Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey Opens Up About Michael Douglas Not Even Recognizing Her After Nose Jobs Made It Harder To Get Work

Many celebrities feel pressured to get plastic surgery for more work to flow. In this glamorized and, at times, shallow business, not being sought out for roles can make certain actresses feel they must change something about their appearance to make getting work easier. One of those actresses is Jennifer Grey. While she was iconic in her ‘80s role in Dirty Dancing, she was unrecognizable to some because of the two nose jobs she had in the early 1990s. In her upcoming memoir Out of the Corner, Jennifer Grey opens up about how her nose jobs made it hard for her to get work and that even Michael Douglas didn’t recognize her.

After Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey got two nose jobs, she went out in public for the first time by attending a movie premiere. A recognizable actor she saw at the premiere was Wall Street’s Michael Douglas who didn’t seem to recognize her. Grey spoke to People about the pressure she felt from her mother to get her nose done and feeling so invisible after that. 

That was the first time I had gone out in public. And it became the thing, the idea of being completely invisible, from one day to the next. In the world’s eyes, I was no longer me. and the weird thing was that thing that I resisted my whole life, and the thing I was so upset with my mother for always telling me I should do my nose. I really thought it was capitulating. I really thought it meant surrendering to the enemy camp. I just thought, ‘I’m good enough. I shouldn’t have to do this.’ That’s really what I felt. ‘I’m beautiful enough.’

It’s pretty tragic that her efforts to be more successful in Hollywood actually made her less recognizable. Another actress who may be able to relate to Grey would be Melanie Griffith, who recalled that all of her plastic surgeries made her look unrecognizable. It wasn’t until people were shocked at her appearance in recent films like The Disaster Artist that she regretted the plastic surgery she got done and sought to fix what the previous doctor did that made her look too different. Even Jane Fonda had wished that she was brave enough to go without plastic surgery, as she felt the need to change her appearance many times to feel comfortable with herself. If Hollywood more often embraced women's natural looks, perhaps actress like the ones mentioned would have been able to book their same jobs without cosmetic surgery.

While Jennifer Grey thought the choices she made for her appearance would get her more work, people would no longer look at her as the woman who danced with Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing or tried to get her brother in trouble in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. She continued to open up in her interview about contemplating why she was cast in the shadows during her career.

I spent so much energy trying to figure out what I did wrong, why I was banished from the kingdom. That’s a lie. I banished myself.

Even though Jennifer Grey may not have the A-list career that other actresses from the 1980s have like Whoopi Goldberg or Michelle Pfeiffer have, she’s still making appearances in projects today. You can see her in small film projects like co-starring in Untogether with Fifty Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan and Bittersweet Symphony. She also made several TV appearances like winning in season 11 of Dancing with the Stars, a couple of guest appearances on The Connors, and a three-episode arc on Grey’s Anatomy. She must still be memorable if there are fans who continue to be insane enough to reenact the infamous lift scene from Dirty Dancing still! 

You can expect to recognize Jennifer Grey when you see her reprise her role as Baby in the upcoming Dirty Dancing sequel and see her memoir hit the shelves on May 3rd. To prepare yourself for the sequel, you can watch Dirty Dancing on your HBO Max subscription

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.