There’s nothing like a classic dance movie to get your heart beating. Made when Julia Stiles was at the top of her game; 2001’s “Save the Last Dance” spent two weeks at the top of the box office, ensuring Stiles’ glory. The film told the story of Sara Johnson, a Chicago ballerina with big dreams who, naturally, falls in love with her best friend’s brother, played by Sean Patrick Thomas. The two work together to help Sara train for one of the biggest dance auditions of her lifetime. Here’s everything you may have overlooked about the 2001 flick!
Apparently, Julia Stiles got the role in “Save the Last Dance” with her 40-second dance scene in “10 Things I Hate About You.” The actress’s dance at Bogey Lowenstein’s bash caught the casting directors’ eye. Of course, that wasn’t the only experience she had with dancing; she had been dancing since she was a kid. That being said, to play a ballerina with a shot of getting into Juilliard, Stiles had to up her game. She did a month and a half of four hours a day dancing, saying that she was in the best shape of her life. Her feet, on the other hand, were completely destroyed.
It Takes Two to Tango
Stiles wasn’t the only one who had to put in work; her counterpart, Sean Patrick Thomas, had to step up his game as well. The 31-year-old actor had a handful of film credits and had never danced before. He had to learn the dance at the final audition; usually, with that kind of choreography, you have to learn and practice it. Sean didn’t have that chance, they taught it to him that morning, and he did the best he could. As it turns out, his best was pretty darn good!
Her Initial Attraction
What attracted Julia to the role was the change to get to work with legendary choreographer Fatima Robinson. Robinson has worked with the very best; she’s worked with everyone from the Black Eyed Peas and the Backstreet Boys to Rihanna, Michael Jackson, and even Prince. If you remember Sara and Derek’s chair routine, you’ll notice that it was taken from the Backstreet Boys’ “As Long As You Love Me.”