Patrick Swayze may have had some things in his mind that played against Dirty Dancing, although he never fully revealed it. We know that he found some of the quotes too corny, and that may not be such a big deal. But he was offered $6 million for a role in a sequel to the movie, which he refused for no apparent reason.
However, in 2004, he finally agreed to a cameo role in the prequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, where he appeared very briefly as a dance instructor. He was reportedly paid $5 million for it.
They Were Very Similar
When Dirty Dancing became such a popular film, it opened itself up to public scrutiny. People would soon find out that Baby was based on Eleanor Bergstein’s own life. It became the talk of the town for a while, and people noted the similarities between writer and character. But little did they know that there was a lot of Eleanor that could be found in Johnny Castle too.
Like Johnny, Eleanor was a dance teacher. She had to support herself as she went through college, and one way of earning money was teaching dance lessons in Art Murray dance school. And she did like to dance the mambo, and the dirty dance. When asked about the similarities between her characters and herself, she said, “so, while everybody thinks I’m Baby, there’s actually a lot of Johnny in me, too.”
An Accidental Success
While the “curse” of the set may have gradually mellowed down, and those who had been affected came back to finish their work, Lynne Lipton became so ill that she wasn’t able to return to the set. She was signed up to play the role of Mrs. Houseman, but she had to be replaced after it became clear that she wouldn’t be able to continue with her task.
Kelly Bishop substituted for her and went on to play the role of Baby’s mother. She performed Mrs. Houseman to a tee. And her initial role as cougar, Vivian Pressman, was filled in by Miranda Garrison. Kelly Bishop was so good in her role as Mrs. Houseman that it became the basis for casting her as Emily Gilmore on Gilmore Girls.
Patrick Can Do Everything
Like some young men who want to excel at everything, Patrick Swayze wanted to be great at acting and doing his own stunts. He got the role of Johnny for being a confident and experienced dancer, and he wanted to perform his own stunts, too.
His stunt doubles must have had nothing much to do, except give him some tips and supervise over his tasks. It wasn’t easy, and Patrick Swayze knew what to expect. He fell repeatedly after failing to balance on top of a log, that it hurt his knee badly. He had to be brought to the hospital and the doctor recommended the fluids be drained to reduce the swelling.
A Tight Timeline
There were almost no agreeable circumstances surrounding the filming of Dirty Dancing, nothing much that would tell you the project was going to make it big any time soon. They were merely granted with a below average budget to shoot during summertime, when autumn was just around the corner.
The main stars couldn’t stand each other, the cast would fall victim to food poisoning, and they only had 44 days to complete their work. To finish it, they had to master all the dance steps, and they were left with only two weeks to rehearse. With such a horrendous setup, can you tell us why shouldn’t it be a failure?