Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey formed one of the most memorable on-screen couples of all time when they starred together in 1987’s Dirty Dancing. However, Jennifer almost didn’t sign onto the picture because she and Patrick had some decidedly negative experiences together while filming 1984’s Red Dawn. In order to convince Jennifer to appear in Dirty Dancing, Patrick had to give a tearful apology for his past behavior. Join Facts Verse as we explore how Patrick Swayze was in tears of her Jennifer Grey apology.
Jennifer Grey Holds the Late Patrick Swayze in High Regard
Dirty Dancing stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had a complicated relationship. This was true during the filming of the classic movie, as well as before and after it. Today, Jennifer Grey is 62 years old and Patrick Swayze has been deceased since 2009. Despite their complicated past, there are few people that Jennifer holds as close in her heart as she does the late Patrick Swayze. One of Jennifer’s most profound memories of her late Dirty Dancing costar involves a tearful apology that he gave to her during the audition process. If it hadn’t been for this tearful apology, Jennifer likely wouldn’t have signed onto the film in the first place.
As one might have inferred, the auditioning process for Dirty Dancing wasn’t the first time that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey met. The two had known each other for several years at that point, and had somewhat of a contentious relationship. The origins of this contentious relationship can be traced back to the pre-production period of another 1980s classic. Patrick and Jennifer first met when they were cast to appear together in the 1984 film Red Dawn. For those that have never seen it, Red Dawn is about a group of teenagers who take World War III into their own hands. The teenagers fight like soldiers, and none other than Patrick Swayze himself played their heroic leader.
A lot went into the production of Red Dawn, as the filmmakers wanted to make sure that their teenage cast came across as appropriately threatening during the picture. In order to achieve this effect, the teenage cast of the movie was put through a boot camp prior to filming. Given that Patrick Swayze was going to be tasked with playing the leader of the teenagers in the movie proper, he was also considered the leader during this boot-camp period. As legend has it, Patrick Swayze took his role as a leader on the set of Red Dawn to comedic extremes. The performer relished his position, and oftentimes abused his power by playing pranks on his underlings. One of these underlings was none other than Jennifer Grey herself. As one might imagine, Jennifer ended up having a decidedly negative view on Patrick by the time that filming of the movie was over.
How Jennifer Grey Ended Up Starring in Dirty Dancing
Red Dawn was released in 1984 and became a huge success. In addition to Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, the movie also made a teen idol of Charlie Sheen. A few years later, Jennifer and Charlie would hook up on screen via Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released in 1986, and it starred Matthew Broderick in the lead role. Notably, Jenifer and Matthew dated around the time of the film’s production. During their relationship, they got into a serious car accident together that almost spelt their deaths. Thankfully, the 1980s idols managed to survive.
Jennifer Grey only had a supporting role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and she was still looking for the perfect starring vehicle by the time that Dirty Dancing was being shopped around. Jennifer’s portrayal of main character Baby in the film has gone on to become so iconic that fans may assume that the actress was a perfect fit for the role. However, there were numerous things keeping Jennifer from signing onto the picture. For one thing, Jennifer didn’t know how to dance. For another, Patrick Swayze had signed on before her.
Although Jennifer was anxious to get a starring role in a picture, she wasn’t anxious to appear on the screen alongside Patrick Swayze again. In addition, she was also nervous about her lack of dancing ability. Both of these things made the actress consider passing on her Dirty Dancing role. Thankfully, she decided to show up for a screen test before turning the role down. Jennifer believed that the screen test would allow her to see if she could comfortably perform the role. As it turns out, Jennifer ended up being won over by Patrick during the screen test.
Patrick Gave Jennifer a Tearful Apology Before Filming
When Jennifer Grey showed up to screen test alongside Patrick Swayze for a potential role in the upcoming Dirty Dancing, the male star quickly became aware that she was nervous. It didn’t take long for Patrick to realize that Jennifer’s shot nerves were a result of the negative experiences that she had with him on the set of Red Dawn. When Patrick realized what the problem was, he pulled Jennifer aside and gave her a heartfelt apology. The apology was apparently so heartfelt that the actor broke down into tears. When Patrick broke down into tears during the apology, Jennifer herself allegedly broke into tears, as well.
