More than ten years later, we might not be trying to make ‘fetch’ happen, but we still love Mean Girls. No matter how many times we watch it, it stays funny, relevant, and remains a classic to this day. Girls of all ages can relate to the cattiness, bullying, and general hi-jinks in the movie. Regina, Karen, Cady, Gretchen, and Janis were endless sources of quotable inspiration. So read on and find out if butter is a carb and more!
Lindsay Lohan was supposed to play Regina, but decided to play the “nice girl” so that her public reputation wouldn’t be tarnished by people thinking she was a mean girl. Rachel McAdams got the role of Regina, because, as the producer said, “only nice girls can play mean girls”.
What inspired this movie?
The book was based off of a self-help book called Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman. As imagined, it discusses the issue of teen girl bullying.
“You may feel that it’s not worth making a federal case of not getting invited to a birthday party or letting your daughter blow off one friend for another,” Wiseman writes. “But these aren’t trivial issues; they lay the groundwork for girls faking their feelings, pretending to be someone they’re not, pleasing others at their own expense, or otherwise sacrificing self-esteem and authenticity.”
Why did Tina Fey decide to play a math teacher?
Creator Tina Fey decided to play a math teacher to go against the classic trope that women can’t do math. Ironically, she was pretty bad at math herself. She admitted that she barely knew what she was talking about, and confessed to getting outside help. “My friend’s boyfriend is a calculus teacher in the Bronx,” Fey said. “I took his lesson plans.”
What did people think the success of Mean Girls would be?
People originally didn’t have much faith in the movie! Recalls mathlete Kevin G.’s Rajiv Surendra: “It was my first movie. I was pretty young. [The hair stylist] had worked on really big films that had been shot in Toronto. I remember asking her, ‘How do you think this movie is going to fare?’ and she said, ‘Come on. It’s called Mean Girls and it’s starring Lindsay Lohan. It’s going straight to DVD.’”
How did this movie get a PG rating?
Mean Girls fought hard to keep their PG rating. The original script was full of F-bombs and raunchy dialogue (an excerpt of Kevin G.’s rap included: “It ain’t no trick/ I am this slick / All the ninth-grade ladies / Wanna suck my — WHAT!”).
They kept on working with the MPAA and eventually secured the PG rating. They were almost denied due to the “wide-set vagina” line, but Anchorman had just come out and had featured an on-screen erection, so they were allowed the rating they wanted.
How did they cast heartthrob Aaron Samuels in his role?
Jonathan Bennet, who played Aaron Samuels (Cady and Regina’s love interest) was cast in his role because he could make Lindsay Lohan blush! He said in an interview,
“I was a recast. What had happened was I went to the screen test with Lindsay and I remember Mark commenting on how I was able to make Lindsay blush on camera, like actually blush on cue. And I felt like, “Oh, okay, this is my job.”
“And then I got a phone call saying it wasn’t, that they were going with someone else, and then [this other actor] went to the table read and apparently wasn’t that great. I got a phone call saying, “Hey, you leave tomorrow, pack your bag. You’re going to Toronto, you got the job.” You can imagine how ecstatic I was when I heard that.”
Who is Janis Ian named for?
Janis Ian is a real person! She’s a moderately well-known singer, known for “At Seventeen” (very popular in the gay community.) You can hear the song in the background at a fight scene at Regina’s house.
Why did people not want to hire Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows?
Paramount Studio execs were hesitant to hire Tim Meadows and Amy Poehler, fearing that people would think it was just an SNL movie, as Tina Fey had also written the movie, and starred in it.
Who was Damian an inspiration to?
Damian was an inspiration to the gay community! “When I was cast in the role of ‘Damian’ in Mean Girls, I was TERRIFIED to play this part,” wrote actor Daniel Franzese in queer-culture blog Bent. “This was a natural and true representation of a gay teenager—a character we laughed with instead of at.”
Gay men still approach Franzese to this day to thank him for being a role model in their adolescence.
Who was almost the same age, despite playing very different roles?
Amy Poehler was only 7 years older than Rachel McAdams in real life! Don’t forget, they played mother and daughter in the movie. McAdams was 25 at the time, and Poehler was 32.
Who called Mean Girls her best work?
Amanda Seyfried thinks this was her best work ever! Despite taking on some very challenging roles, she’s said of her stint with Mean Girls: “I was so innocent. I was so green,“ she says. “I look back and I’m like, ‘Really, I thought I was doing a terrible job.’
“But it was written so well and so wonderfully directed. Mark Waters (the director) made me look good; he made me funny. And Tina Fey wrote the coolest script of all time.”
Who almost played Regina?
She also almost played Regina! Says director Waters, “She tested for Regina and was kind of brilliant, and very different than Rachel’s approach,” Waters says. “She played it in a much more ethereal but still kind of scary way. She was more frightening, but oddly, less intimidating.”
What was the original title of the movie, and why?
Mean Girls was originally going to be called “Homeschooled”, a play on the fact that the only person who wouldn’t “get” Girl World and all the petty drama that comes alongside it would be someone who had been homeschooled their whole life.
