After her part in Dirty Dancing, Jennifer Grey became a Hollywood sensation. But this almost didn’t happen! In fact, Grey almost turned down the part when she heard Patrick Swayze would be playing Johnny since they hadn’t really gotten along in their previous film, Red Dawn. And to add to the dilemma, there were A-list celebrities lining up for the role of Baby, including Sharon Stone and Sarah Jessica Parker!
In the end, it was Grey that wowed the casting crew and got the role. And just as well, because Parker went on to star in the world-renowned TV hit, Sex and the City. As for Sharon Stone, she went on to star in Total Recall and the hit film, Basic Instinct. Not bad, huh?
The Original Writer is Seriously Thinking About a Sequel
Dirty Dancing inspired countless productions: A Broadway play, a British TV series, an American TV series, and the 2004 movie, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. However, an actual sequel has never been made and hadn't even been in the works, until 2017, when the movie's original writer, Eleanor Bergstein, revealed she was working on a draft. Despite the movie coming out in 1987, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, many of the film's topics feel as relevant today as they ever were.
In an interview with E!, Bergstein said, “I always did think they had a future, I just wasn’t ready to go back into it…now I think I am ready to”. She claims that a modern version of Baby would portray women's equality, and the general theme of the film would certainly resonate with the immigrant rights and abortion issues that are bleeding into the social and political climate of our modern-day society. As Bergstein states, “I think every social issue would be hers...it feels intuitively right for me to do a sequel now, I think…I’m kind of drafting it out in my head.”
There Was an Actual Remake in 2017
In a time when it seems that most of the films taking over the silver screen are remakes of old classics, it seems strange that a Dirty Dancing one hasn't been done yet. But, in fact, there was an actual remake of the film in 2017, a fact that many people don't know since most probably haven't even seen it.
The 2017 remake was created by Wayne Blair and Jessica Sharzer, one of the main writers of American Horror Story. The film was created for television and aired on ABC in May of 2017. The movie is set in 1963, just like the original; it follows the same storyline and adds the element of an older Baby reflecting on the events of that magical summer. Johnny is played by Colt Prattes and Baby is brought back to life by Abigal Breslin, the brilliant daughter from "Little Miss Sunshine". Even Jennifer Grey was offered a part but turned it down.
Johnny Was Almost Played by Billy Zane
Everybody knows the stunning actor, Billy Zane, from classic films like Dead Calm, The Phantom, Back to the Future and of course, Titanic. What many don't know is that Dirty Dancing was almost added to that list. Back in 1987, before Swayze was cast as Johnny, a 20-year-old Billy Zane almost took the lead role. Producers thought Zane looked like a young Marlon Brando, and he was actually their first pick to play Johnny Castle. Considering Billy already had the young Italian-American, 'dark, exotic', look, he was perfect for the part.
The only reason the director went with Patrick Swayze was that he was a far better dancer. However, Jennifer Grey did say in an interview that “Billy was one of my partners and I thought he was going to get it because he was very like Marlon Brando and his dancing was pretty good.” “But then I remember Patrick and I dancing together and all of a sudden it was very easy.”
Swayze Wore a Girdle
Back in the 80s and 90s, there wasn't a single person that would've said Swayze was anything short of stunning. He had an almost perfect figure, a sculpted frame that was the embodiment of manhood. But even Swayze felt insecure when it came to playing a 25-year-old, considering he was actually 34 at the time.
Apart from one or two scenes where Swayze was shirtless, he wore a waist-tightening girdle sometimes in order to look more fit. Swayze said it made him look thinner, and thus, younger and more suited to Johnny's character.