What does the cast of Center Stage looks like today? While it may seem like it wasn’t too long ago that the cast of the film danced their ways into our hearts, the iconic dance flick actually debuted at the turn of the millennium in 2000. You’ve probably re-watched Center Stage a couple of times since then, and might have caught up with its sequels as well: Center Stage: Turn It Up and Center Stage: On Pointe. However, you may not know what the cast of Center Stage is up to today.
A lot of time has passed, and a lot has happened in both the lives and the careers of the cast of Center Stage since it first came out. Most of them have gone on to have some pretty incredible careers, although a few cast members now keep a low profile. And some of Center Stage‘s stars became so famous that it’s impossible not to know what they’ve been up to. So without further ado, here’s what the Center Stage cast looks like today.
Amanda Schull starred on Suits after Center Stage
Since starring as Jody in Center Stage, which was her first credited role, Amanda Schull has had quite the busy acting career. But after Center Stage, she didn’t appear in anything for years, as she was busy with her dance career at the San Francisco Ballet. As noted by People, she retired from dance in 2006; the following year, she starred in Women on Top, and since then she has racked up dozens of film and television credits.
Some of Schull’s more notable projects include One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars, 12 Monkeys, and Suits, where she starred alongside Meghan Markle, who’s undergone a stunning transformation. It seems that Schull became close with Markle during their time on Suits, because she was a potential guest at Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to Prince Harry in 2018, as noted by the Observer.
Things have changed a lot for Schull, but she looks just as lovely today as she did in Center Stage. As she told Us Weekly, she’s still friends with a lot of people from the movie. “It feels like just last summer that we did some of those things together,” she said.
After her Center Stage days, Zoë Saldana made it big in the MCU
Zoë Saldana doesn’t actually need an introduction, as you probably know what she looks like today. Her career blew up after she played Eva in Center Stage, which was only her second screen credit – the first was a two-episode arc on Law & Order in 1999. Since then she’s starred in some pretty big films, like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Star Trek, and Avatar, as well as in some TV shows. One of her biggest roles was Gamora in the MCU, beginning with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Here’s how Zoë Saldana transformed into Gamora.
Saldana is a beloved Hollywood icon, but her incredible career hasn’t been without controversy. Zoë Saldana drew criticism for playing Nina Simone in the 2016 biopic Nina, which she regrets. Saldana donned a prosthetic nose for the film and darkened her skin, leading to accusations of whitewashing. Saldana, who is Afro-Latina, later apologized for taking on the part. “I should have tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman,” she said told BESE on Instagram.
Susan May Pratt from Center Stage went back to school
Since playing Maureen in Center Stage, Susan May Pratt has landed dozens of roles; many of them were guest appearances on shows like Third Watch, Dead Last, Charmed, Mad Men, and Outcast. Pratt also landed movie roles in films like Undermind, Act Naturally, and The Gift as well.
While Pratt’s career has been steady, she’s had trouble landing major roles like the one she had Center Stage and the equally iconic movies she starred in before it: 10 Things I Hate About You and Drive Me Crazy. “It’s kind of disappointing to have one’s career peak in your mid-twenties and have it be a downhill slide since,” she told BuzzFeed in 2015.
Still, Pratt looks pretty fantastic today. She’s married to fellow actor Kenneth Mitchell, and has two children. While she plans to keep acting, she also went back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in business, with the goal of getting a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California.
Peter Gallagher starred in some pretty big TV shows after Center Stage
With credits dating back to the 1970s, Peter Gallagher was already a bona fide star when he landed the role of Jonathan in Center Stage. He went on to reprise the role in the film’s sequels, Center Stage: Turn It Up in 2008 and Center Stage: On Pointe in 2016.
Gallagher is also known for some other major roles, like playing Sandy Cohen in the iconic 2000s show The O.C. Other major credits on his resume include roles in Californication, Burlesque, New Girl, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Grace and Frankie, and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.
Naturally, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know what Gallagher looks like today. He’s been incredibly successful, with his decades-long career spanning not just film and television but also Broadway. And while he’s grateful for his good fortune, he hasn’t let the fame go to his head. He remains down to earth, telling The Guardian that “one of the most toxic things in the world is success.”
