Patrick Swayze Rejected a Reported $6 Million Payday for ‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel

Patrick Swayze is best known for playing Johnny Castle in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing alongside actor Jennifer Grey. The opportunity to star in the sequel was presented to Swayze, but he turned it down. Here’s why the actor reportedly refused a $6 million payday.

Patrick Swayze’s movies and TV shows

Patrick Swayze sits down for an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Patrick Swayze | Paul Natkin/Getty Images

One of Swayze’s early acting roles was in the 1979 film Skate Town U.S.A. The following year he played Chuck in the TV movie The Comeback Kid. After a few more television roles, Swayze played Darrel Curtis in The Outsiders.

Swayze’s first recurring TV role was in The Renegades. He played the character Bandit for six episodes. In addition to Dirty Dancing, some of Swayze’s other acting roles include appearances in Uncommon Valor, Steel Dawn, Road House, Ghost, and Point Break. His final acting role was in the 2009 movie Powder Blue in which he played Velvet Larry.

Patrick Swayze reportedly turned down $6 million for a ‘Dirty Dancing’ sequel

After Dirty Dancing’s success, Swayze was reportedly offered $6 million to star in a sequel. Despite the big payday, he turned down the offer.

Swayze’s widow, Lisa Niemi, tells Entertainment Tonight Swayze declined the offer because if he agreed to appear in the sequel, he wanted it to be perfect. Apparently, he didn’t think a follow-up would do the original film justice.

“He would not do it again unless it was absolutely perfect,” says Niemi. “Patrick had a high standard, and he wasn’t going to do it just for the money.”

Furthermore, Niemi spoke about the upcoming Dirty Dancing sequel during which Jennifer Grey is set to reprise her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman in 2024. Grey will also serve as an executive producer. Niemi doesn’t think the original movie can be copied, but she hopes it turns out well.

“I don’t think you could ever absolutely duplicate something,” says Niemi during her Entertainment Tonight interview. “I think you always have to start fresh. But if they’re going to do it, I hope it’s the absolute best and it has its own source of inspiration.”

Jennifer Grey talks about making ‘Dirty Dancing’ without Patrick Swayze

Grey shared her thoughts on making a Dirty Dancing sequel. “To make a movie without Patrick is already an enormous challenge,” Grey tells Entertainment Tonight. “It will never be that movie and it should never try to be that movie.”

Although Grey says in her autobiography Out of the Corner that she initially wasn’t thrilled to have Swayze as her leading man (she says he was a prankster on Red Dawn, a 1984 movie she did with him), she grew to appreciate him.

Grey also says she wishes she could tell Swayze she’s sorry for how she reacted to the news that he would be her co-star. “I’m so grateful to have had [Patrick] as my Johnny,” says Grey during her ET interview.

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