‘Save the Last Dance’ remains a teen classic, even after 20 years. The movie is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Jan. 12, so we’re looking back at the cast then and now.
The 2000s was filled with teen dramas and comedies that millennials relished. One of the earliest teen movies of the decade was Save the Last Dance, which was released on Jan. 12, 2001. The film starred Julia Stiles as Sara Johnson, a Julliard hopeful who moves to Chicago after the death of her mother. She meets and falls for Derek, played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who helps her incorporate more hip-hop into her dancing.
The movie went on to gross more than $130 million worldwide, and its soundtrack was a major success. It’s been 20 years since Save the Last Dance came out, and the stars of the film are still acting today. Find out what the cast has been up to after all these years.
Julia Stiles, 39, starred as 17-year-old Sara Johnson in the hit film. Her role in Save the Last Dance came two years after her breakout role in 10 Things I Hate About You. Julia went on to tackle a variety of roles in films like Mona Lisa Smile, The Prince and Me, The Omen, Silver Linings Playbook, and Hustlers. She’s also known for playing Nicky in the Bourne film series.
Julia notably played Lumen Pierce in the fifth season of Dexter. She earned a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination for her performance. She currently stars as Georgina Marjorie Clios in the Sky Atlantic series Riviera. The show’s third season premiered in Oct. 2020.
The actress also attended Columbia University and earned a degree in English literature. She dated Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Harbour over the years. Julia and Preston J. Cook married in 2017. They have a son together.
Sean Patrick Thomas
Sean Patrick Thomas’ breakthrough role was playing Derek Reynolds in Save the Last Dance. He previously had supporting roles in previous films, but Save the Last Dance was his first leading role. A year after the teen film, Sean, 50, starred in both Barbershop and Halloween: Resurrection.
He reprised the role of Jimmy James in two additional Barbershop films. His other films include The Fountain and The Curse of La Llorona, as well as TV shows like Ringer, American Horror Story: Asylum, Madam Secretary, and recently The Good Fight. He will play Monteith in the upcoming Joel Coen film, Macbeth, with Denzel Washington.
Sean married Aonika Laurent in 2006. They have two children together.
Chenille Reynolds, Derek’s sister, in Save the Last Dance was one of Kerry Washington’s first roles. After Save the Last Dance, Kerry’s career took off. She’s starred in numerous films like Ray, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, The Last King of Scotland, and Django Unchained.
The 43-year-old’s biggest role to date was playing Olivia Pope in the hit ABC series Scandal from 2012 to 2018. She starred in all 7 seasons of the Shonda Rhimes series. She notably played Anita Hill in HBO movie Confirmation. She recently starred in the Hulu limited series Little Fires Everywhere. Kerry has earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for many of her roles. Her latest role was in the Netflix film The Prom.
Kerry was engaged to actor David Moscow from 2004 to 2007. She married former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha in 2013. They have two kids.
Bianca Lawson, 41, played Nikki, Derek’s ex-girlfriend, in the 2001 movie. Over the years, Bianca has appeared in countless shows like Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries, and more. Since 2016, Bianca has starred as Darla in the OWN series Queen Sugar. Bianca has been acting since she was a teenager in the early ’90s and has continued to play teenage characters for most of her career.
Fredro Starr, 49, played Malakai, Derek’s friend, in Save the Last Dance. In addition to starring in the film, he also performed the movie’s theme song, “Shining Through,” with Jill Scott. In 2001, Fredro also released his debut studio album, Firestarr. In addition to acting, Fredro is also a rapper, best known for being a part of the group Onyx.
Fredro released his fourth studio album, Firestarr 2, in 2018. He has continued to act in films and television over the years. Fredro married model Korina Longin in 2007. They have two children.