See "Save the Last Dance" Star Sean Patrick Thomas Now at 51
The actor also appeared in '90s teen classics Can't Hardly Wait and Cruel Intentions.
It didn't take long for actor Sean Patrick Thomas to make a name for himself. After one episode of the soap opera One Life to Live in 1995, he made his movie debut in Courage Under Fire with Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan. Fans who were young in the 1990s and 2000s will remember him best from the run of hit teen movies he appeared in, including the 1998 graduation night comedy Can't Hardly Wait and the 1999 Les Liaisons dangereuses adaptation Cruel Intentions. Thomas' first romantic lead role was in 2001's Save the Last Dance, starring opposite Julia Stiles as Derek, a brainy teen growing up on Chicago's South Side. And while the young actor was a major presence in this era of movies, his career didn't stall there. Read on to find out what Thomas has been doing since reigning as a '90s and '00s teen idol.
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He went on to appear in more beloved movies.
After helping Stiles' Sara achieve her dance dreams in Save the Last Dance, Thomas moved on to more major film roles, including in some hit franchises. In 2002, he appeared in both Halloween: Resurrection and the first Barbershop. Other roles in that decade include Barbershop 2: Back in Business, The Fountain, and the TV movie version of A Raisin in the Sun starring Sean Combs. In the 2010s, he appeared in the third movie of the Barbershop trilogy and a handful of television films, among other projects. Thomas' most recent film credits include 2021's Oscar-nominated The Tragedy of Macbeth.
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And he's shown up in some of your favorite series.
Thomas also has a lengthy TV resume, which includes main cast roles in The District (2000-2004) and Vixen (2015-2016), as well as guest spots and recurring roles on some long-running and influential shows. Among them are New York Undercover, Reaper, Army Wives, Bones, Criminal Minds, Madam Secretary, The Good Fight, and Insecure.
Thomas recently confirmed on Instagram a report that he's been cast in the upcoming spinoff of Amazon Prime's hit series The Boys.
He's a married father of two.
Thomas has been married to fellow actor Aonika Laurent, who's appeared in Fantastic Four and Olympus Has Fallen, since 2006. The pair's first meeting was almost a disaster, as they shared during an interview for OWN's Black Love documentary series, since Thomas was on the phone trying to give directions to a friend when he was introduced to Laurent at a party. "I think she felt blown off, but I was really just focused on something else at the moment," he explained. Fortunately, she gave him another shot, and since they've been married, the couple have welcomed two children: Lola Jolie, born in 2008, and Luc Laurent, born in 2010.
Last month, Laurent shared a photo of Thomas with their two kids to honor him on Father's Day. "Happy Father's Day @seanpthomas," the caption reads. "You are the best of the best! I'm eternally grateful for the way you father and love our children. Thank you for taking us with you on this magical ride! We love you!"
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He recently reunited with his Save the Last Dance co-star.
In 2021, Stiles and Thomas celebrated the 20th anniversary of Save the Last Dance by doing a virtual reunion to reminisce about the movie. As much fun as they had making it, neither star had predicted that they'd be discussing their teen dance drama two decades after it was released.
"I never ever would have expected that, for people to be talking about it 20 years later," Thomas told Entertainment Tonight. He also noted that fans of the movie have told him that it normalized interracial relationships for them. Stiles said that she remains really proud of Save the Last Dance for addressing prejudice and other racial issues and that it helped her "open [her] eyes" to her own privilege as a white woman.