Bruce Greenwood admits Dirty Dancing fans will find answers to lingering questions in Channel 5 remake


ABC’S Dirty Dancing reboot is finally coming to the UK and features some very famous faces.


As well as Abigial Breslin and Colt Prattes taking on the iconic roles of Baby and Johnny, the film also stars Nicole Scherzinger as dance teacher Penny, Debra Messing as baby’s mother Marjorie Houseman, and Bruce Greenwood as Jake Houseman…

Tell us about your version of Jake Houseman. It’s an expanded world for fans of the first movie, so what piqued your interest?

Bruce Greenwood: I think one of the great advantages this script has is that although it remains faithful to the original in many ways, particularly with the music and the relationship between Baby and Johnny, it expands the relationships between Jake and Marjorie and between Jake and Marjorie and Lisa.

You get to know more about Neil as well, and you get to know about Lisa’s aspirations; not to give anything away, but you also get to find out what happens to Johnny and Baby later, after the summer.
Were you a fan of the original movie?

BG: 30 years ago I saw the original. I was a young guy full of you know what and it was exciting. And then I watched it again like 30 years later when I decided to do this and I was stunned actually at how sexy it was, even now.

The way the original DP did such a phenomenal job -it was so rich and it was so lush and there was so much chiaroscuro kind of vibe happening that it made it all the more sexy.

He got really tight on all kinds of beautiful body parts without it being prurient or overt and without it being course, it was really sexy, and that’s a high bar to tread that line.

Jerry Orbach played the original version of your character. Was there anything from Jerry’s performance or anything from the film that you brought along?

BG: If there are echoes of Jerry’s performance, it’s a function of the script I think to some degree.

They are different people because not only are they being played by different people but also because there is this ongoing, very strong b-story between Jake and Marjorie that wasn’t part of the original.

So the moments that Jerry had in between the trials with Baby are now complicated with this character because there is this other story happening with Marjorie. So it’s just different.
Will people who watch this be as invested as the original?

BG: I don’t think you have to think of it as investing time and watching it, particularly. I think it’s going to grip you. I think it will be hard to pull yourself away.

Not at least because these other stories are revealing more about these characters than you previously knew. I think everybody’s expectation is going to be that it’s faithful to the original, and I think that will be delivered, but other stuff is going to be revealed that I think would keep people tied into it.

Can you tease us a bit and describe the dynamic between Jake and Marjorie?

BG: Jake and Marjorie have been married for 25 years, he is a busy, busy surgeon and she has been busy raising the kids and they have grown apart.

One of them is more inclined to try and repair that than the other. It becomes difficult because of all of the stuff that happens with Baby and Johnny sort of takes a front seat and this relationship that they came up to the mountains to repair gets put aside because of all of the stuff that’s happening with Baby, which then creates more tension.
Sarah Hyland and Abigail Breslin play your daughters in this. What’s the dynamic and how much fun have you have been having with these young actresses?

BG: They are young and they are smart and they are talented, so it hasn’t been really fun. They have been a problem!

No, they’re great. They’re excited to be here, they are both wonderful actresses and we have had a nice vibe from the start. We are all staying in the same motel, which helps. The cast is having a good time.

How would you describe the difference in this, in terms of the fact that this is a musical and the original, while it had music in it, the talent in this cast are actually bringing that to life by singing?

BG: We are sticking with a lot of the iconic lines and original music that everybody loved so much, but we have also added, I don’t know, at least half as much again in terms of music and songs, so virtually everybody gets to sing.

It is a musical.

There are not five or six pages that go by without somebody busting out in song.

Including yourself?

BG: Including myself. I do get the sing a tune.

Isn’t there a scene with the piano?

BG: There was a scene with me and a piano. A love scene with me on a piano.

Was that a challenge for you?

BG: Learning the part was a challenge because it was all sort of Bill Evans chords and I am not a piano player. I spent a long time trying to figure out what those inversions are and I don’t read music, so that made it even more heavy-lifting, but ultimately I figured out what the changes were and they stayed on my fingers long enough to know that, okay, it looks like he can play.
Do you enjoy that side of doing something different?

BG: Oh, yeah! I would have given anything to have another song. Absolutely.

What you think is going to set this version apart?

BG: I think in terms of the cast that maybe this is sort of racially more inclusive, which in turn, speaks to these divides that remain today.

We have ample racial tension that’s a function of what the vibe was in 1963 but it echoes, unfortunately, what’s happening today in many ways.

I think they have cast it in such a way that the dynamic and those conflicts and those reminders that we are still dealing with those same issues, is kind of right at the forefront.

What do you think about Colt [Prattes]’ version of Johnny Castle?

BG: Colt dances like a maniac. The scenes that I have had with him, he has been right there, super present. It could do great things for him.

What’s it been like working with Nicole Scherzinger?

BG: Nicole has been great. Nicole has been really fantastic. We have had a couple of scenes where Dr. Houseman comes and ministers to her and she is super present. She is very, very available.

If I hadn’t been told, I would have thought she had been acting forever but apparently she hasn’t. It was just kind of like, really? Is this that easy for you? Really? Wow! Okay.

In a sentence, can you tell us why we should watch this new version?

BG: I think the strength of this version of Dirty Dancing is that it’s really true to the original and lifts the lid on all kinds of questions you might have had about the original when you first watched it. So it’s as though you get to revisit the family and get a little closer.

Source: http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/11/bruce-greenwood-admits-dirty-dancing-fans-will-find-answers-to-lingering-questions-in-channel-5-remake-6701744/

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