It’s hard to believe, but April 30, 2004 marked the premiere of what would become a defining teen comedy: Mean Girls. The film, directed by Mark Waters, brought Tina Fey’s witty adaptation of Rosalind Wiseman’s novel Queen Bees & Wannabes to life.
Fey brilliantly captured the humor and drama of high school in the screenplay. Meanwhile, the cast brought the characters we know and love to the big screen. Lindsay Lohan gave a relatable performance as new girl Cady Heron. And who could forget Rachel McAdams’ iconic turn as queen bee Regina George?
Now considered a classic, Mean Girls continues to delight audiences nearly 20 years later. But even diehard fans may not know every fun fact about the hit movie. Let’s explore some surprising behind-the-scenes details. Did you know…?
Amanda Seyfried and Rachel McAdams’ Unforeseen Auditions for Mean Girls
It might come as a revelation to some that Hollywood heavyweights Amanda Seyfried and Rachel McAdams had originally aimed for different characters when they auditioned for the evergreen favorite, “Mean Girls”. Amanda Seyfried, who we now recognize as a blonde stunner and an esteemed actress, made her cinema debut with this movie. At the time of auditions, Seyfried had her heart set on portraying the unforgettable character of Regina George. However, she couldn’t completely sway the film’s director, Mark Waters, with her interpretation of Regina.
Sharing his thoughts with Volture, Waters expressed, “Amanda vied for the role of Regina and she was extraordinary, her approach markedly differed from Rachel’s. Her portrayal was more otherworldly yet still managed to instill fear. She evoked more terror, but curiously, she seemed less daunting.”
On the other hand, Rachel McAdams endeavored to secure the primary role. Nevertheless, the production team believed that the then 25-year-old actress seemed “too mature” to convincingly play the ingenuous newcomer. In hindsight, it’s fair to say that everything fell into place as it was meant to be. Can you visualize a different Regina George other than the magnetic Rachel McAdams?
Pop Icons Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande’s Affection for Mean Girls
The cultural phenomenon that is Mean Girls boasts some pretty high-profile aficionados, including music powerhouses Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. Mariah Carey, the legendary diva, has on numerous occasions voiced her adoration for Mean Girls. She even went as far as to say that her 2009 chart-topper ‘Obsessed’ took inspiration from the popular Regina George quote: “Why are you so obsessed with me?”.
Following in Carey’s footsteps, pop sensation Ariana Grande also demonstrated her respect for the film, among other classic female-led films like Legally Blonde. She incorporated elements of Mean Girls into her 2019 music video for ‘Thank U, Next’. In this tribute, Grande brought to life the character of Regina, further strengthening Mean Girls’ legacy in pop culture.
The Unexpected Story of Glen Coco from Mean Girls
In the annals of “Mean Girls”, there’s an unforgettable name that echoes louder than many main characters: Glen Coco. David Reale, the actor who breathed life into the enigmatic Glen Coco, has a peculiar backstory that’s just as entertaining as the film. Only 19 at the time, Reale auditioned for a part in the movie but unfortunately didn’t land a role. However, he was not the type to accept defeat without a fight.
The undeterred young actor audaciously snuck onto the movie set, indulged in a bit of free food, and surprisingly found himself in the spotlight when he was caught red-handed. Instead of facing retribution, Reale was gifted a spontaneous and minor role as an impromptu “consolation prize”. Despite not receiving any payment or official credit for his appearance in the film, Reale took it in his stride. As he humbly puts it, he “just sat in a chair and tried not to stare at Lindsay Lohan.” The story of David Reale is a testament to the fact that persistence can lead to unexpected opportunities. So, never let go of your dreams!
Lindsay Lohan’s Original Ambition to Play Regina George
Another intriguing “Mean Girls” anecdote involves the film’s star, Lindsay Lohan. At the onset of auditions, Lohan was firmly convinced that she would be selected for the role of the movie’s unforgettable antagonist, Regina George. However, her own blockbuster success ironically became the stumbling block that dashed these hopes.
In 2003, Lohan had starred in the comedy “Freaky Friday”, which featured a hilarious body swap between a mother and daughter. The movie was a major hit, and this presented a conundrum for the “Mean Girls” production team. Their concern was whether the audience would accept Lohan, then a child prodigy of Hollywood and newly minted comedy darling, in the role of the mean-spirited Regina.
Sherry Lansing, the then-director of Paramount, expressed this concern, saying, “We have to cast Lindsay in the lead role of ‘Mean Girls’. If she comes across as evil, the audience won’t accept it.” This marked a turning point in the casting process, leading to Lindsay Lohan eventually taking on the lead role of Cady Heron.
Behind Regina George’s Iconic Blonde Look in Mean Girls
Let’s delve into some lesser-known trivia regarding the iconic “Mean Girls”, starting with a fascinating tidbit about the notorious Regina George. The brilliant actress Rachel McAdams, a natural brunette, played this role to perfection. However, during the film’s production, McAdams was not keen on transforming her hair color to match the blonde look that the character Regina George was envisioned to have.
