Jennifer Grey on her infamous nose job: 'Overnight I lost my identity and my career'

Jennifer Grey on her infamous nose job: 'Overnight I lost my identity and my career'
Before (R) and after (L) look of Jennifer Grey after her infamous nose job (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)(Instagram/Jennifer Grey)

Jennifer Grey has recently opened up about her infamous nose job at the height of her career in the early 90's and how her new look left her unrecognizable, making the actress "lose her identity and her career overnight". The 62-year-old actress underwent two rhinoplasties after starring alongside Patrick Swayze in the hit 1987 film 'Dirty Dancing.'

Jennifer Grey in an interview promoting her new memoir, 'Out of the Corner' recalled how she attended a premiere shortly after her nose job and her actor friend Michael Douglas had no idea who she was because she looked so different. "That was the first time I had gone out in public," said Grey. "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," she added. 


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The 'Dirty Dancing' actress continued: "And the weird thing was that thing that I resisted my whole life, and the thing I was so upset with [was] my mother for always telling me I should do my nose." She added, "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.'"

In her memoir, Grey touches on being shunned from Hollywood writing: "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," she added. The actress in an interview with People admitted that the consequences of her nose job was: "Overnight I lost my identity and my career." 


Grey recalled how everyone from Andy Warhol would comment on her nose shape pre-surgery, with the artist remarking that her father, Oscar-winner Joel Grey, had also got his nose done. Grey said: "There was only one thing [Warhol] said to me, about me. And it was like, 'And you know, I would look at Jennifer. I would wonder, you know, why was her...Um, her dad got a nose job. Why wouldn't he make sure she had one too" or something like that."

The 62-year-old actress continued: "It's like everywhere I went, I'd be like, 'Wait. Excuse me. I'm a person with other features and other amazing characteristics. Why is everyone so hung on the nose?'". Grey admitted that her mother, actress Jo Wilder, is the one who put the idea in her head as she didn't want her to look Jewish in order to be cast in a wide range of roles. The actress talking about her mother said: "She was saying, 'Guess what? It's too hard to cast you. Make it easier for them.'"


Grey talking about her nose job said, "But when I was a kid, I was completely anti-rhinoplasty. I mean it was like my religion. I loved that my parents did it. I understand it was the 50s. I understand they were assimilating. I understood that you had to change your name and you had to do certain things, and it was just normalized, right?." She continued, "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."

Grey also talked about her late 'Dirty Dancing' co-star Patrick Swayze, who died in 2009 at the age of 57 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Admitting that she shared zero chemistry during filming, Grey said: "The same way Baby and Johnny were not supposed to be together … a natural match, right? And we weren't a natural match. And the fact that we needed to be a natural match created a tension."

Grey said that if she could say anything to Swayze now, she would say: "I’m so sorry that I couldn’t just appreciate and luxuriate in who you are, instead of me wishing you were more like what I wanted you to be."

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