Debra Monk's prolific career has continued on and off the stage since Center Stage
Debra Monk played Maureen’s mother, Nancy, in Center Stage. An established veteran of stage and screen when she appeared in the dance film, Monk has enjoyed a successful career since starring in Center Stage. Some of her more notable roles include runs on the shows Grey’s Anatomy, Damages, Reckless, Mozart In the Jungle, and New Amsterdam. Monk’s film credits since Center Stage include The Producers, The Great Buck Howard, The Other Woman, One for the Money, The Brass Teapot, This Is Where I Leave You, and Standing Up, Falling Down.
According to Playbill, Monk has also starred in a number of plays since Center Stage, including Children and Art and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. In 2007, she was nominated for a Tony for best actress in the Broadway show Curtains. While Monk didn’t win the award, she did snag a Drama Desk Award for her performance.
Monk, who looks great today, chalks her long career up to sheer perseverance — and remembering her passion for acting even when times were hard. “I never lost that [joy],” she told Forbes.
Ethan Stiefel went on to star in two Center Stage sequels
Center Stage hunk Ethan Stiefel is totally unrecognizable today. He showed off his impressive dance skills as Cooper in Center Stage. After appearing in the film, he continued his dance career as a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). As noted in his ABT bio, Stiefel gave his final performance with the company in 2012. He’s also worked as the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and as dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Stiefel is now the principal guest instructor at ABT.
Stiefel went on to reprise the role of Cooper in two Center Stage sequels, Center Stage: Turn It Up and Center Stage: On Pointe. And while Stiefel gave an impressive performance as Cooper, it’s the only acting role on his resume, although he has danced in two televised ballet productions.
Stiefel also worked as a choreographer on eight episodes of the television show Flesh and Bone, working alongside his Center Stage co-star, Sascha Radetsky, who starred on the show.
Center Stage's Sascha Radetsky is now the artistic director of ABT Studio Company
Sascha Radetsky had a couple of acting roles in the late 1980s, but Center Stage was his first feature film. After playing Charlie in the movie, Radetsky took another acting hiatus, not appearing in another film until Moving Mike in 2008. After that, he took yet another break from acting before starring in the mini-series Flesh and Bone in 2015. Radetsky also reprised the role of Charlie in 2016’s Center Stage: On Pointe.
While Radetsky has had a handful of acting roles over the years, his primary focus has been on his dance career, which is why he looks so fit today. As noted in his bio at the American Ballet Theatre, he retired from the company in 2014. He is now a teacher with ABT, the director of the ABT/NYU master’s in ballet pedagogy program, and the artistic director of ABT Studio Company. And as noted by Dance Magazine, Radetsky married fellow dancer Stella Abrera in 2006.
After Center Stage, Donna Murphy became a Disney Villain
Donna Murphy was already an established actress when she starred as Juliette in Center Stage. Her career dates back to the 1980s, and she continued racking up credits after portraying the dance instructor in the movie. Her film and TV roles include parts in Hack, Spider-Man 2, The Nanny Diaries, Trust Me, Mercy Street, and Power. Her best known film is probably Disney’s Tangled, in which she voiced the villain Mother Gothel. Murphy also reprised the role in the video games Disney Tangled and Kingdom Hearts III, as well as in the television series Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure.
Murphy is also a successful stage actress, and has starred in several productions including the Broadway shows Wonderful Town, LoveMusik, The People in the Picture, and Hello, Dolly!
Years after appearing in Center Stage, Murphy is still recognized for the role. “I’ve starred in a number of Broadway shows where the brilliant dancers in the show would say, “Oh my god, Center Stage just was everything,” she told Vulture.
Julie Kent from Center Stage is artistic director of The Washington Ballet
Julie Kent showed off her acting skills and incredible dance moves as Kathleen in Center Stage. While Kent didn’t continue to act after Center Stage, she did continue her impressive dance career. As noted by The New York Times, she retired from the American Ballet Theater in 2015 after 29 years with the company. Per her bio at The Washington Ballet, Kent was the longest-serving ballerina in the history of the American Ballet Theatre. She is now the artistic director of The Washington Ballet.
Outside of Kent’s successful dance career, she is a brand ambassador for the cashmere line HANIA New York and was awarded an honorary doctorate in performing arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2012. Kent’s personal life is also thriving; she’s married to Victor Barbee, who is the associate artistic director of The Washington Ballet. The couple have two children together.
