Eleanor Bergstein would like to clear something up: Patrick Swayze was the only actor ever considered for the lead in Dirty Dancing. The screenwriter of the beloved 1987 film has seen one too many listicles claiming that Val Kilmer or Billy Zane was the filmmakers’ first pick for Johnny Castle, the working-class dance instructor who falls for idealistic teenager Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey) at a Catskills resort in the early 1960s. “Patrick was the only actor who was ever offered this, and he’s the only one we ever wanted,” Bergstein told Yahoo Movies in an interview on Thursday.
The 55-year-old actress, who’s in Amazon’s new ‘80s-set comedy Red Oaks, has been in plenty of movies and TV shows since starring in 1987’s hit romance Dirty Dancing.
It’s always instructive to be reminded that not all of America has bought into the “everybody watches television on multiple platforms now” sell-job that emanates from both makers of Internet and broadcast television.