Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey wishes she could apologise to Patrick Swayze after real-life "tensions"

19 April 2022, 14:48 | Updated: 17 March 2023, 12:01

Smooth's Untold Stories: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's complicated relationship

By Tom Eames

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze created one of cinema's greatest ever romantic duos in Dirty Dancing, but it wasn't so smooth sailing in real life.

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Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey - who starred as Johnny and Baby in the classic 1987 movie Dirty Dancing - didn't get on too well off-camera, with "tensions" arising during filming.

Jennifer has now opened up about her relationship with Patrick in her new autobiography, Out of the Corner.

She wrote: "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."

Patrick Swayze sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Picture: Alamy

Jennifer added that if she had the chance to say anything to him now, she would apologize to him.

"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'," she said.

Grey has previously credited Swayze for helping her take on the tricky dance moves, saying: "He was really strong and he was very protective and his heart was very much in it.

"He smelled really good, his skin was really nice.”

Before he passed away, Swayze also spoke about their partnership, saying: “One thing that worked beautifully was that it really was a teaching situation."

He also called her "one of the most gifted actresses around in terms of her ability to be present in the moment right now".

On why Patrick wasn't her type, she added: “And the weird thing was, it’s like, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ I mean, I was not lacking.

“And he was married and very in love with his wife. Whatever he was doing, I was not… I was very busy with Matthew [Broderick]. Like, what could be more different.”

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey reunited in 1997
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey reunited in 1997. Picture: Alamy

Jennifer also opened about her regret on having a nose-job in the early 1990s, recalling a time when actor Michael Douglas didn't even recognise her.

"That was the first time I had gone out in public. And it became the thing, the idea of being completely invisible, from one day to the next," Grey told People.

"In the world's eyes, I was no longer me, and the weird thing was that thing that I resisted my whole life, and the thing I was so upset with my mother for always telling me I should do my nose. I really thought it was capitulating."

She added: "I just thought, 'I'm good enough. I shouldn't have to do this.' That's really what I felt. 'I'm beautiful enough.'"