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

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze’s professional relationship got off to a rocky start.

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

“Patrick was playing pranks on me and everybody,” Grey said on The View this week while promoting her newly-released memoir Out of the Corner. “It was just, like, macho, and I just couldn’t take it. I was just like, ‘Please, this guy, that’s enough with him.'”

And, that’s why Grey was initially opposed to having Swayze sign on opposite her in the now-classic 1987 film Dirty Dancing.

Swayze’s dance experience and enthusiasm made him perfect for the part, and he knew he had to redeem himself with Grey.

The critical moment came moments before their Dirty Dancing screen test, according to the actress.

“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.

Grey will return to the 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.”

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.

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