Dirty Dancing hits Channel 5 screens later today at 5:40pm. And while the classic music-fuelled movie has gone down in history as one of Patrick Swayze’s best films of all time, a sequel is on the way. While the 1987 love story ended the story of Baby and Johnny Castle perfectly, a sequel is due to hit cinemas next year in 2024. And Baby actor Jennifer Grey has opened up about how difficult the process is – especially without Swayze.
Swayze tragically died in 2009, aged 57, from pancreatic cancer. The American star fought against the disease for two years.
Almost 14 years after his death – and 35 years after Dirty Dancing was released – a sequel to the movie is being produced, and Grey will not be put in the corner. The American star is heavily involved in the story’s production, but she has admitted things are going to be very different with her role.
She recently said of Dirty Dancing 2: “I can’t tell you much, sadly, but I will tell you that it will involve Baby. It will involve Kellerman’s. There will be music.”
The actress, who is 62-years-old, also noted how her age is going to be a major factor in the new movie. The original Dirty Dancing was filmed when Grey was just 26-years-old when she shot the movie. She played the 18-year-old Baby.
Grey confessed: “Unless there’s a lot of CGI, Baby’s going to be a little older … I’m just so super committed and invested in making it a fresh [take].”
The actress, who also had roles in Red Dawn and The Cotton Club, also opened up about the glaring absence of Swayze and his character, the hunky leather-clad Johnny Castle.
She said of his performance: “What happened happened, and that will never happen again. There will never be another Johnny. There will never be another Patrick.” (Via EW) Grey added that the sequel has got to be a “standalone” movie, that doesn’t rely on the previous film’s legacy. She noted how “tricky” the film would prove to be without Swayze.
Although fans are desperate to see what happened with the rest of Baby and Johnny’s life together, Swayze’s widow, Lisa Niemi Swayze, said the late star may not have wanted a sequel to go ahead.
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Swayze married Niemi in 1975 and stayed with her until his death in 2009. She has since released a book about being married to the actor and dancer, titled “The Time of My Life”. She wrote pieces of it with Swayze, who contributed some passages as well. She recently commented on the idea of a Dirty Dancing sequel, and how Swayze would have reacted to it.
She said: “[The way they] left it was absolutely perfect. There were several iterations of a script for that movie, but Patrick had a high standard and he wasn’t gonna do it just for the money.”
Swayze may not have wanted to return to the film series for another reason, however. He had worked hard to bury the hatchet with Grey after they didn’t get on at all during their first meeting. At first, he and the Baby star had a furious rivalry, so their chemistry on screen was not what fans know and love today.
Grey recalled working with him before Dirty Dancing: “Patrick was playing pranks on me and everybody. [He was] late and the boss of everybody and it was just, like, macho and I just couldn’t take it. I was just like: ‘Please, this guy, that’s enough with him.'”
Grey was then asked by the Dirty Dancing bosses whether she would like to work with Swayze in the movie. She bluntly responded: “Oh no, no, no.”
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Swayze gave his side of the story regarding their fiery relationship. He said: “[Grey] seemed particularly emotional, sometimes bursting into tears if someone criticised her. Other times, she slipped into silly moods, forcing us to do scenes over and over again when she’d start laughing… I didn’t have a whole lot of patience for doing multiple retakes.”
But, of course, things ended well. Grey revealed that they eventually made up after he made things clear between them.
Swayze pulled her to one side and confessed how he really felt about her. “I love you,” he told her. “I love you and I’m so sorry. And I know you don’t want me to do the movie.”
Grey remembered: “He got the tears in his eyes. And I got tears in my eyes, not for the same reason. I was like: ‘Oh, this guy’s working me.’ And he goes: ‘We could kill it. We could kill it if we did this’ and I was like: ‘OK, honey.’ We go in there and he takes me in his arms and I was like: ‘Oh, boy. I’m done.’ There was no competition.”
Dirty Dancing 2 is due to hit cinemas on 9 February 2024.