Jennifer Grey, best known for her role as Baby in Dirty Dancing, released a 2022 memoir about her life and career. Along with the release, Grey also hit the interview circuit and answered questions about some of the juiciest and most intriguing topics in the book. These included, but certainly weren’t limited to, her relationship with former co-star Patrick Swayze, her early 1990s nose jobs, and her Hollywood comeback.
Her relationship with Swayze
Because she acted alongside Swayze in one of the most memorable romantic films of all time, many people have wondered about the relationship between the two, something she was happy to discuss in a PEOPLE magazine interview. Despite how it might have looked on the big screen, the pair actually had little chemistry off-camera and in fact, there was tension between them. Grey admitted that they weren’t a “natural match” like Baby and Johnny were supposed to be.
Yet she knew that she was the oddball in not being attracted to him, given that many fans were. “What’s wrong with me?”, she recalled thinking. In hindsight, Grey shared that if she could say anything to Swayze, who passed away in 2009, it would be: “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.”
A problematic nose job
Despite the incredible success she saw after the film was released, she realized that Dirty Dancing would only take her so far. In her memoir, Out of the Corner, she wrote, “there didn’t seem to be a surplus of parts for actresses who looked like me.” So she made the decision to drastically alter her look by getting two rhinoplasties. The first was a standard procedure, while the second was to attempt to fix a problem from the earlier surgery.
Instead of working in her favor to get more parts, the surgeries left Grey almost unrecognizable to those who knew her and made her the butt of tabloid jokes across the world. As she said in an interview with The New York Times, “Overnight I [lost] my identity and my career.” Although she was the one who ultimately decided to proceed with the nose jobs, it was really due to pressure from those around her.
In particular, her mother pushed for her to get the procedure from a very young age. Grey had no issues with her own appearance. She recalled, “My so-called ‘problem’ wasn’t really a problem for me, but since it seemed to be a problem for other people, and it didn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, by default it became my problem.”
Her future in Hollywood
Grey also discussed the future and her career comeback. She said, “I believe in my heart that the second half of a woman’s life is the best half. I can’t speak to a man as I’ve never been one, but I will tell you that my experience is the second half is the best half. I’m sure of it. I’ve never felt what I’m feeling these days.”
Of course, she also commented on the Dirty Dancing sequel which has officially been confirmed, with Grey playing Baby as an adult and working as an executive producer. She also confirmed that she is involved in creating the script alongside Lionsgate and hopes to honor the original film.
Of the original, she told PEOPLE, “It was lightning in a bottle, it’s like this thing happened, and it’s so beautiful, and I can’t explain it. No one can explain it…I would love to give fans or a young, new audience an experience that would never replicate that, but has the same kind of underpinnings.”