Jennifer Grey on Derek Hough: 'He Would Make an Amazing Johnny Castle'
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By Rebecca Silverstein
Rumors of who's going to be on "Dancing With the Stars" this season have the Internet abuzz, but that's not the only news that has fans in a tizzy. Three-time "DWTS" champion Derek Hough has been pegged as the frontrunner to play Johnny Castle in the recently announced "Dirty Dancing" remake.
Derek tells Wonderwall that the buzz is all speculation at this point. "I've just been on vacation, and I came back and there was all this Twitter stuff [about it] and I was like, 'Whoa, what's going on?'" he said at Just Dance 3 Launch Party at Fiat Beach House in Malibu yesterday. "I'm flattered by whoever the rumors were started by."
Nevertheless, Derek's "DWTS" cast mates are excited for their pal. "Derek's so talented. I think he'd be amazing," Kym Johnson says. "He danced with the real Baby!" Echoes Cheryl Burke, "He's so super talented, and he'd be awesome playing that role."
Derek has one very meaningful person rooting for him to get the part: Jennifer Grey, who played Baby in the original flick, and who also took home the Season 11 mirror ball trophy with Hough in November 2010. "Derek would make an amazing Johnny Castle," she says. "He's the best dancer I can think of, and he belongs in movies."
The uber-competitive Maksim Chmerkovskiy is more skeptical. "The role of Johnny is very big," he says. "Obviously there are huge shoes to fill." Anna Trebunskaya agrees, saying, "He's not quite like Patrick Swayze. Patrick Swayze would probably still win in my eyes."
Derek is maintaining a nonchalant attitude about the idea. "I never want to be aggressive. It's really whatever's right," he says. "I never want to do something if I didn't truly believe I was right for it. I would never want to do something for the sake of doing it." Still, he says, he "wouldn't be opposed to the idea if the opportunity were to arise."
So with Derek as Johnny, who would be his Baby? "Maybe Natalie Portman. We know she can dance, from 'Black Swan.' She's got the moves," Kym Johnson says.
"I think someone with a little comedy to them, like Emma Stone, who has dancing experience," says Lacey Schwimmer, pointing out that Emma even knows the famous "Dirty Dancing" lift. "My boyfriend [DJ Guthrie] was the choreographer for that ['Crazy, Stupid, Love'] and had to teach her that lift," she says. "It's a funny story. He loved working with her. She was very scared to be in the air, apparently. DJ did it with her a bunch of times, and when Ryan [Gosling] went to go do it with her, she was like, 'Ryan doesn't do it as good as you, DJ!'"
So we guess Ryan won't be your competition, Derek!
What do you think of Derek Hough as Johnny Castle? Tell us in the comments!
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