Why Debra Messing Was 'Scared' to Sing a Solo in 'Dirty Dancing' Remake

"This isn't a replica of the original, it takes some liberties," Messing told PEOPLE of ABC's upcoming remake of Dirty Dancing

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When something scares Debra Messing, she confronts it head on.

Speaking with PEOPLE as the new ambassador of CoolSculpting, the actress opened up about her excitement to breathe new life into ABC’s remake of the iconic film Dirty Dancing. Messing also gushed about getting the chance to lend her vocals with her very own solo as Majorie Houseman (Baby’s mom) in the television adaptation.

“I am very excited,” she told PEOPLE. “The original movie was incredibly special to me. I remember seeing it when I was a kid with my mother and just falling in love with everything about it. I had the soundtrack; I knew every word to every song.”

“It’s just a really uplifting and happy universe to be in,” Messing continued. “It was just a joy to spent a few months doing that. The cast was amazing.”

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The remake will encompass everything fans loved about the 1987 classic, but it will also include a whole new batch of original material.

“Its all the music and dancing you love — it’s in this version,” the 48-year-old explained. “It’s longer so they were able to beef up the characters of Majorie Houseman — Baby’s mom — that I play, which it wasn’t much of a role the first time around. That was really exciting to me, being able to explore her and explore their marriage in the dynamics … that was very satisfying to me.”

“Also learning to dance and sing, because I sing a solo in the movie,” she continued. “So there were all kinds of extra challenges that scared me, and usually when I’m scared to do something I have to do it.”

“This isn’t a replica of the original, it takes some liberties,” Messing added. “It has the DNA of the original, but you are going to find out what happened to Baby and Johnny after that summer ended. So there’s some additional surprises in there that are new.”

The Will & Grace star went on to say that she hopes both the old and new fans enjoy the 2017 version of the iconic film, saying, “My hope is that people who loved the movie are going to be happy with all the things that are iconic with the movie, that they’ll appreciate the things that are new and modernized with this version.”

The three-hour film airs Wednesday, May 24, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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