For the love of the dance! Center Stage turns 20 in May 2020, so Us Weekly is taking a look back at the best moments from the iconic film.
Amanda Schull (Jody), Zoe Saldana (Eva), Susan May Pratt (Maureen), Ethan Stiefel (Cooper), Sascha Radetsky (Charlie), Peter Gallagher (Jonathan), Eion Bailey (Jim), Donna Murphy (Juliette) and Julie Kent (Kathleen) starred in the 2000 movie, which followed students at the American Ballet Academy.
Center Stage featured stellar dance routines — from salsa to ballet —and a strong focus on the importance of friendship. The film also gave fans more than one couple to root for and shined a light on the intense circumstances within the ballet community. All in all, the project stands the test of time as a fun watch, with its fair share of life lessons sprinkled into the plot.
Schull, for her part, opened up to Us Weekly about her star-turning role in May 2018. “I haven’t thought about where she would be. She’s kind of immortalized in time to be where she left off. I think wherever she is she’s happy and she’s definitely owning her own story,” the actress said of her character. “Hopefully [she and Charlie] are living happily ever after.”
As for how she landed the part, a casting director saw the Suits alum performing at the San Francisco Ballet School. “I went in there after I had been rehearsing so I was all red and sweaty and my hair was still up and I was still wearing a leotard,” she recalled. “She filmed me auditioning the Jody scenes and then I think she gave me sides for Maureen. And she told me to go out in the hall and said, ‘Why don’t you work on this scene.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I do like this character more. I’d like to audition for this role please.’ … I said, ‘I just think she’s nastier. I think it’s more fun.’”
However, Schull was already cast as Jody. “I went out in the hall and worked on the scenes and it turned out that she just wanted more of me on tape,” she explained. “While I was out in the hall apparently she called one of her bosses and said, ‘I think I just found Jody.’”
Watch the video above to revisit the best moments from Center Stage!