Julia Stiles delivered a dose of nostalgia from the early aughts when she showed off her dance skills in a surprise cameo on Saturday Night Live this weekend.
The actress, 42, joined Chloe Fineman on SNL’s Weekend Update where she reprised her role as Sara from the 2001 movie Save the Last Dance with the pair breaking into the iconic finale choreography.
The skit began with Fineman standing in front of the desk on Weekend Update, which was hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che. She was wearing a Mrs Claus-type robe as she announced that she has the perfect “sexy gift idea” for the holidays – but has to demonstrate it.
Jost looks concerned at what’s about to happen next while Che pulls out a bucket of popcorn.
“The perfect holiday gift this year is the dance that Julia Stiles does at the end of the 2001 movie Save the Last Dance,” Fineman said.
She then shed her Christmas attire to reveal a black leotard and pleather joggers, matching the final look from Stiles’ character in the film.
Fineman then broke into a dance routine mimicking dance moves from the scene in the movie where Stiles’ character is auditioning for Julliard.
“I’m sorry, you think this is a sexy dance to give your partner,” Jost interrupts. “What kind of dance style is this anyway?”
Fineman responded that the dance is called street ballet, which she further explained involves a series of “hip hop… hop” moves.
“Basically, Julia Stiles’ character Sara is an uptight ballerina who auditions to get into Juilliard, but doesn’t get in,” she explained, as she continued dancing. “And her mom on the same day dies in a car crash.”
When Jost asked for more clarification on where the “street ballet” comes in, Che interjected with, “Colin, come on. Sara moves to the south side of Chicago and goes to a more urban high school where she learns hip-hop. Duh.”
Fineman explained that Sara got another chance to audition, but Jost still had questions, mainly, if Sara finally got into Juilliard.
“So does she get into Juilliard…?” Jost asked Fineman.
At that moment, Stiles with her own slick bun and clad in an identical dance outfit, jumped onto the stage as she responded, “Yes!”
“Sara did get into Juilliard,” she added, as the audience cheered.
“How?” Jost asked from the desk.
“Well, you didn’t see the end of the dance,” Stiles replied as Fineman shouted, “Hit it!”
The pair then pulled out chairs and performed the final dance routine of the Save the Last Dance film, complete with a fist bump at the end.
“OK, so Colin, what did you think?” Fineman asked Jost.
“Well I can’t say this on the record yet … but welcome to Juilliard!” Jost said, as the audience broke in more cheers.
In 2021, Stiles spoke to TODAYabout the 20th anniversary of the Save the Last Dance film. She revealed that her favorite part of the movie was the iconic audition dance.
Adam Driver hosted Saturday’s SNL episode for the fourth time and the musical guest was Olivia Rodrigo.