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Center Stage's Cooper Neilson, Ethan Stiefel, Looks Nothing Like You Remember Him

Center Stage's Cooper Neilson, Ethan Stiefel, Looks Nothing Like You Remember Him

When the Center Stage cast reunited to reminisce about the film, fans definitely noticed just how different Ethan Stiefel looked from his days as Cooper Neilson.

The now 47-year-old ballet dancer wasn’t clean shaven or rocking a mop of hair, instead, he was sporting shoulder length hair and a mustache!

“Good god, Ethan Stiefel, that look is a choice,” one fan wrote after watching the reunion which also featured Zoe Saldana, Sascha Radetsky, and Amanda Schull.

Another added, “Oh my goodness. Ethan Stiefel looks… verrrrrrry different.”

“And Ethan Stiefel’s look is . . . a lot,” one more commented.

After getting used to Ethan‘s new look, fans got the chance to watch the quartet of stars open up about the impact of the movie, the lack of diversity in the sport and more.

“All of us who are men in the dance world have stories of harassment, just stupid stuff growing up because there’s some stereotypes associated with male dancers,” Sascha, who played Charlie, said. “Unfortunately they seem to endure. But, Center Stage has been really affective at dispelling some of the stereotypes and opening people’s eyes up to the beauty and power and athleticism and other ineffable virtues of dance, and male dance in particular.”

Ethan agreed, saying, “As we’ve all discussed because of the people that we were working with on the film, on every level, as someone who, since the age of 8 or 9, was pursuing a ballet career took a great sense of pride in the fact that I was given the chance to present dance on the highest level. And all you can do is present your art form in the best light possible. That’s a huge responsibility and one that I didn’t take lightly, but at the same time if we’re still talking about this film right now 20 years later and some of the topics that we are discussing, it seems it did resonate.”

As the subject turned to the lack of color on the stage, Zoe shared that she believes “that it is a conversation that is starting to be had in circles that are more inclusive. I think for so long the matters of inclusively and racial disparity were topics that only people of color or minority communities were having. The more anglo Americans invite themselves and take partnership in the conversation that’s what’s going to bring change.”

“Those of us in the arts can do so much better and we have to do so much better,” Sascha chimed in. “We’re in the middle of an urgent and important moment of reflection and conversation about where we failed in the past and where we’re failing now and how we can improve things going forward.”

Watch the full reunion below:

If you missed it, there’s reportedly a Center Stage series in the works…

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