The best bit? The show will raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, the disease that, in 2009, claimed the life of the movie’s star, Patrick Swayze, who played Johnny Castle opposite Jennifer Grey’s Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman.
It was a challenge Sheridan chose to accept despite initial nerves about how the experience would unfold. “I mean reality ain’t pretty for anyone, really,” he says.
“Reality TV is scary, because [the producers] can play you however they want.”
That said, he wasn’t too concerned given the light-hearted nature of The Real Dirty Dancing. In fact, he expected it to be “a lot of fun”.
“It’s a very unusual group of people in very unusual circumstances, so I mean what could possibly go wrong? Everything!” he jokes.
As for taking on the role of Johnny, Sheridan was thrilled to be stepping into a part made famous by Swayze. “Patrick Swayze is amazing,” he says.
“I would love to be compared to Patrick Swayze. I think he is super talented!” However, the 34-year-old admits his dancing skills aren’t quite as impressive as the late actor’s.
Indeed, Sheridan admits he was born with two left feet.
“I was always a terrible dancer growing up, so when I was 16, I started dance lessons and then I auditioned to a dance school in Melbourne and went there,” he explains. “I only lasted a year and a half, then I left. It was a lot of dancing for a few years, but that was when I was 18 and I haven’t danced since, so this show was still a huge challenge.”
While Sheridan was happy to be involved in this reality series, one type of show he isn’t eager to participate in – or even spend time viewing – is a dating series.
“You watch those commercials for The Bachelor, not that I would ever watch the show, but you can just tell that they make people look like idiots or mean people,” he says. “The thing is there was no-one mean in our cast. They were a bit crazy, but everyone was really nice.”
One project he would be interested in, though, is a return to the show that made him a household name: Packed to the Rafters.
“We’re certainly talking about it and I know they are saying everyone has signed on, but that’s not the case,” he reveals. “Hopefully we can make that work because it was so much fun. I loved playing Ben Rafter so much. I miss the character – he was part of me.”
The Real Dirty Dancing starts Mon., Sep. 30 at 7.30pm; Seven.
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