‘Dirty Dancing’: Why Jennifer Grey Won’t Appear In Remake, Fun Facts About The Original Movie

Dirty Dancing (the remake) is coming to an ABC affiliate near you. Jennifer Grey, aka Baby, is not joining the cast. According to Vanity Fair, the Golden Globe nominee politely declined the offer. Although she was flattered to be asked to participate, Grey made this statement.

“It would be sacrosanct for me to do it because it didn’t feel appropriate to me. 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”

The well-known actress didn’t share any information about the role that was actually offered to her. However, she did reveal that it definitely wasn’t Baby. At this point, it’s hard to say if anyone outside of Grey’s circle will ever know for sure.

The role of Frances Houseman is going to Abigail Breslin. Colt Prattes is taking on the part of Johnny Castle, which is the same character Patrick Swayze made famous in the iconic 1980s movie. Currently, no air date has been set for the three-hour Dirty Dancing musical remake and reaction to the upcoming broadcast is somewhat mixed. Like Jennifer Grey, many fans are excited to see it. Other fans say it’s best to leave well enough alone because it’s hard to top such a popular classic.

Now, on to the fun and interesting facts about the original version of Dirty Dancing, which debuted in theaters on August 21, 1987.

Test Audiences Hated Dirty Dancing

As hard as it seems to believe, Huffington Post explains that Dirty Dancing almost went straight to VHS, thanks to the mediocre feedback received from test audiences. After the production finished filming, Jennifer Grey said that everyone involved felt as though the movie was “so under the radar” that no one would ever go see it.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case. Dirty Dancing came to life, grossing just short of $214 million worldwide. The film also won numerous Grammys and an Oscar.

Mother Nature Did Little to Cooperate

Dirty Dancing was actually filmed in October, both in Virginia and North Carolina. Because the leaves were already turning colors, a production crew arrived ahead of time and spray painted much of the foliage green.

The lake scene, where Johnny and Baby practiced their famous dance lift, was shot in 40-degree water. As Patrick Swayze put it, the lake was “hypothermically cold.” Rumor has it that the reason there were no closeups in the scene is because Swayze and Grey’s lips were blue.

There Was Off-Screen Tension Between Grey and Swayze

The way Moviefone describes it, there was off-screen tension between Baby and Johnny on the Dirty Dancing set, which was by no means favorable. Reportedly, the bad vibes started between the two while filming Red Dawn. Today, however, Jennifer has nothing but nice things to say about her dance-teaching costar. If you’re interested in watching the official Red Dawn trailer, you can find it here.

Mrs. Houseman Was Replaced

Lynne Lipton was originally chosen for the role of Baby’s mother, Mrs. Houseman. Unfortunately, due to illness, she was replaced shortly after filming began. Who replaced her? It was Kelly Bishop, the actress who was originally slated to play the role of Vivian Pressman.

Dirty Dancing Audition Surprises

Many Dirty Dancing fans are surprised to learn that Sharon Stone and Sarah Jessica Parker auditioned for the role of Frances Houseman. This information and the fact that Val Kilmer and Billy Zane auditioned for the role of Johnny Castle was reported by Good Housekeeping.

Because Patrick Swayze was older than Johnny was supposed to be, he almost lost the role to Zane. But, as luck would have it, Billy didn’t have the same passionate chemistry with Jennifer as Patrick did. So, the rest is history!

Deleted Scenes

If you’re interested in watching several scenes from Dirty Dancing that ended up on the cutting room floor, you’re in luck! Warning: parts of the following video depict make-out scenes, dirtier dancing than in the movie, and a bit of adult language. Parental discretion is advised.


Are you excited about the new ABC Dirty Dancing remake? How do you feel about Jennifer Gray turning down a role in the musical? Feel free to leave your thoughts about anything related to Dirty Dancing below.

[Image via Vestron Pictures]

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