Ready to feel old? In April of 2019, everyone’s favorite teen-comedy, Mean Girls, will turn 15. For a lot of people, the massive hit, written by the incomparable Tina Fey, has been a constant companion through their teenage years and into adulthood. Even today, the movie is frequently quoted and referenced.
Thanks to Mean Girls, we wear pink on Wednesdays, and “fetch” ended up happening (though some would even say it is an overused synonym for “cool” these days). Moreover, a million memes were born using quotations from the movie like “You can’t sit with us” and “Get in loser, we’re going shopping.”
Even celebrities have caught onto the Mean Girls trend over the years. Mariah Carey directly references the movie in the intro fto her song “Obsessed”. Despite all the wonderful things that Mean Girls has given us, there are a few things about the development, production, and reception of the film that you may not have known about just yet.
Here are the 17 Dark Secrets You Didn’t Know About Mean Girls.
17. Rachel McAdams And Lindsey Lohan Auditioned For Each Other’s Roles
These days it is impossible to imagine any other actress behind the characters of Regina George and Cady Heron. However, when the creative team of Mean Girls was first looking for their leading ladies, things almost turned out very differently.
Both Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams originally auditioned for each other’s roles. McAdams originally came in to audition for Cady, and Lohan wanted to play Regina. Lohan said that, for once, she wanted to be “the cool girl on set.” After playing an outsider in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Freaky Friday, she was ready to be the popular girl.
It was eventually the head of Paramount at the time, Sherry Lansing, who said that Lindsay now had an audience that wouldn’t accept her as a villain, so she was given the lead role. Lohan did not enjoy the switch-around, but eventually saw the silver lining.
16. McAdams Was Deemed Too Old For Cady
The reasoning behind Rachel McAadams’ failure to secure the role of Cady Heron is a bit more shocking. While McAdams did audition as Cady Heron, she was never really considered for the role.
Mean Girls director Mark Waters was quick to tell her that she was simply too old for the part. According to Vulture, right after McAdams read for the crew, Waters told her “I think you’re a movie star, but you’re way too old for this character. You just aren’t going to be able to play the ingenue.”
15. Director Mark Waters Wanted Amanda Seyfried as Regina
One person in particular who is difficult to imagine as the head of the Plastics is Amanda Seyfried. While she was cast as Karen, the charming blonde with a “fifth” sense, Seyfried initially auditioned to play Regina George.
According to Mark Waters, Seyfried was McAdams’ biggest competition. “She tested for Regina and was kind of brilliant, and very different than Rachel’s approach,” Waters told Vulture. “She played it in a much more ethereal but still kind of scary way. She was more frightening, but oddly, less intimidating.”
14. The Film Originally Had An R Rating
It is common standard for scenes to be edited, or cut entirely, in the name of ratings. In the case of Mean Girls, the original script had been a lot raunchier than what ended up being in the PG-13 version.
When Cady first enters the cafeteria at North Shore High, she is approached by Jason. In the original screenplay, he asks her whether her “cherry was popped,” but the euphemism was deemed too inappropriate.
That was the only scene that was cut from the movie. The part where Amber is teased for having “made out” with a frozen hot dog involved much more than just kissing. To appease the MPAA, the line was limited to solely mention the make out aspect.
13. Tina Fey Used Real People’s Names
Glen Coco is real. In a 10th anniversary Mean Girls special, Fey told Entertainment Weekly that some of the names she used in her writing were people from her direct surroundings.
Glen Coco, who would become one of the best-known Mean Girls memes in history, was originally based on a friend of Fey’s brother. “He’s a film editor in Los Angeles, and I imagine it’s a pain in the butt for him. Someone said to me you could buy a shirt at Target that says ‘You go, Glen Coco!’ That was unexpected.”
12. David Reale Goes Uncredited For The Glen Coco Role
Glen Coco may have become a household name for millennials, but the actor behind the iconic role is a lot less well known. David Reale was a 19-year-old starving actor when he found himself on the Mean Girls set in Toronto.
