Dirty Dancing Star Jennifer Grey Says Andy Warhol Once Suggested She Get A Nose Job

Jennifer Grey
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jennifer Grey rose to fame in the late ‘80s thanks to her roles in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and, most notably, Dirty Dancing, where she played Baby Houseman opposite Patrick Swayze, and uttered the classic line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Following the breakout role, Grey’s career didn’t explode like some expected, and now, in her new memoir aptly named, Out of the Corner, the actress is opening up about the last 35 years, and specifically the nose job she still regrets to this day.

While chatting with People, Grey revealed that growing up, her mom always pressured her to get rhinoplasty. "She loves me, loved me, always has, and she was pragmatic because she was saying, 'Guess what? It's too hard to cast you. Make it easier for them,’” Grey said. Up until that point, Grey described herself as “completely anti-rhinoplasty” despite her parents both undergoing the surgery. “It was like my religion,” she said, though she understood why her parents both did it. “It was the 50s. I understand they were assimilating,” she said. “I understood that you had to change your name and you had to do certain things, and it was just normalized, right? You can't be gay. You can't be Jewish. You know, you can't look Jewish. You're just trying to fit into whatever is the group think.”

Eventually, Grey surrendered “to the enemy camp” and had a nose job. In fact, she ended up having two, and after her second, she saw her friend Michael Douglas at a premiere and he didn’t even recognize her. “In the world's eyes, I was no longer me,” Grey recalled.

“I was so upset with my mother for always telling me I should do my nose,” Grey said, but she later learned her mother wasn’t the only one talking about it. When Grey was just a teenager, she spent a lot of time at Andy Warhol’s collective, The Factory, so years later, she was excited to look at Warhol’s published diaries to see if she was mentioned. According to Grey, in the book, Warhol agreed with Grey’s mother on their long held debate and said, “[Jennifer’s] dad got a nose job. Why wouldn't he make sure she had one too?” For Grey, this was very hurtful. “I'm a person with other features and other amazing characteristics,” she said. “Why is everyone so hung up on the nose?” Of course, Warhol was notoriously vain and insecure about his own looks, and he himself reportedly had work done on his nose in his 20s, so it’s possible he was just projecting.

These days, though, Grey is feeling better than ever. “I believe in my heart that the second half of a woman's life is the best half,” she said. “I've never felt what I'm feeling these days.” In fact, the actress is even working on a sequel to Dirty Dancing with the hope to give “a young, new audience an experience” similar to first one. “Dirty Dancing was a fairy tale,” she said. “A successful movie and formula, using dance as a metaphor for embodying your energy and getting out of your head, and your limiting belief systems.”