Jennifer Grey has been working hard to make a "Dirty Dancing" sequel happen — but it hasn't been easy without Patrick Swayze.
The movie, which was set at a vacation resort called Kellerman's in 1963, starred Grey as Baby, a teenage girl besotted with a resort dance instructor named Johnny, played by Swayze, who died of cancer in 2009 at age 57.
"What happened happened, and that will never happen again. There will never be another Johnny. There will never be another Patrick," Grey said of her late co-star, who would have turned 70 on Aug. 18.
"This sequel has got to be its own standalone piece. It’s very tricky," she added.
The "Dirty Dancing" sequel already has a script, said Grey, and it will bring back the character of Baby.
"I can’t tell you much, sadly, but I will tell you that it will involve Baby. It will involve Kellerman’s. There will be music. Unless there’s a lot of CGI, Baby’s going to be a little older," she said, laughing. "It’s going to be Kellerman’s, music, dancing, love story, romance. I’m just so super committed and invested in making it a fresh (take)."
When Grey was asked if she gets tired of talking about the enduring appeal of "Dirty Dancing," which features a subplot about Baby and Johnny helping a friend obtain an illegal abortion, she said no.
"You know why? Because there are so many layers to this movie. There is so much goodness under what feels like a fluffy rom-com fairytale. There is so much depth in the structure of the characters, and the relevance to what’s going on right now," she said, alluding to the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.
"I’m the person responsible for this story right now, because I’m maybe one of the last living people who (starred in the film)," she added.
“The same way Baby and Johnny were not supposed to be together … a natural match, right? And we weren’t a natural match. And the fact that we needed to be a natural match created a tension. Because normally when someone’s not a natural, you… both people move on, but we were forced to be together. And our being forced to be together created a kind of a synergy, or like a friction,” she explained.
Grey went on to say that she wishes she could apologize to Swayze for not accepting him as he was.
"I feel like if I could say anything to him now I would say, ‘I’m so sorry that I couldn’t just appreciate and luxuriate in who you were, instead of me wishing you were more like what I wanted you to be.’”