Stars Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ‘Save the Last Dance’!
Paramount Pictures

“Save the Last Dance,” the iconic teen dance film starring Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas, has turned 20!

On Tuesday, the actual day of the film’s 20th anniversary, Thomas — who played Derek Reynolds — paid tribute to the movie produced by MTV Productions.

While posting a still from the flick, Thomas wrote, “‘Save The Last Dance’ premiered 20 years ago and we shocked the world, including myself. Never imagined the film would be as beloved as it is.”

In addition to thanking his co-stars, including Kerry Washington, he added, “Very proud today. We did good.”

Washington, who played Derek’s sister Chenille Reynolds, also honored the film on her page, writing, “OH EM GEE!!!!! Save the Last Dance turns 20 years old today.”

“Playing Chenille changed my life. I read that script and I felt like I KNEW her. At the time, I also knew the narrative that was being served in culture about who Black teen moms are,” she continued. “And I knew that if done right, this was an opportunity to transform some stereotyped thinking and make this young woman REAL. And human. And deserving of love and attention. I loooooved being a part of this film This cast. This crew. So many ‘slammin’ memories!”

The film, which premiered January 12, 2001, is about 17-year-old Sara Johnson, played by Stiles, who moves to Chicago to live with her father after her mother dies in a car accident.

While attending a predominantly Black high school, she finds herself falling for Derek and becoming fast friends with his sister Chenille.

The film, directed by Thomas Carter, spawned a sequel, “Save the Last Dance 2,” released in 2006.


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