Colt Prattes wanted to bring as much heart to ‘Dirty Dancing’ remake as Patrick Swayze did to original film

Credit: Photo courtesy of ABC

Colt Prattes has performed on Broadway, danced on tour and now he’s taking on his first film role as Johnny Castle in the “Dirty Dancing” television remake 30 years after the film’s original release.

Prattes says Broadway was his first dream, but as a self-proclaimed cinephile, he eventually wanted to act. 

“This was a totally new experience and at the same time it was just everything I’ve been wanting [and] that my soul’s been burning for. So it just felt good. I was so thankful to be there.”

Of course, replacing Patrick Swayze as the summer heartthrob of the 80’s doesn’t come without pressure and Prattes is prepared for that. He’s been a fan of the late actor for years and says that it was the film that inspired him to pursue a dancing career in the first place. Yet, when he auditioned for the role, he hid his copy of the film to project his own creative interpretation of Johnny Castle. 

“I wanted to bring as much of my heart [to the role] the same way I felt [Patrick Swayze] brought his heart to it. I hope people dig it and that some little kid gets inspired to dance the way he inspired me to dance,” he says.

The three hour special on CTV is longer, fiercer and bursting with details that fans have been waiting 30 years to find out: what happens to Baby (Abigail Breslin) and Johnny after that iconic summer? Along with a five minute epilogue we’ll get some more screen time with Baby’s mom, Marjorie Houseman, (Debra Messing) who has a solo and Baby’s sister, Lisa Houseman (Sarah Hyland). 

Although they’ve made a few changes, there are some things that have to stay the same and that includes the pivotal lift. The routine that sealed the characters’ fates as the most memorable dancers on film was much more than just a lift, says Prattes. He says the technique represents Baby and Johnny’s entire relationship.

“The most important thing is that I just have to be her support in that moment. That lift is the movie, it is the relationship,” he says. “She has to, at the end of that, throw all caution to the wind, run with all of her heart, and jump and just trust that I’m going to take care of her.”

Prattes favourite part of filming the movie was seeing Breslin’s reaction after perfecting the lift. The actress learned to dance just for the film and both she and Prattes were beaming with pride. Prattes encourages viewers to see the moment for themselves tonight at 8/7c on CTV.