The 2004 'reimagining' of 80s classic Dirty Dancing was met with mixed reviews and dismal box office takings - and now, 13 years later, the remake's lead actor is making shocking claims about her treatment on set.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was British actor Romola Garai's first - and last - Hollywood film. In a new interview with the Guardian, the 34-year old actor and writer revealed that her experience making the movie "screwed me up for years."

Garai was just 17 at the time, and recalls standing in her underpants while a female producer pointed at her thighs, telling her: "This isn't good enough." She was weighed daily and a dietician was brought on location in Puerto Rico to make sure she remained "underweight" throughout filming.

"Not only did it completely change how I felt about my body, but I felt like I'd failed because I hadn't fought back. I felt complicit, because I didn't say no. I signed off on Photoshopped images and felt terrible for perpetrating this ... lie," she tells the Guardian.


She now describes the atmosphere on the ill-fated remake as "a cesspit of horrific misogyny," with body pressures even worse than those she experienced as a teenage model. She said during her modelling days, she'd never been asked to lose weight.

"It's different with film, because it's not about weight, it's about control. It's an industry with a clear agenda of ensuring women's relationships with their reflection on screen make them feel inadequate. I never went back to Hollywood again."

Lorde announces first show down under
Taika Waititi brings Māori hero to Thor

Critics slammed the remake, which saw Garai paired with Mexican actor Deigo Luna, and audiences stayed away - Havana Nights cost $25 million to make but made just $27 million at the worldwide box office.

While she was burned by Hollywood, Garai's story has a happy ending: Returning to her native UK, she's carved out a successful career as an acclaimed film and TV actor, earning praise for her roles in the films Atonement and Suffragette and BBC series The Hour and Emma.

"It was my feminist epiphany," she now says of her very dirty Dirty Dancing experience.