Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze Didn’t Get Along Before Filming ‘Dirty Dancing’

The classic flick almost didn’t happen because its two stars, Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, didn’t have good chemistry

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Dirty Dancing almost didn’t happen because Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze didn’t have good chemistry. Yes, apparently the actor’s professional relationship got off to a rocky start.

Grey said she didn’t particularly enjoy working with Swayze in their first movie together, the 1984 action film Red Dawn.

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze Lacked ‘Chemistry’ — at First

Grey told Glamour in 2015 that she got cast in Dirty Dancing before Swayze.

“He came in [to test] along with a bunch of other guys,” she said. “I didn’t think we had chemistry. But you either do or you don’t. It’s a weird thing, though. It doesn’t have to do with whether you like someone or not. It’s just you either have it or you don’t.’”

After a test screening, though, Grey felt reassured, she revealed.

“He pulled me down the hall and said to me, ‘I love you, I love you, and I’m so sorry. And I know you don’t want me to do the movie,’ ” the actress recalled.  “And he got the tears in his eyes. And I got the 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.’

“We go in there and he takes me in his arms and I was like, ‘Oh, boy. I’m done,’ ” Grey said.

She liked his swagger.

“There was no competition,” Grey said. 

“He was, like, the easy chair I’d been dreaming of my whole life.”

Grey realized they had the chemistry the film would need to ultimately be a smashing success – indeed, the film’s success is due to the palpable chemistry between the pair.

Dirty Dancing was the second-highest-grossing film of 1987, earning $170 million worldwide. The film’s popularity continued to grow after its initial release. It was the number-one video rental of 1988 and became the first film to sell a million copies on video.

What’s Up Next

Grey will return to her Dirty Dancing role in an upcoming sequel, and told People that the film won’t try to recapture the chemistry she had with Swayze, who died in 2009 of pancreatic cancer at age 57.

“All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who’s passed – you never try to repeat anything that’s magic like that,” she said.  “You just go for something different.”

Variety reported in May of this year that a Dirty Dancing sequel by Jonathan Levine (TV’s Nine Perfect Strangers) is targeting a 2024 release.

Read More: “Jennifer Grey Didn’t Want Patrick Swayze in ‘Dirty Dancing’ After ‘Red Dawn’ Taunting

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