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'Dirty Dancing' Turns 30! 9 Things You Didn't Know About the Iconic Film

by Raphael Chestang 5:02 PM PST, January 27, 2017
Playing 'Dirty Dancing' Turns 30! 9 Things You Didn't Know About the Iconic Film

In August, Dirty Dancing will celebrate 30 years since it first captivated audiences with its timeless tale, and ET is digging up some facts about the film that even hardcore fans might not know.

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1. Numerous pairings were considered to play the leads. Today, it's hard to imagine anyone besides Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the starring roles, but surprisingly, they weren't the first choice. The role of Johnny Castle was originally supposed to go to Val Kilmer, but he turned it down. Meanwhile, Grey could have lost the role of Baby Houseman to Sarah Jessica Parker or Sharon Stone, who both reportedly tried out for the part.

2. Some scenes in the movie were made up on the spot. "Tons of things were improvised," the late Swayze said in a featurette for the movie. "When I'm teaching Jennifer and I'm getting frustrated, trying to get her to be serious, and she's laughing or giggling the moment I run my hand down her arm -- that really is me getting frustrated, like, 'Would you just stop?!'"

3. The movie is based on the screenwriter’s real life. Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote the movie, drew from her life experience for the story. As a teenager, she won trophies for dancing, which she first picked up in Brooklyn.

4. The music was everything. The soundtrack has gone platinum 11 times in the U.S. on the way to selling more than 32 million copies worldwide.

5. Grey was significantly older than Baby. At 27 years old, Grey was 10 years older than her character.

6. Swayze didn't want to be in a sequel. The star, who died in 2009 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, was reportedly offered $6 million to do a sequel, but said no.

7. One of the most famous lines almost didn't make the final cut. "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" is one of the most quoted lines in cinematic history, but Swayze tried to get it taken out of the film because he disliked it so much.

8. Grey almost missed the film's 1987 premiere. Twelve days before the big night, the actress was involved in a car accident with then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick, which left two people dead in Ireland. "I'm feeling so happy to be here and to be alive and to be healthy," Grey told ET on the red carpet at the premiere.

9. ABC is doing a TV remake. The miniseries, starring Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes as Baby and Johnny, respectively, is set to air Wednesday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Dirty Dancing's 30th Anniversary Edition arrives on a limited Collector's Edition numbered box set, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and digital HD on Feb. 7.

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