1. Then: Amanda Schull as “Jody Sawyer”
Schull was 22 back in 2000 when she landed the lead role of Jody Sawyer. At the time of filming she was an apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet, later joining the corps de ballet before her retirement in 2006.
Now: Acting on TV.
After leaving SFB, Schull danced on film again in Mao’s Last Dancer (2009), but has focused on TV, landing quite a few forgettable appearances on Hawaii Five-0, Psych, and Bones, however she’s recently come into some more substantial supporting roles on Pretty Little Liars, Suits, and One Tree Hill.
2. Then: Ethan Stiefel as “Cooper Nielsen”
Stiefel, who was a principal with American Ballet Theater at the time of filming, played one of Jody’s love interests. The bad one.
Now: Still dancing.
Cooper, er, Ethan only recently left ABT to become director at the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2011. As for acting, he played Cooper Nielsen once more in Center Stage: Turn It Up, a movie no one saw or even heard about. And he also once played himself in an episode of Gossip Girl.
3. Then: Susan May Pratt as “Maureen”
Pratt portrayed Maureen, a bulimic ballerina who gets an attitude adjustment. In Center Stage, she may have been the academy’s “best student,” however Pratt had no prior dance training to the film and used a body double for most dancing sequences.
Now: “Mad Men,” once.
It seems Susan May Pratt had more success as a teen actress. In the year before she filmed Center Stage, she had actually been in 10 Things I Hate About You and Drive Me Crazy. Since then, she’s made one-time appearances on Charmed, Private Practice, and most recently played a crying mother in an abortion clinic on Mad Men.
4. Then: Sascha Radetsky as “Charlie”
When he took on the role of Charlie, Jody’s good-guy love interest, Radetsky was in ABT’s corps de ballet.
Now: Dancing with ABT.
Sascha continues his dancing career as a soloist with ABT. He’s hardly done any acting since Center Stage, but I might note his IMDB page says the following: “Tall, built, handsome and striking, but as graceful as a man his size can possibly be, Sascha Radetsky has had a traditional dance history up until the new millenium. Radetsky is not only a skilled and gifted dancer, but also a heart-throb and sex symbol in his own right.” Sex symbol? Well, he certainly hasn’t aged much.
5. Then: Donna Murphy as “Juliette Simon”
In Center Stage, Murphy plays ABA’s stern but passionate instructor.
Now: Supporting movie roles and a voice in “Tangled.”
This lady has been crazy busy since 2000. When it comes to movies, she had roles in Spider-Man 2, Ira & Abby (a cute indie flick with Chris Messina and Jennifer Westfeldt), The Nanny Diaries, The Bourne Legacy, and others. In 2010, she voiced the character of Mother Gothel in Tangled. Recently she was on the CBS sitcom, Made in Jersey, which was canceled.
6. Then: Zoe Saldana as “Eva Rodriguez”
Eva, ABA’s sassy rebel, was Saldana’s breakthrough role!
Now: Zoe Saldana, the Beautiful and Amazing
Here’s an easy one. But in case you don’t have Saldana’s filmography memorized, her next notable role was alongside Britney in Crossroads, and then things got even better: Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek, Avatar, etc.
7. Then: Peter Gallagher as “Jonathan”
Obviously, at the time Gallagher was the biggest name in the cast…
Now: Well, like, a lot of stuff.
While he’s not the hottest thing in Hollywood, Gallagher’s had a busy career. You probably remember him from playing Sandy Cohen on The O.C., and he also returned with Stiefel for the Center Stage sequel in 2008. Other jobs in the past few years have been on Californication, Whitney, Rescue Me, and Covert Affairs.
8. Those are the main ones! But did you know that Carol Heikkinen, the writer of “Center Stage”…
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