Entertainment Movies Kerry Washington Celebrates 'Save the Last Dance'' s 20th Anniversary: It 'Changed My Life' The actress starred in the 2001 film with Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas By Alexia Fernández Published on January 12, 2021 10:35 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: courtesy Everett Collection Kerry Washington is celebrating 20 years of Save the Last Dance with a special behind the scenes photo. The Little Fires Everywhere star shared a photo of herself and her costars Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas and Garland Whitt on the set of the popular 2001 movie. "OH EM GEE!!!!! Save the Last Dance turns 20 years old today 😱😱😱😱😱!" Washington, 43, wrote in the caption. "Playing Chenille changed my life." "I read that script and I felt like I KNEW her," the actress continued. "At the time, I also knew the narrative that was being served in culture about who Black teen moms are. 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." She added, "I loooooved being a part of this film This cast. This crew. So many "slammin" memories! 😍😜." Julia Stiles Admits She 'Worried About Where My Career Was Going' After Success in Her Twenties Thomas, 50, also commemorated the film's anniversary, sharing two photos with Stiles, 39, from the set of the movie. "Save The Last Dance premiered 20 years ago and we shocked the world, including myself," Thomas wrote. "Never imagined the film would be as beloved as it is." "Thank you @missjuliastiles for being an incredible partner...to @fatima_noir & @rtbrothas & @punchcity1 for pushing me..to my castmates @kerrywashington, @fredro_starr, #VinceGreen, what fun...my man #JeffRoda✊🏿," he continued. "Very proud today. We did good...#SaveTheLastDance." Save the Last Dance follows the story of Sara, a white midwestern girl who moves to Chicago to live with her father after her mother dies in a car accident. Sara, a ballet dancer, finds herself an outcast at an all-Black school where she finds herself falling for Derek (Thomas) and becoming fast friends with his sister Chenille (Washington). The film, directed by Thomas Carter (Coach Carter), also starred Bianca Lawson, Fredro Starr, Terry Kinney and Elisabeth Oas. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.