Whether Dirty Dancing fans want a sequel or not, it’s happening. Jennifer Gray announced earlier this year that she will reprise her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman in the upcoming Dirty Dancing 2. And she just revealed that she won’t be the only one returning.
Gray recently appeared on Extra TV where he discussed the sequel that has been 35 years in the making.
The 62-year-old actress revealed that Dirty Dancing 2 will once again take place at the fictional resort of Kellerman’s in the Catskills. This homecoming is likely to bring back countless memories for her character, Baby, who fell in love with Johnny Castle during that fateful summer of the 1980s.
Gray also announced that Dirty Dancing 2 will see “Baby, quite a few years older.” He also added that she won’t be the only person from the original movie to return to the series. “You’ll see other characters that are from the original,” he confirmed before admitting that the sequel is “complicated and exciting.”
In another interview, Gray confirmed that his character would still be many years older. She said: “Unless there’s a lot of CGI, Baby is going to be a bit older… I’m very committed and invested in making her a new [take].”
Grey’s return to the franchise isn’t a complete surprise, but the idea of other characters returning certainly is. We’re thinking some of the only real candidates for a comeback are Jane Brucker (Lisa Houseman), Kelly Bishop (Marjorie Houseman), and Lonny Price (Neil Kellerman).
The actress, who has also starred in Red Dawn, The Cotton Club and Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, recently spoke about the upcoming sequel without its shining star: Patrick Swayze. The American actor, who was the main star of the film, died on September 14, 2009, after a fierce battle with cancer. Gray addressed Swayze’s absence from Dirty Dancing 2 earlier this year.
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Gray said: “What happened happened, and that will never happen again. There will never be another Johnny. There will never be another Patrick.” (via EW)
Swayze’s wife, Lisa Niemi, later wrote about what the star might have thought about the sequel. She confessed that she would have struggled a lot for the movie to have a great script. She explained: “[The way they] to the left it was absolutely perfect. There were several iterations of a script for that movie, but Patrick had a high standard and he wasn’t going to do it just for the money.”
Gray still holds Swayze in high regard, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the legendary movie couple actually didn’t see eye to eye when they first met during screen tests for Dirty Dancing. She later revealed that she even refused to work with him. She recalled: “Patrick was playing pranks on me and everyone. [He was] late and the boss of all and he was like a macho and he couldn’t stand it. I was like, ‘Please, this guy, that’s enough with him.
Dirty Dancing bosses then asked her if she would work with Swayze, to which she replied, “Oh no no no.”
Swayze gave his take on what had transpired behind the scenes at the time, saying: “[Grey] She seemed particularly emotional, sometimes bursting into tears if someone criticized her. Other times, she’d get cranky and force us to do scenes over and over again when she’d start laughing…she didn’t have a lot of patience for doing multiple takes.”
Eventually, Swayze opened up to her about how he really felt. She told the 26-year-old: “I love you. I love you and I’m so sorry. And I know you don’t want me to do the movie.”
Gray recalled the conversation, saying, “He had tears in his eyes. And I had tears in my eyes, not for the same reason. I was like, ‘Oh, this guy is working me.'” And he says, ‘We could kill him. We could kill him if we did this’ and I was like, ‘Okay, honey.’ We walk in there and he takes me in his arms and I’m like, ‘Oh, boy. I’ve just finished’. There was no competition.”
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