Respecting her wishes, the production team decided to find an alternative solution. Instead of forcing the actress to dye her hair, they opted for a high-quality wig to accomplish the desired look. This wasn’t just any ordinary wig; it was a superbly blonde hairpiece that carried a hefty price tag of 10,000 dollars. This fun fact illuminates the lengths the creators were willing to go to maintain the integrity of the characters while respecting the actors’ personal preferences.
Jonathan Bennett’s Unexpected Casting as Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls
In another surprising revelation from behind the scenes of “Mean Girls”, we learn about Jonathan Bennett’s last-minute casting as Aaron Samuels. Daniel Franzese, who brilliantly portrayed the character Damian, shared this intriguing story with Attitude magazine in 2014.
Franzese recollected that another actor was initially cast in the role of Aaron Samuels. This decision, however, changed swiftly on the first day of production. Before the cameras started rolling, the cast gathered for a pre-production dinner. The then-cast Aaron Samuels was present at this dinner, unbeknownst to everyone that this would be his first and last Mean Girls event.
The following day during the table read, the actor appeared with unshaven facial hair and didn’t remove his hat, trying to exude an air of nonchalance. Various people advised him to take off his hat, but he didn’t heed their advice. This attitude was not well-received by the production team, and consequently, he was dismissed from the role immediately after the table read.
In a swift move, Jonathan Bennett, who was apparently the second choice for the role, was called upon. Bennett, as we all know, went on to portray Aaron Samuels convincingly, solidifying his place in the hearts of Mean Girls fans worldwide.
Unforeseen Star Decisions and Missed Opportunities in Mean Girls
In the star-studded universe of Hollywood, “Mean Girls” holds a unique position, and the movie might have had a different cast if some actors had made alternative choices. During her appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, acclaimed actress Evan Rachel Wood made a surprising revelation. She had been offered a role in “Mean Girls” but decided against it. As she explained her reasoning to Fallon, “The only reason is that I was already committed to a film called Pretty Persuasion, which was also set in a high school.” Essentially, she felt it wouldn’t be prudent to star in two high school-themed movies simultaneously.
On the other hand, a few stars were eager to join the “Mean Girls” ensemble but didn’t manage to secure a spot. Among these were Blake Lively and Ashley Tisdale, famous for her role in “High School Musical”. Both actresses aimed for the role of Karen but were unsuccessful. Moreover, James Franco, the versatile actor, was also vying for a part in the movie. He had his sights set on playing Aaron Samuels, the love interest of Cady, but ultimately the role went to Jonathan Bennett.
Amy Poehler’s Unique Contribution to Kevin G’s Rap Performance
Remember Kevin G’s rap performance from “Mean Girls”? “All you sucka MCs ain’t got nothin’ on me…” It’s hard to forget. But before actor Rajiv Surendra delivered this unforgettable moment on camera, he needed a bit of guidance, which came from an unexpected source.
Surendra disclosed in 2019 that Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Lindsay Lohan had been instrumental in prepping him for the scene. The trio created a video in their hotel room where Poehler performed the rap, with Fey and Lohan providing the beatboxing background. This impromptu coaching session proved to be quite beneficial for Surendra.
As he stated, “It actually did help. I don’t know if the rap would have been executed the way it appeared in the film if it had not been for that video.” This behind-the-scenes fact adds another layer of admiration for Amy Poehler’s off-screen contributions to making “Mean Girls” the phenomenon that it is today.
The Canadian Influence in Mean Girls
Often, the true magic of movie-making lies not just in the on-screen talent but also in the off-screen crew that brings the story to life. “Mean Girls” is no exception, and one unique aspect of this movie is the substantial Canadian influence, both in the cast and behind the scenes.
Firstly, Rachel McAdams, who brilliantly portrayed Regina George, hails from London, Ontario. In addition, Diego Klattenhoff, who played Shane Oman, comes from Nova Scotia. Since “Mean Girls”, Klattenhoff has showcased his range in a variety of serious roles, such as Mike Faber on “Homeland” and FBI agent Donald Ressler on “The Blacklist”.
The film’s production was primarily carried out by a local crew, further enhancing the Canadian influence on the film. One notable contributor was Donna Feore, who choreographed the memorable talent show dance numbers. Feore’s connections to Canada extend beyond her own work, as she is married to Colm Feore, a distinguished character actor based in Ontario.
The Cultural Impact of Mean Girls Day – October 3rd
One line from “Mean Girls” led to the establishment of a day recognized globally by fans of the movie. Thanks to a casual conversation between Cady and her love interest Aaron, October 3rd became an iconic date, now celebrated worldwide as Mean Girls Day.
This day isn’t merely a commemoration of the film. In recent years, the cast of “Mean Girls” has leveraged the occasion to raise awareness and funds for numerous important causes. For instance, in 2017, some cast members initiated a fundraiser to support those affected by a shooting in Las Vegas. Two years later, the day was utilized to back a project by the charity Thirst Project, which aimed to construct a fresh water well in Uganda.
These meaningful endeavors demonstrate how the influence of “Mean Girls” extends beyond the silver screen, into real-world issues, thereby amplifying the significance of October 3rd, or “Mean Girls Day”.