The filming of the movie was so curious, beset by unusual events; injuries, property destruction, theft, and whatnot. Apparently, Jennifer Grey was not immune to “the curse” that followed the Dirty Dancing cast. Patrick Swayze and the others had been injured, so she made sure to be careful.
The set was prepared outdoors, and as they were about to wrap it up for the day, Grey was suddenly swarmed with stingy wasps. She got stung multiple times on her arm; swollen, they called for a makeup artist only to find out she had just quit. They were able to find a new one, but a week later, by some weird circumstance, she broke her wrist and two fingers.
Jennifer’s Laughing Fit
They were both practicing alone in a room, and Johnny stood behind Baby’s back. She reached up and put her arms behind his head, and he slowly ran his fingers down her arms, and the scene would be cut a number of times as Baby couldn’t help herself from giggling. Patrick Swayze started to be annoyed, and wanted the scene to be over with.
The director felt they should try it again, and instead capture the whole scene and make it part of the movie. It turned out to be one of the most honest moments shot on that film, and moviegoers really love it. This was way better than originally planned, and Grey’s giggling, and Swayze’s annoyed look was encapsulated into one of the most memorable moments of Dirty Dancing.
Swayze Got Injured
One of Patrick Swayze’s main advantages in auditioning for the film was his dancing background. Casting directors were really impressed with his talent, and decided to give him the lead role over the others. His mother owned a dance studio, and taught him the moves growing up. She even worked on the film with him.
However, just as in sports, dancing can cause practitioners regular injuries. Swayze had already injured his knee after failing to balance on a log, and as he lifted Baby at the lake, practicing the famous “water lift” and the dance down the log scene, he was hurting. It was so bad that he could hardly wade across to get out of the water.
The Lodge Actually Exists
Because the movie was granted a very low budget to start, they set up to film it in two places, hoping it would have a similar environmental effect on-screen as the Catskills mountains they were supposed to be ensconced in. Besides, by this time, many hotels and resorts in the Catskills had been closed down. The first location was in Lake Lure, North Carolina. The boys camp they used has now been converted into a residential community called Firefly Cove.
The second location was at the Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia, where they shot the dining scenes, and Kellerman’s hotel. Those who visit the lodge nowadays get to enjoy the treat of participating in events shown in the movie such as watermelon tossing. An overnight stay is possible in the cabin that used to accommodate Baby Houseman.
No One Other Than Patrick
After the movie had gained worldwide popularity, as is almost always the case, rumors about it started to surface. One specifically targeted Patrick Swayze who, as gossips would have it, wasn’t the original choice for the lead role. This, however, was denied by writer, Eleanor Bergstein, during her 2017 interview with Yahoo! Movies.
“Patrick was the only actor who was ever offered this [role], and he’s the only one we ever wanted,” Bergstein said. And this makes sense, because their main focus was to look for an actor who could also dance. And Swayze sure had the moves.