Millennials, you are officially old now. Case in point: Tina Fey’s Mean Girls came out 10 years ago today, subsequently creating a cult classic and inadvertent guidebook for the high school experience for teens and twentysomethings everywhere. There is, after all, a reason that people still rampantly quote the film today.
Stars from Mean Girls recently got together with the New York Times to reminisce, share some stories, and discuss its $121 million legacy, which Fey credits to TV reruns. The inspiration, though, was straight up Upper Darby High School drama:
"I revisited high school behaviors of my own—futile, poisonous, bitter behaviors that served no purpose," Fey said of the script, inspired by Rosalind Wiseman's book Queen Bees and Wannabes. "That thing of someone saying, 'You're really pretty,' and then, when the other person thanks them, saying, 'Oh, so you agree? You think you're pretty?' That happened in my school. That was a bear trap."
Rachel McAdams, aka Regina George, for her part, delved into how exactly she made the transition for normal person to complete ice queen for her role:
"At the heart of Regina George was a really angry kid who had no boundaries or guidance," the actress, 35, recalls. "[Director Mark Waters] told me to listen to Courtney Love really loud, and to watch Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross."
Lacey Chabert of Gretchen Wieners fame felt a stronger connection to her character, thanks to the teenage angst and alienation we’re all familiar with. For her, Fey’s script spoke strongly to that element of high school life:
"I related to the part in the movie where girls are cutting themselves down, like, 'My hairline is weird'—stuff people would never notice on someone else," she said. "I was never the cool kid. I wore Minnie Mouse stuff. And growing up in Hollywood, I always felt under a microscope." Caplan, too, felt a strong connection to her character. "I think all girls that age are looking for their 'thing.' I was fairly angsty in high school," she said.”
Luckily, though, it looks like a whole new generation of girls will be introduced to the Mean Girls story, thanks to a musical Fey says is in early development:
"We've been enjoying trying to write," the former 30 Rock star explained. "I wish so badly we could have had it done in some form for the 10th anniversary, but hopefully before the 15th."
Well, you go, Glen Coco.