Ilia Kulik focused on coaching figure skating after Center Stage
While many of the cast members of Center Stage were dancers and went on to continue careers in that field, Ilia Kulik was actually a professional ice skater who won gold at the 1998 Olympics. His first acting credit was in the TV movie Michelle Kwan Skates to Disney’s Greatest Hits in 1999. The role of Sergei in Center Stage was his next credit, and he does not appear to have done any acting since. He has, however, appeared on TV in a number of ice skating programs. These credits include Michelle Kwan: Princess on Ice, Ice Wars 9, and Carnival on Ice 2012.
Since appearing in Center Stage, Kulik has continued figure skating. As noted in his bio at Stars on Ice, Kulik is also an experienced choreographer and skating coach who “is committed to passing along the excellent coaching he received as a young skater.”
You may recognize Center Stage's Eion Bailey from Once Upon a Time
Center Stage star Eion Bailey has had quite the successful career since he portrayed Jim in the film. The role was an early one for Bailey, whose career began just three years earlier in a 1997 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Since then, Bailey has landed dozens of roles on the silver screen; his many credits include Almost Famous, Seven and a Match, The Scoundrel’s Wife, Mindhunters, Language of the Enemy, The Canyon, and Extortion. Bailey is perhaps better known as a television actor, though, who has had arcs on some pretty big shows including Band of Brothers, Dirty Little Secret, Covert Affairs, Ray Donovan, Stalker, and Once Upon a Time.
Bailey also starred in a Hallmark holiday movie in 2017 entitled Switched for Christmas, a Hallmark movie that’s totally worth your time. As noted in his Hallmark Channel bio, Bailey won a daytime Emmy for his role in the film Life of the Party.
Center Stage star Shakiem Evans is keeping a low profile these days
Shakiem Evans played Erik in Center Stage. It was only his second acting credit, and it came nearly a decade after his first role: young Tito Jackson in the 1992 mini-series The Jacksons: An American Dream. Evans’ role in Center Stage should have catapulted him to fame, but his acting career never really took off after the film. He did land a handful of small roles after Center Stage, including a guest role as a student on the TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch and voicing Marcus Bryant in the video game Code Blue, but he hasn’t had any major roles since Center Stage.
After 2002, when he played a student on an episode of the TV show Providence, he didn’t land a role for another eight years. His next part, a dancer in 2010’s The Other Guys, is his most recent acting credit.
Evans is keeping a low profile this days. While he does appear to have an Instagram account, it’s unverified and locked. Per his bio at the website for fitness training program HOT HIIT, Evans is now a full time fitness instructor.
Maryann Plunkett has landed dozens of roles since appearing in Center Stage
Maryann Plunkett had a small role as Mrs. Sawyer, Jody’s mother, in Center Stage. While she didn’t get a lot of screen time in that film, she had more prominent roles in other films and TV shows after Center Stage; her screen credits include The Squid and the Whale, Blue Valentine, House of Cards, A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood, and Manifest.
Plunkett has also been quite busy on the stage, where she’s appeared in several Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Her stage credits include roles in A Man For All Seasons, Women of a Certain Age, The Lucky Ones, and The Michaels.
Plunkett is married to fellow actor Jay O. Sanders, with whom she has a son. The couple have often worked together throughout their careers in stage productions like Hungry and The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family. “We look at each other and laugh and say, ‘We are so lucky,'” Plunkett told Playbill of working with her husband.
After Center Stage, Olga Merediz went on to appear in Orange Is the New Black
It’s easy to miss Olga Merediz in Center Stage. She had a very small role playing the receptionist at ABA, so you might not even remember her. However, Merediz was far from a novice actress when she appeared in the 2000 movie; she already had a steady list of credits both on screen and on stage.
After appearing in Center Stage, Merediz went on to score some far more recognizable roles, appearing on shows like Saint George, Shades of Blue, Bounty Hunters, and Orange Is the New Black. Merediz’s film credits since Center Stage include A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, One for the Money, The Place Beyond the Pines, and The Light of the Moon. On stage, she was nominated for a Tony for her role as Abuela Claudia in In the Heights, and also reprised the role in the film adaptation of the hit show.
As an actress, telling Latinx stories is important to Merediz. “We have to write, we have to encourage young people, old people, to write our stories, because we’re going to be the majority soon,” she told Latina.
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