The original Baby will not be dancing in the Catskills on ABC anytime soon.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Grey was offered a part in ABC’s Dirty Dancing TV movie remake, but has decided to turn it down.
“I was asked to do something on that show and I was flattered because I always want to be asked because it’s nice to want to be included,” said Grey. “But for me, it would be sacrosanct for me to do it because it didn’t feel appropriate to me. It feels like you’re going to do your own thing, do your own thing. I wouldn’t say [what role was offered] but I will tell you, it wasn’t Baby!”
The upcoming Dirty Dancing TV movie came up at a TCA panel for the second season of Amazon’s ’80s comedy Red Oaks, in which Grey stars as Craig Roberts’ mom. Talk of the 1980s and Dirty Dancing naturally led to the topic of Patrick Swayze and what it was like for Grey to work with the star.
“He smelled really good, his skin was really nice. He was really strong and he was very protective and his heart was very much in it. It was our second movie we’d done together within a short time — we did Red Dawn first and then Dirty Dancing,” said Grey. “He was a great dancer and he was fearless. His fearlessness with my fearfulness — like his lack of Jewishness and my super Jewishness — together was like a marriage where you have two opposites. He’d do anything and I’d be scared to do anything.”
Though Grey turned down a part in ABC’s Dirty Dancing, she seems to be quite enthusiastic to see the new take on the movie when it eventually airs. “I am always interested in any iteration of something where they feel there’s more to be gotten and I would love to see what it is that they come up with. Tommy Kail directed it and I’m obsessed with Hamilton, so that’s thrilling to me,” she said. “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 and I’m only flattered and excited for people who are excited enough to put their stamp on it and see what they make of it and how they make it their own.”
ABC’s Dirty Dancing stars Abigail Breslin in Grey’s role as Baby and Colt Prattes taking over Swayze’s role of Johnny. The three-hour TV movie also stars Debra Messing, Nicole Scherzinger, Sarah Hyland, Billy Dee Williams, J. Quinton Johnson, Bruce Greenwood, and Katey Sagal. Emmy-nominated The L Word and American Horror Story writer Jessica Sharzer is handling the script. Adam Anders and Peer Astrom are taking over the music for ABC’s remake, and Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) is set to handle choreography. The Dirty Dancing TV movie does not yet have a set premiere date.