Part of Jennifer Grey felt as if the tearful Patrick Swayze was duping her. However, the incident was powerful enough that the actress was able to loosen up for her screen test. The screen test involved Patrick lifting Jennifer over his head in what would end up becoming Dirty Dancing’s signature dance move. When Patrick first lifted Jennifer over his head during the auditioning process, the sparks flew immediately.
After the successful screen test, Jennifer Grey signed on to star in Dirty Dancing alongside Patrick Swayze. The rest is history! Though Patrick and Jennifer got along better during the filming of Dirty Dancing than they had during the filming of Red Dawn, there were still a few more issues that the performers had to deal with over the course of production. For one thing, Patrick was a good deal more experienced than Jennifer was. Not only was Patrick a more experienced performer on the screen, but he was also the only one of the two that had any background in professional dancing.
There Was Still Some Tension on the Film’s Set
As we’ve already established, Jennifer Grey knew next to nothing about dancing upon signing on to star in Dirty Dancing. Given that Patrick Swayze was a consummate professional when it came to the art, he and Jennifer butted heads a few times over the actress’s lack of ability over the course of Dirty Dancing’s filming. It has been said that Patrick grew impatient with Jennifer multiple times over the course of the film’s production. Not only did he become impatient as a result of her inability to dance, but he also became impatient at her need to do multiple takes for seemingly simple lines. Patrick was the kind of actor who could perform a line perfectly the first take and then do it the same way every take after that. Meanwhile, Jennifer has always been a performer who needs some time to do it right.
As legend has it, things got so tense between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey during the filming of Dirty Dancing that the director had to remind the performers of their excellent chemistry by showing them the tape of their screen test. This tactic apparently worked it’s charm, as the two performers were able to pull it together afterwards and make magic happen. Dirty Dancing was released in 1987, and no one predicted what a massive hit it was going to become.
After Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey never worked again. Rumors continue to swirly about the stars hating each other. By the time of Patrick’s untimely death in 2009, it was pretty much common knowledge amongst the public that the two stars didn’t have the best relationship. In the wake of Patrick’s death, Jennifer has done everything in her power to quell these rumors. Though the two stars weren’t close after the filming of Dirty Dancing, Jennifer claims that she never felt any bad blood towards Patrick.
Jennifer Went on to Win on Dancing with the Stars
In 2010, just a year after Patrick Swayze’s death, Jennifer Grey became a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Jennifer being a contestant on the series was notable for several reasons. For one thing, she was the star of one of the most popular dancing movies of modern times! For another thing, she didn’t have any background in dance! Since the release of Dirty Dancing in 1987, the fact that Jennifer Grey had no legitimate dancing background had become public knowledge. Combined with the rumors of Patrick Swayze being impatient with her during filming, many took this to mean that Jennifer couldn’t dance at all.
Jennifer’s time on Dancing with the Stars ended up meaning a great deal for the actress. Not only did it give her the chance to get back into the spotlight after years of being away, but it also gave the actress the chance to prove once and for all that she could hold her own on the dance floor. If Jennifer had minimal experiencing with dancing before signing on to star in Dirty Dancing, the same can’t be said for the actress today. Jennifer ended up wowing the audience during her time on Dancing with the Stars, proving once and for all that she knew how to move her feet. Jennifer was so successful on the show that she ended up winning.
During the Dancing with the Stars press cycle, Jennifer Grey could be heard reminiscing positively about the late Patrick Swayze. Though the two had their differences, Jennifer has always held the actor close in her heart. Sadly, Jennifer didn’t have a lot of career longevity after Dirty Dancing as a result of a botched nose job. By the time of Patrick Swayze’s death, he was the much bigger star between the two.
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had an incredibly complicated relationship, but they still managed to make cinematic magic via their pairing in 1987’s Dirty Dancing. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Jennifer Grey almost didn’t sign on to star in Dirty Dancing because she hated Patrick Swayze, and that Patrick was oftentimes impatient with Jennifer while filming? Comment down below!