If you happened to be anywhere near the Internet on Oct. 3, you probably noticed an outpouring of nostalgia for 2004’s Mean Girls. The reason? A throwaway line uttered by Lindsay Lohan’s Cady: “It’s October 3rd.”
That may seem a pretty slim thread to hang an entire day on, but it’s indicative of the fervent fan base for this new-classic teen comedy. Written by Tina Fey and directed by Mark Waters (Vampire Academy), Mean Girls stars Lohan as a high school student at a new school who infiltrates the Plastics, a group of nasty popular girls led by queen bee Regina (Rachel McAdams) and her underlings: insecure Gretchen (Lacey Chabert) and dumb-as-a-stump Karen (Amanda Seyfried). The film became a surprise sleeper hit, earning $129 million worldwide and gaining an even bigger following on DVD. In the decade since, Mean Girls has joined Clueless and Sixteen Candles in the teen-comedy canon.
For its 10th anniversary, EW invited the film’s female leads to our own little pep rally, where they talked about their memories, behind-the-scenes magic, and what they think their characters would be doing now.
Fey planned to star as teacher Ms. Norbury. But finding the right actresses to play the titular mean girls proved to be more difficult.
AMANDA SEYFRIED(KarenSmith): Mark Waters was like, “You have something I want. Let’s see if you work for Karen.” He was so amazing. He saw comedic timing I didn’t see, and thank God for that. You only get so many breaks in your life. I just wanted to be in the movie. To be asked to play Karen, I was like, “Great! Whatever!”
The film was shot in 2003, with Toronto standing in for Evanston, Ill. The cast was filled out by Lizzy Caplan as surly Janis Ian, Daniel Franzese as sassy sidekick Damian Leigh, Jonathan Bennett as dreamboat Aaron Samuels, Amy Poehler as Regina’s inappropriate mother, and Tim Meadows as the school’s frustrated principal. Mean Girls was the first major movie for some of them, leading to a lot of on-set bonding.
SEYFRIED: I had just graduated high school! It was terrifying. I don’t know what I would have done without Lacey Chabert. She was my angel. She took me in, and we’d hang out in her trailer and listen to Dido.
CHABERT: Amanda and I became very close very quickly. It was a very special time. I turned 21 while we were filming in the mall. The crew gave me a cake, and the entire mall sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I made this huge feast for Canadian Thanksgiving and invited everyone over.
SEYFRIED: Lacey taught me how to make pecan pie. She made my experience so magical and so safe for me.
SEYFRIED: One of my favorite scenes was when the little Chihuahua is biting the nipples off Amy Poehler. It was so fun.
EW asked each of the Plastics where they think their characters would be now, 10 years later.
SEYFRIED: Karen would manage or own a store that sells really cool dog attire, like Swarovski dog collars and Halloween costumes for animals. She’s probably really focused.