“Dirty Dancing” star and “Dancing With the Stars” winner Jennifer Grey has opened up in a new interview about her infamous tension with the late Patrick Swayze. In it, Grey talks about their contentious relationship while filming “Dirty Dancing” and apologizes to him in a message of what she wishes she could say to him if he were still alive.
Grey Is Sorry to Swayze for Not Appreciating Who He Was
In the interview with People ahead of the release of her memoir, “Out of the Corner,” Grey talks about how she actually thinks her on-set tension with Swayze created a nice “friction” for their on-screen relationship.
“The same way Baby and Johnny were not supposed to be together … a natural match, right? And we weren’t a natural match. And the fact that we needed to be a natural match created a tension. Because normally when someone’s not a natural … both people move on, but we were forced to be together. And our being forced to be together created a kind of a synergy, or like a friction,” said Grey.
She added that if she could say anything to him now, she would say, “I’m so sorry that I couldn’t just appreciate and luxuriate in who you were, instead of me wishing you were more like what I wanted you to be.”
Swayze died in 2009 at the age of 57 after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi, with whom Grey said in the interview Swayze was completely and totally in love.
Grey did wonder if there was something “wrong” with her for not being completely head over heels with her co-star, but she did add, “[He] was married and very in love with his wife. … I was very busy with Matthew [Broderick]. Like, what could be more different?”
Grey and Broderick dated after meeting on the set of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in 1986. They broke up in late 1987 after being involved in a terrible car crash in Ireland that left Broderick in the hospital for a month, according to the New York Post. The crash killed the two women in the other car involved after Broderick veered into the on-coming lane and hit them head-on, an accident Grey touched on in her interview with People.
“There was some very, very heavy stuff that went down that changed my life forever and there was no one to blame. And many people might think that I’m here to [t]ell some long held secret. None of that, it’s just we had an accident,” said Grey. “It was a pure and simple accident that was tragic. And it had very serious traumatic lasting effects on, I’m sure, Matthew and the family of the other women and me.”
In an April 2022 interview with the New York Times, Grey reiterated that sentiment, telling the newspaper, “[T]here’s not a week that goes by that I don’t think about it. That I don’t think about the families. That I don’t think about Matthew. It’s just in me. It’s part of my topographical map, the landscape of my life.”
Grey Also Talked About the ‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel She’s Been Working On
“Dirty Dancing” has been a classic film almost since its release in 1987 and Grey understands that it was like “lightning in a bottle” and something “so beautiful” that “no one can explain it,” she told People. But she still thinks a sequel that resonates with today’s youth could be very well done.
“We’re working on this sequel, I’m working on it with Lionsgate and working on the script,” said Grey. “We’ve been working on it for a couple of years. And I know in my heart, I would love to give fans or a young, new audience an experience that would never replicate that, but has the same kind of underpinnings. Today people think that their identity is limited, the world has told them what it is. But there are certain people who can see other parts of you.”
She continued, “‘Dirty Dancing’ was a fairy tale, a successful movie and formula, using dance as a metaphor for embodying your energy and getting out of your head, and your limiting belief systems.”
Grey’s memoir “Out of the Corner” comes out in May 2022. She told People that it’s about taking herself out of the metaphorical corner from the famous “Dirty Dancing” line — “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” — and telling her true story.
“That’s a new feeling, to take myself out of the corner — and to recognize that I have been putting myself there, through story, through narratives that weren’t giving me the best life,” said Grey. “The story I was telling myself about how I got here was not a great story. And not entirely true. I hadn’t seen the ways in which I’d made choices.”
Grey’s memoir will also touch on her time on “Dancing With the Stars.” The actress won season 11 alongside her partner Derek Hough.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for season 31 in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.