new Dirty Dancing musical will look on television. She is aware that the creators behind the ABC reboot want to capture the magic that made the 1987 film memorable, but Grey thinks that they should feel comfortable making their own interpretation to stand out on its own.
“I think they’ve got wonderful actors in it. I’m going to be watching it and I’m excited. My only advice is to own it for yourself because we all just do our interpretation and I’m only flattered and excited for people who are excited enough to put their stamp on it and see what they make of it and how they make it their own.”
Jennifer Grey currently is one of the stars of Red Oaks, a comedy series available on Amazon Video. The Dirty Dancing star was a part of the Sunday, August 7, Amazon panel as she mentioned her life during the 1980s and the making of the film.
“The ’80s were great. When they were talking about it being sucky, they clearly weren’t having the same ’80s I was having; I was having the time of my life! The fashion was terrible, the hair was terrible, but the music was great.”
Grey also used the time to talk about her former co-star, Swayze, and she had nothing but nice things to say about the late actor.
“He smelled really good, his skin was really nice. He was really strong and he was very protective and his heart was very much in it.”
Dirty Dancing was the second film that Grey and Swayze co-starred together. The two actors filmed the action-drama Red Dawn in 1984.
Grey also mentioned about how great a dancer Swayze was, and how he was fearless.
“His fearlessness with my fearfulness, like his lack of Jewishness and my super Jewishness, together was like a marriage where you have two opposites. He’d do anything and I’d be scared to do anything.”
ABC has yet to release an official broadcast date for Dirty Dancing, as of August 7.
[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]