Everyone remembers the classic 1980s movie Dirty Dancing. Part of it flicks so specially is the onscreen chemistry between stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Patrick plays the character of Johnny while Jennifer is the character of Baby. Johnny is a dancing instructor and Baby is his younger pupil.
Johnny utters the line “nobody puts Baby in the corner”. Patrick claims before his death that he hesitates because the line is corny. Despite the chemistry between Patrick and Jennifer onscreen, it appears that they didn’t get along very well on the set. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey reportedly couldn’t stand each other.
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing Film
When Dirty Dancing began filming, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had already performed together in a film. The classic teenage war movie Red Dawn releases several years prior and features both stars amongst its ensemble cast. Patrick’s tasks with playing a leader in Red Dawn, and he took the role incredibly seriously. They train for the film together, and Patrick proves bossy as he begins stepping into the role of his character. Because of this, Jennifer’s initial experiences with Patrick weren’t entirely pleasant.
Years later, Jennifer found herself cast in Dirty Dancing. Jennifer casts before Patrick, her duty with screen testing alongside numerous male actors looking to play the role of Johnny. When Patrick Swayze shows up to try, Jennifer shows negative memories of their time together filming Red Dawn.
Because of this, it didn’t excite her at the prospect of performing alongside Patrick. Even the amount of the time of the screen test, not to mention the production time of a whole movie. However, the chemistry between the two stars proved undeniable. Patrick lifts Jennifer up over his head spontaneously during the audition. He completes the movie and Jennifer knows just how to strike her iconic pose!
Chemistry Between The Stars of Dirt Dancing
In Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze is an older and more experienced actor than Jennifer Grey, and he trains dancing. Jennifer is familiar with the art of dance, despite the natural talent that she exudes during the audition process. Jennifer is plagued by people considering her an excellent dancer due to her role in the film. Though she becomes proficient enough in the art to win first place on Dancing with the Stars.
The chemistry that Patrick and Jennifer show during the audition process and the finished product of the film. One might imagine that the two maintain an amicable relationship during the filming of Dirty Dancing. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! As the more professional and experienced of the two, Patrick finds himself at wit’s end dealing with his female costar. According to Patrick, Jennifer can hardly maintain her composure on the set seeing the actress laughing for no reason.
The Attitude Of The Stars
While Patrick easily gets a scene in one take. He claims that the childish attitude of his onscreen love interest makes scenes require more takes than necessary. Patrick did his best to show patience to Jennifer but oftentimes lost his temper. By the end of Dirty Dancing’s production, they say bickering before starting every scene they need to film together!
At one point, the director of Dirty Dancing tries to reignite the camaraderie between Patrick and Jennifer. They make them watch footage of their initial screen test together. However, this proved not to work. Despite the difficulty that arises between the two during the filming of the movie, the film manages to complete! Jennifer wonders at the time if the film that she’s working on is going to see the light of day. The film is a passion project from its creative team. And Jennifer agrees to work on the picture as she shares a passion for the film’s vision. Jennifer’s passion is the reason not to hold a grudge against Patrick for being so serious during the filming.
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Professionalism Over Personal Things
In recent years, Jennifer Grey speaks about the tension between her and Patrick Swayze during the filming of Dirty Dancing. While other stars talk ill of the other person in such a situation, Jennifer speaks positively about her male costar. Jennifer never even badmouthed Patrick in the years before his death. In fact, Jennifer credits the tension between her and Patrick with making Dirty Dancing a good film!
Jennifer says the tension between her and Patrick attributes to the chemistry between them on the screen in Dirty Dancing. Jennifer thinks that tension can be more attractive on the screen than simple attraction. She believes that Patrick performs as efficiently as possible on the set leading her to turn in a better performance. As a trained dancer and consummate professional, Patrick requested to do his own stunts on the film. Although Jennifer Grey wasn’t the trained dancer that he was, he still inspired her to push herself further than she ever had before, leading to her performance in the film.
Grey admires Patrick’s professionalism on the set of Dirty Dancing. Perhaps her admiration for the man gives her a hard time keeping her composure when it comes to performing romantic scenes together! Jennifer claims that she begins to appreciate the way that Patrick smells during their scenes together. Maybe her infatuation just made her a bit too bubbly.
While Jennifer Grey is still around today, Patrick Swayze sadly passed away in 2009 from pancreatic cancer. Jennifer loves reminiscing about both Dirty Dancing and her late on-screen love interest in the film. Regardless of the fact that they can barely stand to be around each other by the time that filming finishes. Dirty Dancing remains to this day as popular as ever, and Jennifer revisits the film multiple times over the years. Whenever she watches the scene in which her late costar utters the classic line “nobody puts Baby in the corner”, she reminisces on how Patrick nearly refuses to say it.
Patrick shares in his autobiography that he believes the line “nobody puts Baby in a corner” is too corny. He did his best trying and it takes out of the script before it comes for him to say it. However, the film’s screenwriter insisted that the line stays in. While Patrick may not have wanted to utter the line, he still gave the delivery his best shot. The line becomes one of the most remembered parts of the movie. It is one of the most classic lines from any movie of the 1980s.
After the film Dirty Dancing becomes a massive phenomenon, Jennifer claims that she refuses to dance in public for years. Out of fear that her actual dancing skills will compare to the way that appears on screen in the movie. Despite this initial hesitance to jump back into the saddle and give real-life dancing a serious go, Jennifer was eventually talked into participating in the ABC reality series Dancing with the Stars.
By the time that Jennifer Grey appeared on Dancing with the Stars, she had undergone many health struggles in her life and had lived through the death of her Dirty Dancing costar. At the time, she was ready to let go of her inhibitions and finally give legitimate dancing a go! Jennifer’s bid to become a real dancer proved successful, as she ended up winning first place in the show’s competition. Alongside her partner, professional dancer Derek Hough, Jennifer ended up taking winning the competition during the 2010 season of the show!
At the time that Dirty Dancing was filmed, Patrick Swayze was 34 years old, while Jennifer Grey was 26. Though their characters were meant to be eight years younger than their respective ages, they maintained the same age gap. Jennifer has continued acting in the days since filming Dirty Dancing, in addition to her aforementioned appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Jennifer has turned in notable guest-starring performances in the series The Connors and Grey’s Anatomy. She also has continued acting in movies sporadically, with one of the more recent films that she’s been featured in being named Bittersweet Symphony.
Despite the onscreen romance that Jennifer Grey shared with Patrick Swayze, the biggest romance in her real-life has been the one that she shared with ex-husband Clark Gregg. Known for his appearances in such works as 2012’s The Avengers and it’s spin-off series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Clark was Jennifer’s husband for nearly two decades before the two decided to split in July of 2020.
Although Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey could barely stand the sight of each other by the time that they were done filming the classic 1980s movie Dirty Dancing together, Jennifer has maintained a professional admiration for her late costar that has lasted past his death in 2009. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey could barely stand each other on the set of Dirty Dancing, or did you think that they had gotten along as well behind the scenes as they did on the screen? Let us know in the comments.
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