Regina George is a pop culture icon; unrelentingly representative of a terrifying girl-on-girl meanness, she is the brilliant brainchild of writer Tina Fey, actress Rachel McAdams, and directer Mark Waters. Edging out Heathers’ Heather Chandler as the most eerily alluring young female villain, George terrified and mesmerized audiences and proved that words can be deadlier even than the strongest drain cleaner. As the ten-year anniversary of Mean Girls quickly approaches, Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan sat down with Waters to discuss the juiciest of anecdotes from the set of the film, revealing delightful cast and crew secrets.
Let’s start with Regina. Although Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Seyfried were also considered for the role of queen bee, the part went to McAdams because of her uncanny effect on Lindsay Lohan. Because young Lohan was intimidated by the well-established McAdams, she got “shy” and “nervous.” The brilliantly competitive chemistry between the two actors arose from the very real and adult world of Hollywood, and out of the talents of two women evolved a scathingly honest portrait of the allure and mystery of the “popular chick.”
Not only did Fey and Waters’s film courageously explore the modern female coming of age story in ways previously unimaginable, but they also took a feminist stance behind the scenes. When MPAA mandated that certain lines be changed (i.e. “gave a blow job to a hot dog” became “made out with a hot dog”), Waters “[drew a] line in the sand” when he noticed a pattern: graphic jokes about female anatomy was considered more inappropriate than penis jokes. Refusing to change a line about a wide-set vagina, he told the MPAA, “You're only saying this because it's a girl, and she's talking about a part of her anatomy. There's no sexual context whatsoever, and to say this is restrictive to an audience of girls is demeaning to all women.” One small step for Bethany Byrd’s vagina, one giant step for ladies in film. Happy Mean Girls anniversary, and may we celebrate this glorious film for another 10 years.
Thanks to Vulture
Image via Wetpaint