Before we were coveting her infinite supply of white silk shirts and incredible winter coats, Kerry Washington had a long road to becoming everyone's favorite fixer on Scandal. The first steps on her journey to super-stardom included supporting roles in movies like Ray and The Last King of Scotland, but it was her first major role in 2001's Save the Last Dance that signaled the fact that she'd be a huge star someday.
While the little movie that could was just an indie flick about a young, white, Midwestern ballet dancer, Sarah, (Julia Stiles) who moves to the South Side of Chicago where she struggles to understand the lives of her fellow students and her boyfriend Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas), the undeniable standout among the cast was not Stiles or Thomas. It was Washington, who played Chenille, Derek's sister and the first person to befriend Sarah at her new school.
While Sarah's story was compelling, there was something intriguing about Washington — and it wasn't just the fact that she was willing to take Sarah under her wing and deliver us the all important wardrobe transformation present in any early 2000s teen movie worth its salt. It was Washington herself. She's the reason I started saying "slammin'" when I liked an outfit (don't worry, that scene is immortalized in the trailer).
She's the reason I bought the exact same pair of hoops she wore throughout the movie (they broke last year, which was a complete and total travesty). She even made peasant bandanas look cool against all logic. Her fantastic performance is one of the reasons this MTV movie wasn't something to do on a boring winter day in 2001, but a movie that I wore out on DVD.
Plus, I like to think that on some level, we always knew she was destined to keep all of Washington's biggest secrets. After all, she was the keeper of her high school's juiciest stories, too.