Jennifer Grey completely transforms into Gwen Shamblin in her role as the cult leader. In a Nov. 21 Instagram post, the Dirty Dancing star, 62, shared a sneak peek of Lifetime's Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation. "Call me gwen #starvingforsalvation #gwenshamblin @lifetime," the actress wrote alongside a photo of her in long blonde hair and smokey eye makeup, which she credited to her hairstylist Lyne Lapiana and Wig Maker Associates founder Rob Pickens. Grey signed on to play the controversial religious leader in Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation in November, according to Deadline. Earlier this year, HBO's The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin detailed Shamblin's rise to prominence and subsequent downfall. Shamblin founded a highly successful Christian diet program and the Remnant Fellowship Church in Tennessee.
As well as portraying Shamblin, Grey will reprise her role as Frances "Baby" Houseman in the upcoming Dirty Dancing sequel. It was revealed at CinemaCon in April that Grey "returns to Kellerman's in the next chapter." A voiceover revealed Grey's return during Lionsgate's presentation at the convention, which featured footage from the original film., Entertainment Weekly reported. The extent of Grey's role in the Dirty Dancing sequel is still unknown, other than her role as Baby. When Grey spoke about the Dirty Dancing sequel, she revealed that no one could replace Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle, though she intended to reprise her role. Swayze passed away in September 2009 at age 57 after a fight with pancreatic cancer. "All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who's passed — you never try to repeat anything that's magic like that," Grey, 60, told PEOPLE. "You just go for something different."
Grey dropped a few more tidbits about the movie in May, telling Entertainment Tonight, "Baby as an adult could find herself possibly feeling similarly in a corner again, and [have to figure out] how to get herself out of the way."I'm not really at liberty to tease much... I'm excited," she said. "I'm excited for the challenge... To make a movie without Patrick is already an enormous challenge. It will never be that movie, and it should never try to be that movie. It will be its own movie if I have anything to do with it." She added about the sequel, "It's on a track. It's more on track than it's ever been. It's more real than it's ever been." Lifetime will premiere Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation on Feb. 4, 2023.