How the Stars of Mean Girls Have Changed 19 Years After Its Release
Nineteen years have passed since the iconic teen comedy Mean Girls first graced the silver screen, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture. As the classic film celebrates nearly two decades since its release, the spotlight shifts to the stars who brought the plastics to life. Join us on a nostalgic exploration of how the stars have navigated their careers, personal lives, and the ever-changing landscape of fame.
1. Jonathan Bennett (Aaron Samuels)
Following his role in Mean Girls, Jonathan Bennett extended his acting career with notable appearances, starring in Cheaper By the Dozen 2 and later gracing the screens in several TV movies, particularly those in the holiday genre on Hallmark and Lifetime channels. Bennett’s popularity transcended film and found a pop culture niche when he made a memorable appearance in Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next music video.
Beyond his on-screen endeavors, Bennett made a significant personal revelation as he came out, adding another layer to his public identity. The actor also celebrated a joyous milestone in 2022 by tying the knot.
2. Lindsay Lohan (Cady Heron)
Lindsay Lohan, already an established child actor with credits like The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday, rose to prominence as Cady Heron in Mean Girls. Following her success, Lohan continued to showcase her talent in films such as Just My Luck and Herbie Fully Loaded. However, the pitfalls of early fame and the pressures of the public eye led her to troubles throughout adolescence and early adulthood.
Amid career challenges, Lohan took a hiatus from acting between 2015-2018. Her triumphant return came in 2022 with the Netflix holiday film Falling For Christmas. Notably, Lohan also reunited with her Mean Girls co-stars in a Black Friday commercial in 2023, marking a nostalgic moment for fans as some of the original cast reprised their roles from the iconic film.
3. Rachel McAdams (Regina George)
Rachel McAdams, reflecting on her pivotal role in Mean Girls, recalls the moment she eagerly embraced any part in the screenplay after reading it. In the nascent stages of her career, McAdams found the prospect of being part of the film to be a compelling aspiration. “I remember when I read it, I called my agent right away and said, ’I will play any part in this, please, please, please,’” she shared.
Following a series of auditions, McAdams secured the role of the main antagonist opposite Lindsay Lohan’s Cady, a performance that not only garnered critical acclaim but also served as a catalyst for her thriving career. From the iconic high school comedy, she seamlessly transitioned into a diverse array of films, earning an Oscar nomination for her role in Spotlight in 2016.
4. Tina Fey (Ms. Sharon Norbury)
Tina Fey’s iconic screenplay for Mean Girls drew inspiration from Rosalind Wiseman’s bestselling self-help book, Queen Bees & Wannabes. Providing a humorous yet insightful glimpse into the complexities of high school dynamics. While the 2004 comedy resonated with audiences due to its relatable portrayal of teenage life, what made it truly unique were the personal touches Fey infused from her own experiences.
Fey’s ability to blend real-world insights with comedic brilliance elevated the film beyond the typical teen comedy. Beyond her iconic contribution to “Mean Girls,” Fey continues to leave her mark in the entertainment industry. In 2023, she has showcased her versatility by taking on roles in projects like A Haunting in Venice and the successful series Only Murders in the Building, demonstrating her enduring influence and creative range.
5. Lizzy Caplan (Janis Ian)
Lizzy Caplan, known for her portrayal of the goth girl Janis Ian in Mean Girls, faced a challenging hiatus in her career post the teen drama’s success. Recalling the tough period, she shared, “I remember after Mean Girls I didn’t work again for a long time. For like a year, I couldn’t get a job.”
Determined to break free from the constraints of her previous character, Caplan took matters into her own hands, opting for a bold transformation. “The next thing I did, I straight up dyed my hair blonde and got a spray tan,” she revealed. This strategic move proved effective, as shortly after her makeover, Caplan successfully booked a role. Beyond her on-screen ventures, the actress has continued to evolve, recently participating in a series titled Fatal Attraction and, in a more personal chapter, welcoming a son named Alfie with her husband Tom Riley in 2021.
6. Amanda Seyfried (Karen Smith)
While acknowledging the pivotal role Mean Girls played in her ascent, Seyfried reflects on the challenge of avoiding typecasting and breaking free from the “pretty blonde” stereotype. In recounting her early career struggles, she revealed, “Mean Girls got me on the map. It really got my foot in the door, but getting pigeonholed was the thing you had to fight.”
Now the star has since navigated a diverse array of genres on the big screen, showcasing her versatility from the realms of the erotic thriller to wholesome musicals.
7. Lacey Chabert (Gretchen Wieners)
Lacey Chabert recently reunited with her co-stars, Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Seyfried, for a nostalgic ad. The reunion was a mini-sequel where the actors relieved their iconic characters. While Chabert continues to be celebrated for her contribution to the iconic teen comedy, she has transitioned into a different genre, becoming synonymous with Hallmark Christmas movies in recent years.
8. Rajiv Surendra (Kevin Gnapoor)
Rajiv Surendra, celebrated for his portrayal of Kevin Gnapoor in Mean Girls experienced an unexpected turn in his acting trajectory when his ambitious quest for the lead role in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi did not materialize, ultimately prompting his departure from Hollywood and acting.
Today, Rajiv has emerged as a multi-talented individual, showcasing his skills in DIY and styling through a thriving social media presence, particularly on YouTube. The actor continues to captivate audiences, occasionally sharing glimpses of his personal life, including a boyfriend reveal recently.
9. Daniel Franzese (Damian Leigh)
In 2014, around the 10th anniversary of the movie, Daniel Franzese, who brought the unforgettable character Damian to life, publicly came out. Franzese was privately navigating a profound internal struggle with his own identity while portraying the witty and beloved character. Franzese shared, “It wasn’t just about being ashamed of who I was — it was about losing family members. It was about losing my livelihood.”
Fast forward to the present, and Daniel has transitioned into stand-up comedy, embracing his true self. As he moves forward, Franzese’s portrayal of Damian endures as a beacon of inspiration for queer teens.
On more recent news, Lindsay Lohan is a first-time mom, and the internet is buzzing with excitement as she proudly embraces motherhood. In a bold and empowering move, Lohan has taken to social media to share a glimpse of her postpartum journey, leaving fans in awe and sparking conversations about body positivity.