Jennifer Grey says the '80s feel like yesterday - Metro US

Jennifer Grey says the ’80s feel like yesterday

Amazon Studios

Jennifer Grey has made her way back to the ’80s.

This time around, instead of a Catskills resort, it’s a New Jersey country club, “Red Oaks”.

In Amazon’s sweet, slice-of-life comedy series, the actress plays Judy Myers, a slightly neurotic housewife on quest to find herself after she and her husband Sam (Richard Kind) split up.

Not unlike her son, the college-aged David (Craig Roberts) who coaches tennis at the club while trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, Judy is also coming of age. Season 2, out Friday, shows her exploring her new found freedom — and bisexuality—like “an adolescent in a mid-life body,” says Grey.

We chatted with the 56-year-old actress about what she misses most about the era, and why we won’t be seeing her in the upcoming “Dirty Dancing” remake.

Related: Paul Reiser likes playing the jerk in ‘Red Oaks’

What’s it like going back to the ’80s?

It feels like yesterday. Doesn’t feel like such a big deal. It feels like yesterday, without cell phones and the internet. Which means, people look at each other when they walk down the street. They look at the road when they’re driving, and they talk to each other without feeling like they need to be looking at their phones at the same time. That’s how it’s different.

And the teenagers [today], the only way you can get them to do anything is take away their phone. We don’t spank anymore, we take away their phones.
[‘Red Oaks’] is a world before we were invaded by devices we’re trying to connect to each other through, but are definitely not providing us with the connection we’re craving.
You sound pretty nostalgic.
I’m nostalgic for boredom, daydreaming, looking out the window in the car, sitting with your thoughts, processing your feelings, thinking about things in a deeper way because your brain and your emotions naturally want to process things in a deeper way if they’re given a chance. Oh, and books [laughs].
We read that you turned down a role in ABC’s “Dirty Dancing” remake.
People really talk about that a lot, almost every day I’ve done press. It’s not so much that I turned it down, because that sounds so crappy. It’s just that it’s not appropriate. I did the original, and if someone wants to make a new one they should do a new one, but not with me because then it’s not a new one. I’m excited for them and I want to see what they come up with. I respect their vision. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with the original except in story. It should be its own thing.
We have to ask: will there be any dance numbers in this season of “Red Oaks”?
I dance with my son at a wedding this season. Hope that’s not a spoiler. No big musical numbers, no. They know I can’t dance [laughs].
Another series with ‘80s vibes: “Stranger Things”. Have you watched it?
I loved the ‘80s of that. I love those kids so much. [Producer/director] Shawn Levy’s a friend of mine and he did a great job, those Duffer brothers [creators] did a great job, and that young English girl [Millie Bobby Brown] who plays Eleven. The show is very much a genre of “Poltergeist”, psychic phenomenon—a kind of sci-fi thing. [But “Red Oaks”] is nothing like that.

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