Jennifer Grey Looks Back at 'Dirty Dancing' on 25th Anniversary (Video)

Twenty five years ago, one little movie with an irresistible soundtrack, charismatic pair of leads and ultra-romantic dialogue made its mark on pop culture, carving out a place in movie history.

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August 21 marks the 25th anniversary of Dirty Dancing, the iconic film starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The film won an Oscar for best original song, grossed an estimated $214 million and sold more than 10 million copies on DVD.

After embarking on Skinny Cow's 6-city nationwide tour to celebrate the anniversary, Grey will watch the film on the big screen for the first time in more than 10 years on Tuesday night at a special event at the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Grey before the big celebration on Tuesday.

“It’s a part of me,” Grey tells THR about the 1987 film. “This movie is something that is so close to me that I don’t think I could be surprised by it, but it will be really nice to experience it on the big screen with an audience.”

The film follows college-bound Frances “Baby” Houseman as she spends the summer at a Catskills resort and catches the eye of bad-boy dance instructor Johnny Castle, who shows her how to dirty dance.

“We never knew that anyone would ever see it,” she says when THR asked what her expectations were when making the film. “When I was cast, I thought I got the lead in this movie because no one’s going to ever see it.”

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“We basically thought, we’re going to do this labor of love because we want to tell this story because we love dance,” she adds.

Grey says that she and Swayze were similar off screen to the way they were on-screen, with Grey being the less experienced, naïve partner while Swayze was a accomplished actor and dancer.

“He was physically very fearless, he wanted to do his own stunts,” she says of Swayze. “He was the person that was pushing me to try more, to do more."

Grey tells THR that she didn’t dance for years after Dirty Dancing.

“I felt very self-conscious that everyone would expect me to be good, so I never even took a class,” she tells THR.

More than once, she turned down requests to appear on ABC’s reality show, Dancing with the Stars. After Swayze died in 2009 and Grey went through health issues with thyroid cancer and multiple surgeries, she decided to take a turn on the show, and ended up winning with professional partner, Derek Hough.

“I just thought to myself, the only reason I wouldn’t do that is because of pride, fear of humiliating myself or being found out for not being as good of a dancer as everyone thinks I am, and I thought, I don’t want to live like that,” she says.

Grey’s passion for dance has grown so strong that she has plans to open a dance studio and brand by spring 2013.

Watch THR's interview with Grey above.

Email: Rebecca.ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford

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