Access Hollywood spoke with Grey, on a recent break from her current rehearsals, about Swayze and the role his premature death played in her decision to join the series.
“I want to reconnect with that thing that made me so filled with life, and it’s not too late,” says the 50-year-old, who admits that reminders of mortality motivated her to conquer her fear of learning to dance on live television.
Grey still speaks with Swayze’s widow, Lisa Niemi, and though she’s not sure if Niemi will be able to make it to a taping of the series, she did receive an encouraging note from her when ABC announced the cast.
When discussion turns to a possible “Dirty Dancing” homage when the season is off and running, Grey still dances around the subject — pun fully intended. “I am a mother of an eight-year-old child, and I will not be doing any dirty dancing,” Grey says, with feigned incredulity at the suggestion.
Partner Derek Hough was a bit more transparent, his eyes widening at the the prospect of recreating one of the film’s iconic scenes. Barring an unlikely week-one kick-off, expect to have the time of our life in Season 11.
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