Dirty Dancing's Patrick Swayze's 'teary-eyed' apology to Jennifer Grey over behavior on set

Ashley Bautista August 21, 2022
Dirty Dancing's Patrick Swayze's 'teary-eyed' apology to Jennifer Grey over behavior on set


Although Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey had undeniable chemistry in the movie Dirty Dancing, the two actors didn’t get along so well during filming.

Nobody puts a Baby in a corner.

Although Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s relationship goes way back, the two actors didn’t have the best start off-screen. As today marks its 35th anniversary since the release of the film, The Focus brings you an interesting fact perhaps you didn’t know about.

Johnny and Frances had a strong bond, but what about Patrick and Jennifer?

Becoming a hit film

Photo by Vestron/Getty Images

In the summer of 1963, Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman vacations with her family at Kellerman’s, a resort in the Catskill Mountains. The young woman plans to study economics in underdeveloped countries and enter the Peace Corps. Her life is turned around after she crosses paths with hunk Johnny Castle, the resort’s dancing instructor.

As Johnny and Baby spend more time together rehearsing a dance routine and getting to know each other, feelings develop between the two. Though their romance isn’t a fairytale and the two go through many events before the end-of-summer talent show, Johnny demonstrates he is head over heels for Baby.

Directed by Emile Ardolino, from the moment it was released, it became one of the highest-grossing films of 1987. It earned almost $4 million on its first weekend. With an initial budget of $4.5 million, Dirty Dancing smashed box office sales with total revenue of $214.6 million worldwide.

Critically acclaimed and adored by the public, Dirty Dancing has won prestigious awards such as an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy.

Patrick and Jennifer didn’t always get along

Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

Although Frances and Johnny’s relationship seemed perfect, on- and off-screen, the two actors didn’t have the same vibe in real life. Before becoming the lead characters of ‘Dirty Dancing’, the two actors worked together in the past for the 1984 acting film ‘Red Dawn’.

Promoting her memoir ‘Out of the Corner’ with The View, Grey revealed she began disliking Swayze after his pranks on set that she wasn’t necessarily a fan of. The actress also revealed Swayze would occasionally come late to set. She alleged he’d act like “the boss of everybody” while filming ‘Red Dawn’.

Years later, after she was cast as Frances, to find the perfect Johnny, she suggested Swayze. Yes, despite her previous experience with the actor. Swayze was offered the role because of his extensive dance background.

Grey then shared the intimate moment between the two actors where Swayze apologized for his past behavior while working together. She said: “He pulled me down the hall and said to me, ‘I love you, I love you and I’m so sorry. I know you don’t want me to do the movie.”

She revealed the actor had tears in his eyes, “and I got the tears in my eyes, not for the same reason”. Swayze then told her he’d be sure that the two would “kill it” if they partnered up together. And they did.

An unfortunate event days before its release date

On August 5, 1987, just over a week before ‘Dirty Dancing’ was release, Gray and her former partner, Matthew Broderick, were in a serious accident while on vacation in Ireland. The accident tragically killed two passengers and Gray suffered serious injuries.

Broderick was unconscious and had amnesia. As per The Daily Mail, Grey said that being the only fully-awake survivor at the time, she found the devastating accident “to be particularly traumatic”.

This caused Grey to not be able to enjoy the debut of the movie as she began to experience “painful headaches” that would last long. She also suffered spasms in her neck despite treatment.

Grey and Broderick split shortly after the accident. The actress took some time to recover physically and emotionally. The star then married actor Clark Gregg for two decades, from 2001 to 2021.

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Ashley Bautista is an Audience Content Writer at GRV Media writing across different sites such as Reality Titbit, HITC, and The Focus. Always keen to learn about celebrity news and the entertainment world, she loves turning these into stories to share with the readers. Graduating from Kingston University with a BA (Hons) in Journalism in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, she found herself Keeping Up With The Kardashians more than anything else. Fun fact, it has turned into Ashley’s favourite topic to talk about these days - that and the members of BLACKPINK.