Jennifer Grey on Making Dirty Dancing 2 Without Patrick Swayze: 'There Is No Replacing' Him

"You just go for something different," Jennifer Grey tells PEOPLE of how she's approaching Dirty Dancing 2

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing
Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing (1987). Photo: Snap/Shutterstock

33 years after Jennifer Grey first flung herself into the arms of Patrick Swayze, the actress is set to reprise her role as Baby Houseman in a much-anticipated Dirty Dancing sequel, which she will also executive produce.

Details of the upcoming follow-up are top-secret, but Grey, 60, tells PEOPLE the film won’t try to recapture the chemistry she had with Swayze, who died in 2009 of pancreatic cancer.

"All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who’s passed—you never try to repeat anything that’s magic like that," she says in this week's issue. "You just go for something different."

  • For more about Jennifer Grey, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE

Grey recently partnered with Celltrient Cellular Nutrition from Néstle Health Science, a new portfolio of nutritional beverages and supplements designed to work within cells to help renew and restore cells' natural processes.

Reflecting on Dirty Dancing's enduring popularity, Grey says "its appeal was that it was very genuine and simple."

"It was about innocence and the way that innocence is lost and how people explode into a different iteration of themselves," she says of the 1987 romance about a teen who falls for her dance instructor.

jennifer grey
Jennifer Grey.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed the news of the sequel to Deadline in August, referring to it as "one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood."

He added that the film will be "exactly the kind of romantic, nostalgic movie that the franchise’s fans have been waiting for and that have made it the biggest-selling library title in the Company’s history."

Dirty Dancing
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing (1987). Vestron/Kobal/Shutterstock

According to Deadline, the sequel will be produced by Jonathan Levine with Gillian Bohrer and will feature a screenplay done by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis.

The original film won an Oscar and Golden Globe for the song "(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life" and was nominated in the comedy/musical category with nominations for Swayze as comedy/musical actor, as well as Grey in the best actress category at the 1988 ceremony.

The first film sparked a series of other related projects as well, including a TV series, a TV movie remake, a musical and the 2004 film Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

Related Articles