Jennifer Grey Dishes on the ‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel and How It Will Honor Patrick Swayze
The actress discusses whether she'll reprise her role as "Baby" and how the 2024 movie will honor her late co-star.
“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” And nobody puts actress Jennifer Grey in a sequel unless it pays homage to her late co-star, Patrick Swayze.
In Aug. 2020, it was reported that a Dirty Dancing sequel was in the works at Lionsgate, 36 years after the original instant classic film premiered.
Dirty Dancing was the movie that made both Grey and Swayze household names (even though they had prior movie roles). Originally a low-budget film, the flick about two young adults from different sides of the proverbial tracks who fall in love went on to gross nearly $28 million dollars. It was also made into a Broadway musical in 2005.
Grey was 27 years old at the time of filming. Now, at 62, the actress appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday to discuss whether or not she would reprise her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman in the sequel that’s due out in Feb. 2024.
“If you’re going to do that movie again, it has to be right,” Grey told the morning show. “My whole job with this is to get it right, get it really right, in Patrick’s honor, in honor of all of the fans’ relationship with the movie,” she continued.
Swayze succumbed to his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009. He was 57.
According to Vogue, Grey is expected to return in some capacity as an “older” Baby, although this time, the film reportedly takes place in the ’90s. Grey is also signed on as an Executive Producer.
“It’s something I refuse to do unless it’s perfect, so I’m doing my very best to make sure we honor it,” she told GMA viewers.
Grey — along with the filmmakers — are reportedly in talks with Swayze’s estate to “incorporate the [late] actor’s presence in some way,” though they haven’t revealed any details on how, reports Variety.
In May, Grey teased the film on the Drew Barrymore Show, sharing who she hopes will join the cast, which includes singer Harry Styles, although nothing has officially been announced. She also promised fans would see “other characters” from the 1987 original, although didn’t name names.
It’ll be hard to recreate the movie’s most special and iconic moments, such as the climactic “lift” at the movie’s final dancing scene, Grey talking about “carrying a watermelon,” and when Johnny defends Baby after her dad has her seated in the corner of the room — but producers promised the movie “won’t ruin your childhood.”
The storyline also addressed social issues like abortion and classism.
“We will tackle the assignment with sophistication, ambition, and, above all, love,” the film’s director Jonathan Levine tells Vogue.
Other blockbusters that returned with sequels more than 30 years after the first include Top Gun: Maverick and Ghostbusters 2, which is expected later this year.
Meanwhile, we can’t wait till Dirty Dancing 2 hits theaters for all the nostalgic feels. We’re sure it’ll be the “time of our lives.”