Jennifer Grey became a household name after playing Baby in Dirty Dancing in the summer of 1987.
And now the 62-year-old actress is opening up about her life in the fast lane of Hollywood, and beyond, in her new memoir, Out Of The Corner.
Among the revelations is the time Madonna confessed that her hit 1989 song, Express Yourself, was inspired by Grey’s love life; more specifically, her breakup with actor Matthew Broderick.
Confessional: Jennifer Grey, 62, recalled when Madonna told her that her song Express Yourself was inspired by her breakup with ex-fiancé Matthew Broderick in the late 1980s in her upcoming memoir
Grey began dating Broderick while the two were shooting Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which began in September 1985 and lasted through until near the end of November of that year.
The following year Grey auditioned for a movie that would be called Dirty Dancing. She landed the role of Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and Patrick Swayze would be hired to play Johnny Castle.
Having been thrust into the young Hollywood scene after her roles in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing, Grey got engaged to Broderick, only to split after about four years.
Soon after she started dating Johnny Depp, who was a television star at that time with 21 Jump Street.
Mates: Grey and Madonna had become ‘close friends’ by the late 1980s, starring together in the 1989 period comedy film Bloodhounds Of Broadway; they are seen in April 1988
During that period, Grey had also become close friends with Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone), now 63.
‘We did Bloodhounds Of Broadway together,’ she said of the 1989 ensemble period comedy film that also starred Matt Dillon, Julie Hagerty, Rutger Hauer, Esai Morales, Steve Buscemi, among others.
With their growing friendship, the pop superstar threw Grey a party for her 29th birthday in March 1989. It was during that party that Madonna told her about the influence she and Broderick had on Express Yourself, which was the second single on her fourth studio album, Like A Virgin (1989).
‘She told me she wrote Express Yourself about me breaking up with Matthew,’ Grey recalls in her memoir, before remembering the first time she heard the song.
‘She played it for me in her car. I was in my log cabin with Johnny [Depp] and she said, “Come into my car.” And I got in her Mercedes where she had a really good sound system and she was like, “Listen to this song I just did. It’s about you.”‘
Split: Grey began dating Broderick while the two were shooting Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which began in September 1985 and lasted through until near the end of November of that year
The inspiration: ‘Listen to this song I just did. It’s about you,’ Madonna told Grey when she first played Express Yourself to her; the actress is pictured arriving for Madonna’s 31st birthday party in Hollywood in August 1989
Someone could make a case that the song lyrics make a reference to Grey’s iconic Baby character from Dirty Dancing.
‘Don’t go for second best, baby – Put your love to the test – You know, you know, you’ve got to – Make him express how he feels – And maybe then you’ll know your love is real,’ Madonna sings in the catchy chorus of the up-beat dance-pop song.
There may very well be another couple of shout outs to ‘Baby’ in verse two.
‘You deserve the best in life – So if the time isn’t right, then move on – Second best is never enough – You’ll do much better, baby, on your own (Baby, on your own),’ the iconic singer-songwriter belts out.
‘Baby’ references: Someone could make a case that the song lyrics make a reference to Grey’s iconic Baby character from Dirty Dancing with lines like, ‘Don’t go for second best, baby – Put your love to the test,’ in the chorus and ‘Second best is never enough – You’ll do much better, baby, on your own (Baby, on your own),’ in the second verse
Grey went on to reveal that she contacted Madonna in more recent times and brought-up her inspiration for Express Yourself in an e-mail.
‘Did you just tell that to everyone?’ the actress asked the Material Girl. So far, there’s no word on whether she’s still sticking by the story that she told Grey more than three decades ago.
Grey’s memoir is scheduled to be released on May 3.
‘Out of the Corner isn’t all about regret, survival or reinvention. It’s a funny, dishy, occasionally heartbreaking coming-of-age story,’ the New York City native described her book, in part, in a new promotional post on her Instagram page.
Coming: Grey’s memoir – Out Of The Corner – is slated to be released on May 3