Debra Messing on how 'Dirty Dancing' remake will be different from original

Messing plays Marjorie Houseman in the remake.

ByMICHAEL ROTHMAN
April 4, 2017, 3:13 PM

— -- After 30 years, the classic hit "Dirty Dancing" is being remade into a TV movie for ABC.

Abigail Breslin will take on the lead role of Baby, originally played by Jennifer Grey, while Debra Messing will play her mother, Marjorie Houseman. There's a slew of other stars featured in the film, out May 24, such as Bruce Greenwood and Billy Dee Williams.

ABC News caught up with Messing to chat about how this remake will be different from the 1987 classic and how the original film actually inspired her to become the actress she is today.

"I remember being a kid when it came out and sitting in the movie theater and thinking, 'This is the first time I've actually seen a leading lady who isn't perfect,'" she said.

PHOTO: Debra Messing at Hotel Eventi in New York City, April 4, 2017.
Debra Messing at Hotel Eventi in New York City, April 4, 2017.
Getty Images for CoolSculpting

In fact, Messing said that made her believe "there might be a place for me in Hollywood."

"It was a turning point for me. Like I thought, 'Oh, I'm Jewish and I'm awkward, oh I'm Baby!'" she added.

This version will bring fans everything they loved from the original, which starred the late Patrick Swayze, including the iconic leap for Baby into Johnny's arms.

"But it's a little longer," she added. "So, you learn a lot more about Baby's mom and Baby's dad, and those dynamics. And you also find out what happens to Baby and Johnny after the original movie ends [after the summer at the Catskills resort]."

For Swayze, who died in 2009 after battling cancer, Messing said the "whole thing is a tribute" to the late actor.

"He was Johnny," she said.

For more from Messing, watch the full interview above.

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