Nobody puts Gray’s Baby in the corner, but Swayze almost left her there. Their undeniable chemistry on screen wasn’t what it seemed with the film’s producer and choreographer both describing the uncomfortable reality behind the movie magic. Think of the adorable scene where she can’t stop giggling when he teaches her to dance. The truth is Gray’s behaviour was actually driving Swayze up the wall. But was it really as bad as it sounds?
Both stars had to fight to get their iconic roles. Bigger names like Sarah Jessica Parker, Billy Zane and Val Kilmer were initially chased for the leads. And when Gray finally landed the part, she did not want to co-star with Swayze at all. They had previously worked together on Red Dawn and she thought he was an arrogant “jerk.”
Swayze had to personally approach her to persuade her to change her mind.
Although Gray later spoke around the subject, saying he was “a great dancer and he was fearless,” their time together on set was fraught with problems – although ironically that probably created their famous electrifying chemistry.
SCROLL DOWN FOR INCREDIBLE FOOTAGE OF SWAYZE AND GRAY REHEARSING THAT LIFT
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Gray herself admitted: “His fearlessness with my fearfulness…together was like a marriage where you have two opposites. He’d do anything and I’d be scared to do anything.”
In the end, of course, the clash of two opposites created something magical. And it is clear that the shoot, however trying at times, was also a place where both stars were able to show everything they were capable of.
Dirty Dancing remains a cinematic benchmark for inscreen romance 35 years after its release. The only tragedy is that Swayze, who died in 2009, is not here to enjoy it – or to star in the sequel.