Jennifer Grey Opens Up On Nose Job That Made Her ‘Completely Invisible’

“In the world's eyes, I was no longer me,” the “Dirty Dancing” star said of life after her rhinoplasty.

Jennifer Grey was not having the time of her life after her rhinoplasty.

In interviews published Monday, Grey — who is releasing her memoir “Out of the Corner” on May 3 — told The New York Times and People about the two nose jobs she got after she starred in the 1987 smash hit “Dirty Dancing” and how they drastically changed her appearance.

“After Dirty Dancing, I was America’s sweetheart, which you would think would be the key to unlocking all my hopes and dreams,” Grey writes in her memoir, according to the Times. “But it didn’t go down that way.”

Jennifer Grey attends the premiere of "Dirty Dancing" in 1987.
Jennifer Grey attends the premiere of "Dirty Dancing" in 1987.
Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

In the memoir, Grey recalls that after “Dirty Dancing,” there were still not “a surplus of parts for actresses who looked like me.” She was apparently told that her nose was “a problem.”

“My so-called ‘problem’ wasn’t really a problem for me, but since it seemed to be a problem for other people, and it didn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, by default it became my problem,” she writes, according to the Times. “It was as plain as the nose on my face.”

Grey told People that she was “completely anti-rhinoplasty” and “resisted” the surgery most of her life.

“I really thought it meant surrendering to the enemy camp,” Grey said. “I just thought, ‘I’m good enough. I shouldn’t have to do this.’ That’s really what I felt. ‘I’m beautiful enough.’”

Grey noted that her mother, actor Jo Wilder, had gotten the surgery, as did her father, Oscar-winning actor Joel Grey, and that the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” star sympathized with her parents’ reasons.

“I understand it was the 50s. I understand they were assimilating,” Grey told People of her Jewish parents. “I understood that you had to change your name and you had to do certain things, and it was just normalized, right? … 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 says her mom loved her but suggested she get a rhinoplasty for the sake of her acting career.

After consulting with her mother and three plastic surgeons, Grey underwent two surgeries to “fine-tune” her nose. The second surgery was meant to correct an irregularity caused by the first, but she said it left her nose “truncated” and “dwarfed,” according to the Times.

Grey during the 1999 ABC Network Summer TCA press tour.
Grey during the 1999 ABC Network Summer TCA press tour.
Jim Smeal via Getty Images

Grey told People she knew she had made a mistake — she refers to it as “schnozzageddon” — when she ran into actor Michael Douglas at a premiere after her second surgery and he didn’t recognize her.

“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.”

Grey also recalled when an airline employee looked at her driver’s license, didn’t recognize her, but noted she had the same name as Jennifer Grey … the actor.

Grey attends the L.A. Dance Project Annual Gala in 2021.
Grey attends the L.A. Dance Project Annual Gala in 2021.
Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images

When Grey told the employee, “Actually, it is me,” she said that the woman responded: “I’ve seen ‘Dirty Dancing’ a dozen times. I know Jennifer Grey. And you are not her.”

“Overnight I lose my identity and my career,” Grey wrote in her memoir, according to the Times.

But the actor — who is arguably as famous for her plastic surgery as her beloved role as Baby Houseman in “Dirty Dancing” — says she’s tired of others controlling her narrative and is ready to claim it for herself.

“That’s a new feeling,” she told People. “To take myself out of the corner — and to recognize that I have been putting myself there, through story, through narratives that weren’t giving me the best life. The story I was telling myself about how I got here was not a great story. And not entirely true. I hadn’t seen the ways in which I’d made choices.”

Read Grey’s full interviews at The New York Times and People.

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