'Save the Last Dance' Turns 15: What Are the Stars Are Up To Now? (PHOTOS)

Dwyer Frame | Jan 6, 2016 Movies

Want to feel old? Save the Last Dance came out 15 years ago! This somewhat cheesy dance flick was beloved by many of us, and for good reason. It was a blast to watch Julia Stiles morph from prima ballerina to hip-hop dance queen. But the movie helped launch the careers of more than just Stiles — even Scandal's Kerry Washington had a plum role. 

Besides being one of our favorite feel-good movies of our youth, the movie had a soundtrack that was a must-have CD to rock out to in your car, featuring songs by K-Ci & Jo-Jo, Ice Cube, and more. Want to relive your past? Read on to see what some of the stars are up to today. 


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  • Julia Stiles - Then


    Image via Featureflash/Shutterstock

    After her mother suddenly dies, Stiles' character, Sara, is forced to move in with her father and attend a new Chicago high school, putting her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina aside. Thankfully she is taken under the wing of Derek and Chenille, who teach her to loosen up with a little hip hop dancing. At the height of her career, Stiles shined in this role, showing fans her killer and unexpected dance moves. 

  • Julia Stiles - Now


    Image via Image Press/Splash News/Corbis

    She's had a steady career over the years, starring in all of the Bourne sequels (and currently filming a new one) as well as films such as Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts. Stiles also had a role in the 2012 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Silver Linning Playbook, and earned both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her work in Dexter. Somewhere along the way, she managed to find time to earn a degree from Columbia University. Stiles recently got engaged to her camera assistant boyfriend.

  • Sean Patrick Thomas - Then


    Image via Featureflash/Shutterstock

    With plans to attend Georgetown, Thomas' character, Derek, is trying to stay on the straight and narrow, which is hard since his childhood friends are mostly in gangs. After meeting Sara, he slowly falls in love with her while simultaneously teaching her hip hop dance moves. The role earned Thomas the "Breakthrough Male Performance" award at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards as well as a shared award for "Best Kiss" with Stiles. 

  • Sean Patrick Thomas - Now


    Image via Splash News/Corbis

    Besides his role in 1999's Cruel Intentions and Can't Hardly Wait, Thomas has also earned many television roles, including stints in American Horror Story, The District, Ringer, and Reaper

  • Kerry Washington - Then


    Image via Featureflash/Shutterstock

    Long before her turn as Olivia Pope in Scandal, Washington was almost unrecognizable playing Chenille, Sara's single teen mom friend who shows her the urban ropes. Her relatively small but pivotal role earned her the 2001 Teen Choice Award for "Choice Breakout Performance" and cemented a place in our hearts.

  • Kerry Washington - Now


    Image via Splash News

    No stranger to the big screen, Washington has had parts in Django Unchained and Ray, but we'll always think of her as the fixer who has a  complicated relationship with the president in the hit show Scandal. On a personal note, Washington likes to keep her private life private, and secretly wed former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, whom she has a daughter with, in 2013.

  • Bianca Lawson - Then


    Image via Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images

    She played the jealous ex-girlfriend who would stop at nothing (hello dirty dancing!) to get in the way of Sara hooking up with him. Cast as the villain of the movie, she was one we loved to hate. 

  • Bianca Lawson - Now


    Image via Parisa / Splash News

    She is over 30, but Lawson still plays teenager roles, most recently starring in The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, The Witches of East End and Rogue. We also got to see her in Pretty Little Liars frm 2010-2012.

    More from The Stir: 'Twilight' Cast Then & Now: You Won't Believe How Much They've Changed (PHOTOS)

  • Terry Kinney - Then


    Image via Evan Agostini/ImageDirect/Getty Images

    Already a Tony Award winner and accomplished stage actor by the time he signed on to Save the Last Dance, Kinney played the divorced dad who had to suddenly raise his daughter in less-than-ideal conditions. Not sure how to be a dad after so many years being absent from Sara's life, he's ultimately the one who encourages her to pursue her goals of attending Juilliard. 

  • Terry Kinney - Now


    Image via Johns PkI / Splash News

    One of Hollywood's most sought-after character actors, the Tony Award-nominated Kinney is an accomplished actor and director of both film and stage. You might recognize Kinney from his recurring role in Oz, The Mentalist and The Good Wife. He currently has a role on Showtime's Billions


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