The mean girls were also known as “Plastics” because they were so fake. What else was fake?
Regina George was known for her long, luxuriant blonde locks, but in reality, it was all fake – she wore a wig throughout filming!
Why did the girls think Janice was gay?
Perhaps the reason why the eighth-grade mean girls thought Janis was a lesbian was because she says at the end of the movie that she’s Lebanese. Eighth-graders, especially mean ones, aren’t known for the greatest understanding of geography and possibly could have mixed the two up!
How did Damian get cast?
Daniel Franzese got his role by making Tina Fey laugh! While waiting for his audition, he was already in character as Damian (who was actually named for Tina Fey’s best friend from high school.)
“Amanda Seyfried had come in for her test and she was wondering aloud, “Should I wear this beige shirt or should I wear this maroon shirt?” Mark [Waters, the director] and Tina [Fey] had their backs to me, and I said, “I’d go with the merlot.” I don’t even know where that line came from, but they both whipped around and started laughing.”
When he went in for the audition, Waters and Fey thought he was a worker! “I walked into the room, and Mark and Tina were like, “You?! We thought you worked here; we didn’t know you were auditioning. Now we’re excited — we like you!””
How could the movie have ended?
There were several alternate endings for the movie that were proposed, including having Damian audition for American Idol. Simon Cowell was supposed to call him chubby and Damian would have punched him.
In another alternate ending, Kevin G. would have gotten busted by Mrs. Norbury for selling ecstasy, which she would have put in her desk right before the burn book dropped. The cops would have searched her desk and found the ecstasy, leading her to actually get in trouble.
Where was Mean Girls filmed?
The movie was set in Evanston, Illinois, but filmed in Toronto (Rachel McAdams’ home country!) Most of the places mentioned in the movie are real North Shore, Chicago, establishments. The Old Orchard Mall, Northwestern University and the Walker Brothers Pancake House are all real, and the gift cards given for the pancake house feature the real logo on it.
Who taught Kevin G. how to rap so well?
Being the ultimate badasses that they are, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were in charge of teaching Rajiv Surendra (Kevin G.) how to rap. They also were in charge of the choreography. Because nothing says rap gods like two comedians!
There’s even a video of Fey, Poehler and Lindsay Lohan rapping in a hotel room for Surendra to watch and learn from. See it at the end!
Why was Jimmy Fallon a part of the casting process?
Jonathan Bennet, who played Aaron Samuels, got the role for his ability to make Lindsay Lohan blush, but also because Tina Fey liked that he looked like Jimmy Fallon! Because nothing says heartthrob quite like a late-night funnyman.
Who was watching Damian sing at the talent show?
When Damian sings “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera, actor Daniel Franzese’s mother was the only one in the audience! The audience was filmed a day later.
“I didn’t really know the song “Beautiful” before I sang it, actually, so they gave me the CD. When I first listened to it, there’s that line where Christina says, “Don’t look at me” before she starts singing. I thought, Oh my god, I have to do that for real.”
Who was Glen Coco, anyway?
“You go, Glen Coco!” was one of the more memorable and quotable lines of the movie (and was improvised by Damian/Daniel Franzese). In fact, Glen Coco didn’t speak during the movie, and the actor who played him, David Reale, only got the part because he’d auditioned, was turned down, and decided to hit up the film set the next day (it was across from his apartment) to try to score free food. The director recognized him and handed him a non-speaking part.
“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 recalls. “But I guess it was the first time somebody pointed to me on the street and shouted, ‘YOU GO, GLEN COCO!’ that I knew I was involved in something with a beauty and power that surpassed the mere proliferation of four candy canes to an accidental movie extra.”
How did they get the dog to play the part?
Amy Poehler plays Mrs. George, Regina’s “cool” mom. She famously has terrifyingly fake breasts that her dog spends one scene happily gnawing on. In order to film that, she had to put a cocktail sausage in her shirt to get the dogs attention.
“It was very effective. She was such a pro through it. She’s trying to do her lines and being so professional, and this dog is chomping on her fake boob. I’ll never forget that,” recalls Regina/Rachel McAdams.
Where have you seen Shane since Mean Girls?
Shane Oman, who Regina is cheating on her boyfriend with, was actor Diego Klattenhoff’s screen debut. He went on to have a successful film career, playing Mike on Homeland for a few seasons.
What’s the connection between this movie and Heathers?
The movie was directed by Mark Waters, the younger brother of screenwriter Daniel Waters. Daniel wrote a few flops, but also wrote Heathers, which not only was credited with directly influencing the film (it follows four girls who wreak havoc on the people around them), but Cady even mentions it in Mean Girls!
Watch Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Lindsay Lohan rap, next!
Finally, see these funny ladies as they teach Kenny G. to rap!
More From Briff.me:
Here at Briff.me, knowing that our precious time together on Earth is waaay too short for a long feed, we bring you the best of the best, like this special briff about the best stories about Mean Girls. If you want to get more posts like this, click like on the Briff.me Facebook page.