See '90s Teen Star Susan May Pratt Now at 48
The actor appeared in classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and Center Stage.
Susan May Pratt never intended to be an actor, but a few lucky breaks and a modeling career gone sideways let to her being cast in two of the most low-key beloved teen films of the late 1990s and early 2000s: the Julia Stiles/Heath Ledger rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You and the ballet drama Center Stage. Neither film set the box office on fire, but both were reasonable hits and seemed to presage a successful career for Pratt.
But that's not quite how things went. Though Pratt continued acting for years after her teen movie days, she ended up stepping away from the spotlight entirely. Keep reading to find out why, as well as where she is today, at age 48.
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She continued acting and became a frequent TV guest star.
Pratt continued acting in films in the years after Center Stage, starring in the 2001 indie film Searching for Paradise, for which she won Best Actress at the Milan Film Festival, as well as 2003's Undermind opposite Sam Tramell and the 2006 survival thriller Open Water 2: Adrift. Her most recent big screen release was the 2015 Blumhouse film The Gift, directed by Joel Edgerton.
The actor was far more prolific on television, guest-starring and playing recurring roles on more than a dozen series between 2003 and 2017, including Charmed, CSI, The Ghost Whisperer, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, and Outcast.
She went back to school.
Pratt left school at 16 to pursue modeling before attending Bard College at Simon's Rock, a college for early graduates, for two years and later studying architecture at Parson's School of Design in New York. As she began booking acting parts, Pratt had to quit school, however—likely a tough choice for someone who described herself in a 2015 Buzzfeed profile as "the only person in my family without a Ph.D." (Her father is Professor Emeritus of Physics at Michigan State University.)
However, as her acting career slowed, Pratt returned to her studies. At the time the Buzzfeed profile was published, the actor was finishing up a degree in business at the age of 41, with plans to pursue a master's in occupational therapy. "I'm disappointed that my career hasn't been more successful than it has, but I've enjoyed it and I've really benefited from it and I feel like I'm beginning to know when it's time to diversify," she said. "My personality, as I've come to accept it, is more suited towards other things."
Her husband is a fellow actor who's battling a serious illness.
Pratt met Star Trek: Discovery actor Kenneth Mitchell on the set of the TV movie Charms for the Easy Life in 2002. They married in 2006 and are raising a daughter, Lilah, and a son, Kallum, in Studio City, California. In February 2020, Mitchell revealed that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in 2018. Since then, the family has spent time vacationing together and later hanging out at home together during the pandemic.
"We aspire to live life to the fullest and seize each day," Mitchell told People in 2020.
She's no longer acting but could appear onscreen again soon.
Despite a 2020 Instagram post in which she announced she was "no longer acting," Pratt may yet appear onscreen in the future. At the moment, her last credited role is for the still-unreleased film Act Super Naturally—an indie feature that filmed in 2016, funded with the help of an Indiegogo campaign, and is listed on IMDb as being in post-production as of 2019. Pratt is also listed as part of the cast of another still unreleased indie film, Lower Lake, from Danish director Malene Vilstrup.
Pratt was also cast in the somewhat infamous Czech fantasy film The Last of Aporveru, starring Tami Stronach, best known as the Childlike Empress from the '80s cult classic The NeverEnding Story. Originally slated for release in 2009, the film ran into financial trouble and has since been the subject of a lawsuit and criminal fraud charges, not to mention a 2015 documentary exploring its tortured production, in which Pratt appears in archival interview footage.
She's recently reunited with her 10 Things and Center Stage costars.
Despite her absence from the spotlight as of late, Pratt seems happy to relive her past work, and in recent years has reunited with her former castmates. Alongside Larisa Oleynik, who played Bianca in 10 Things I Hate About You, Pratt attended the premiere of an unauthorized musical parody of the romantic comedy classic that was staged in Los Angeles in 2019.
But even more than 10 Things, the enduring love for Center Stage has surprised Pratt, who in 2018 reunited with her co-star Amanda Schull (who played Jody) for the first time in nearly 20 years. "Of the films I've done that's the one that seems to mean the most," Pratt told Vulture for an oral history of the film's making and legacy. "I mean people love 10 Things, but people really love Center Stage. It's a lot of people's guilty pleasure."