Reale originally auditioned for a part that he ended up not being cast for. The Canadian told Dazed that he was wandering around the set in search of free food, when director Mark Waters recognized him from his audition: “Tina Fey wrote the line, Daniel Franzese spoke the line… I just sat in a chair and tried not to stare at Lindsay Lohan.”
Reale’s face isn’t even visible on camera in this scene (he briefly appears again later during Gretchen’s presentation), and he never signed any release forms. That’s why, tragically, Reale’s biggest role to date goes uncredited.
11. Jonathan Bennett Was Only Cast Because He Looks Like Jimmy Fallon
Mean Girls may be all about the crazy and often dangerous lives of teenage girls, but what would the movie be without Aaron Samuels? The heartthrob is not just the high school’s most popular jock, but he also has a really big heart.
However, it seems that actor Jonathan Bennett wasn’t cast for his talent, but rather for his resemblance to one particular late night host. Bennett told Huffington Post that Fey only cast him because he looked like a young Jimmy Fallon. “She said that’s exactly 100 percent true,” he swears.
While he never met Fallon in person, Bennett would love to appear on the Tonight Show at some point in his life. Whether the actor looks like Fallon or not, he will always be remembered as the movie’s main heartthrob.
10. Janis Ian Is Real And George R. R. Martin Was The Best Man At Her Wedding
As mentioned before, Fey tends to use real people as inspiration for names, and the iconic Janis Ian is no exception. The real woman behind the name is just as impressive as Lizzy Caplan’s version.
The Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter was not only the first musical guest on Saturday Night Live in 1975, but her most famous song “At Seventeen”, is also featured in a scene from Mean Girls.
While the Mean Girls character is constantly taunted for being different and bullied for presumably being gay, the real Janis Ian is a proud lesbian. She married the love of her life, a woman named Patricia Snyder, in 2003. Their best man was Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin.
9. Rachel McAdams Wore A Wig As Regina
In the Mean Girls world, hair is incredibly important. for example, they’re only allowed to wear a ponytail once a week. It’s not really surprising that even behind-the-scenes, a large amount of the creative team’s focus was on the actresses’ hair.
Regina George’s long, blonde mane quickly became a signature look of hers in the movie. However, what most people don’t know, or don’t recognize, is that McAdams was wearing a wig. Additionally, if rumors can be believed, it cost approximately $10,000.
Actor Rajiv Surendra, who plays rap god Kevin G., spilled the beans and told Seventeen that he heard McAdams did not want to bleach her hair for the gig. The solution: “They had a wig made out of human hair by a very well-known wig maker from this little town called Stratford, Ontario.”
8. Lindsay Lohan Discussed Her Feud With Hilary Duff On-Set
For those of you too young to know, or those who simply forgot– Lindsay Lohan went to war with Hilary Duff in 2004. To make matters worse, it was over a boy.
The Lizzie McGuire actress had been in a relationship with Aaron Carter for over two years before Carter turned to Lohan. Lohan and Carter dated for a while, but it didn’t last.
Thus began a bitter feud that included Lohan making fun of the Duff on Saturday Night Live. Duff decided to take the high road, stating she wouldn’t talk badly about Lohan.
The feud was all that Lohan could talk about. Tina Fey said that, on set, Lohan “tried to explain […] her beef with Hilary Duff” to her and Amy Poehler, but they didn’t quite understand what was happening. “We were pretending we could follow it.”
7. A Mean Girls Video Game Was Developed For Nintendo DS
Once a franchise hits a certain point of popularity, the merchandise begins to flow– clothes, books, and video games, the list is endless. This is what happened with Mean Girls. In the late ’00s, 505 Games developed a video game for Nintendo DS that was all about the Plastics.
Mean Girls DS was released in Europe in September of 2009, and scheduled for a 2010 US release date. Unfortunately, the game never crossed the pond. It is unclear what happened to the game, but it disappeared, and there seems to be no trace of a physical or digital copy.
6. Tina Fey Regrets Not Having Done A Sequel
The dreaded talk of sequels. There are some people who would give an arm and a leg for a follow-up to Mean Girls, while others think that a second film would take away form the original.
