I Genuinely Can't Watch The New "Mean Girls" The Same Way After Learning These 23 Behind-The-Scenes Facts

🚨Warning: There are MASSIVE spoilers for the 2024 Mean Girls ahead!🚨

1.Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Broadway shut down, leaving Mean Girls and several other shows to close much sooner than anticipated. So, part of the reason for making the new movie was because creator Tina Fey "wanted more people to see" what they'd made.

tina fey in front of a bus with the mean girls decal

She explained that this new movie isn't necessarily a direct adaptation of the stage musical, but rather a hybrid of the musical and the 2004 movie.

Walter Mcbride / WireImage

2.Of the musical's songs that made it into the movie, a few of them were rearranged to better fit the vibe of the movie. This way the existing songs had more of a "cinematic music video style" and "pop style."

character in the middle of a crowd with people reaching up to her
Paramount /

3.Way before playing Regina George in the movie, Reneé Rapp made her Broadway debut as Regina in Mean Girls when she was just 19. Tina said she already knew she wanted Reneé for the movie so casting her was "easy."

regina in the hallway as people take photos of her
JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

4.Angourie was one of the few in the cast who didn't need to audition for her role, because Tina already wanted her to play the role. She explained that one day Tina sent her an email with the script attached. Then, it took Angourie two weeks to decide if she wanted to commit to the movie because she was so nervous about taking on the role.

angourie as cady during the mathletes competition

5.Before starring in Mean Girls, Bebe Wood, who plays Gretchen Weiners, actually appeared in an episode of 30 Rock alongside Tina Fey, back in 2012. Bebe was only 10 at the time, and Tina said that while watching her audition tape she didn't even realize Bebe was the same girl she worked with all those years ago.

tina and young bebe

"I pick her every time!" Tina said.

Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images, / ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

6.Christopher Briney, who plays Aaron Samuels, originally passed on an audition for Mean Girls because he doesn't like to sing. Then, when he found out that Aaron didn't have to sing he happily took the role.

he's looking back to cady in a classroom

"They needed me to sing 16 bars and I was like, 'I don't wanna do that to casting, they go through enough.'"

Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

7.Avantika said that she was super hopeful about landing the role of Karen when she first auditioned. However, the movie's directors Arturo Perez Jr. and Samantha Jayne thought she was a "shoo-in," and they thought her audition tape was "brilliant." Three months later she was offered the role of Karen Shetty, whose last name was changed to accommodate Avantika's South Asian background.

“When did we ever think that someone Brown was going to play an iteration of a character who's known for being blonde and pretty and stupid? It's the antithesis of everything that we've been told our community is from the very beginning. And while nobody wants to be called dumb, there's something liberating in feeling like there's no expectation around our intelligence anymore,” she told Marie Claire.

8.Jaquel Spivey, who plays Damian, explained that bonding as a cast was really important for them and encouraged by Tina. So, one night the cast went into town together and played games for hours at a local arcade. Another time, they all got together for an Oscars viewing party thrown by Bebe.

him with cady and janice in the lunchroom
JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

9.Auli'i Cravalho learned to play guitar in order to play Janis. She explained that it took her a while to actually learn how to play the song "A Cautionary Tale" and that she brought her guitar with her everywhere for about two months.

She joked that she actually doesn't know how to do needlepoint though. 

She joked that she actually doesn't know how to do needlepoint though.

JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

10.The moment where Cady can't find a seat in class so she sits on the floor was actually improvised by Angourie Rice, and when Auli'i Cravalho, who plays Janis, first saw her do it, she burst into laughter.

the actors at the premiere
Vivien Killilea / Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

11.The film was shot at Mater Dei Prep, a former Catholic high school in Middletown, New Jersey that closed down back in 2022.

cast and crew in a classroom during filming

And because they had access to the entire school building, the actors' dressing rooms were inside classrooms that weren't used for filming.

JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

12.The moment in the gymnasium where Damien pulls out his fan was improvised by Jaquel Spivey, and the moment made Reneé burst into laughter when she first saw him do it.

  Paramount /
Paramount /

13.Avantika is about to turn 19 this month, and wasn't even born when the 2004 Mean Girls came out.

She said the first time she even watched the movie was when she was seven years old and became such a huge fan that she and her friends quoted it regularly. 

14.When updating the script for 20 years later, Tina Fey purposely tried to stay away from using slang because she knew that by the time the movie came out, that slang might already sound dated.

the four girls sitting on a bed around the burn book

She had this same process when first writing the 2004 movie, and added that was part of the reason she came up with Gretchen's obsession with making "fetch" happen.

JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

15.In fact, Tina even did away with a lot of the more problematic jokes and storylines from the original movie, namely Coach Carr's inappropriate relationship with a student and several of the insults in the Burn Book.

coach carr in a classroom

16.Another joke from the original movie that was taken out was Regina making fun of Janis for her sexuality. Tina explained that all these years later Regina would know that anti-gay rhetoric "wouldn't fly." "She’s going to find a way to inflict pain on people, but she’s not going to get herself in trouble," Tina explained.

the cast during graduation

17.Tina even sought out advice from her own children, Alice (18) and Penelope (12), about modern updates for the movie. One of the things she asked them about was if the Burn Book should still be a physical book or updated to be a website.

tina holding the burn book in a the gym

They were very adamant that it should stay a physical book.

Paramount /

18.She even asked her daughters and their friends their thoughts on casting Christopher as Aaron. She explained that during a Zoom callback with him, she discreetly FaceTimed her daughters and their friends and as soon as they saw his face they all screamed "YES!"

closeup of him turning around in his desk

He's best known as playing Conrad Fisher in the The Summer I Turned Pretty TV adaptation.

JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

19.Christopher didn't actually meet Jon Hamm, who plays Coach Carr, on set. He explained that while Aaron is super important to the movie's plot, he actually isn't in too many scenes and spent a lot of time in his dressing room waiting to be called to set.

coach carr with his feet on his desk

"I saw Jon Hamm crossing the field when he was done," he said. "But I got to meet him later at the US Open, which was dope."

JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

20.Ashley Park, who made a cameo as Madame Park, originated the role of Gretchen Weiners in the original Broadway cast of Mean Girls.

her in the classroom

21.Angourie shared that every single day on her way to set she'd listen to "Not Strong Enough" by boygenius.

her in the classroom
JoJo Whilden / © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

22.Filming for "Revenge Party" ended up taking weeks and was one of the more difficult montages to film. The super vibrant set design for that song was specifically meant to look like "Lisa Frank puked all over the walls."

the characters dancing in the hallway
Paramount /

23.Finally, Lindsay Lohan, who starred as Cady in the 2004 film, came all the way from Dubai to make her cameo in the new Mean Girls. At the time of filming, she was about seven months pregnant, too. Tina loved the idea of making her the mathlete's moderator because she felt that scene was so late in the movie that viewers would have forgotten to keep looking for cameos.

Auli'i was super starstruck when Lindsay came to set for her cameo in the movie.

Mean Girls is currently playing in theaters.