Tina Fey’s opinion might surprise you: “At the time we did want to start the conversation about the sequel, and for whatever reason I was like, ‘No!!! We shouldn’t do that!’” she told Entertainment Weekly. “Now I look back and I’m like, ‘Why?’”
While Fey regrets not trying her hand at a sequel, she also recognizes that now, almost 15 years later, the time for action has passed. Die-hard Mean Girls fans will just have to make their way to New York, since a musical adaptation of the movie will hit Broadway starting in March 2018.
5. New Line Cinema Developed A Spin-Off Called Mean Moms
In 2014, New Line Cinema announced that it had a Mean Girls inspired spin-off in the works. Mean Moms was set to be directed by Sean Anders and star Jennifer Aniston, who had previously worked with Anders on Horrible Bosses 2.
The spin-off would have centered on a married couple who moved from the suburbs to the city and discovered the world of competitive parenting.
It is now 2018, and we have yet to hear any news about Mean Moms. Two years ago, Anders said they were “waiting for it to be officially green-lit,” but it seems like that never happened.
4. Retailer Primark Got In Trouble Over Mean Girls T-Shirts
As mentioned before, Mean Girls themed t-shirts have become incredibly popular. Fans and casual viewers all over the world are willing to sport “You Go, Glen Coco” or “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” shirts.
In 2017, the British retailer Primark came under fire when they tried to follow this trend and were promptly called out by a therapist and mom of two for the provocative t-shirts.
Dawn Thomson claimed that the shirts with slogans such as “You Can’t Sit With Us” promoted bullying and could send the wrong message to children and young adults.
“It’s like that’s legitimizing it,” she told The Sun. “With an adult wearing it, it’s like we are saying it is OK to act like that.” Primark did not respond to the allegations, however, and the t-shirt is still displayed on their website.
3. Daniel Franzese Accused Bijou Phillips Of Bullying Him On Set
In November of 2017, Mean Girls actor Daniel Franzese published a post on his Facebook profile that detailed the harassment he experienced on the set of his first film, Bully.
The statement read that his co-star, Bijou Phillips, not only made him feel uncomfortable by asking about his sexuality, but she also physically assaulted him.
Franzese also wrote about a body-shaming incident involving Phillips, writing that she “pointed at [his] body and at the top of her lungs yelled ‘ewwww gross.’”
Philips issued a public apology afterwards, claiming that she does not remember her behavior and that she was a reckless teenager at the time. “I am not and never have been homophobic,” she told TMZ. Unfortunately for her, actions do speak louder than words.
2. Lindsay’s Downward Spiral After The Success Of Mean Girls
Lindsay Lohan was first arrested in 2007 for drunk driving, which was followed by another DUI charge shortly after. Amidst testing positive for alcohol during several drug tests and violating her probation, Lindsay spent most of the late ’00s in either jail or rehab.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013, Lohan opened up about her most difficult years. She admits to being an addict and using illegal drugs and prescription medication in the past.
What’s surprising, though, is that Lindsay says her problems started with the positive reception of Mean Girls and her resulting success. “I wasted so much money,” she told Oprah. “I was living at a hotel and I had an apartment. I wasn’t really being guided. No-one was [there].” Lindsay’s youth paid the price for Mean Girls’ success.
1. There Is A Mean Girls 2, But Nobody Likes It
In 2011, ABC Family (now Freeform) premiered Mean Girls 2, which tells the exact same story as its predecessor. To say the project was not well received would be an understatement. None of the original cast members have reacted to the ABC Family film, and the creative team behind Mean Girls was not involved in the making of it.
“By all means, make rip-offs about teenage girls one-upping each other at a school presided over by Principal Tim Meadows — just don’t sully Mean Girls‘ reputation by associating those rip-offs with Tina Fey’s masterpiece,” Hillary Busis said in Entertainment Weekly.
For the past few years, Lindsay Lohan has voiced interest in a Mean Girls sequel (a real one), and has even written a treatment for it. ABC Family’s Mean Girls 2 has been completely disregarded and might as well not even exist.
Are there any behind-the-scenes secrets that we missed from Mean Girls? Let us know in the comments!
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