When Tina Fey’s Mean Girls first hit movie screens back in 2004 its tales of high school drama quickly became iconic and was followed by a popular Broadway musical in 2018. This year, we are getting the best of both worlds with a musical comedy film that just hit theaters. It features many of the memorable lines from the first movie as well as the songs from the Broadway version, making it a twist on a modern classic. If you are as obsessed about Mean Girls as we are and want to know more about the latest version, be sure to check out our exclusive interviews with Bebe Wood and Auliʻi Cravalho. Bebe plays Gretchen Wieners and Auli’i plays Janis ‘Imi’ike. They both sat down and chatted with us about playing their unforgettable characters, their castmates and the nostalgia that comes with starring in a new adaptation of such a beloved film.
Since Mean Girls is in theaters already, we will avoid any spoilers here but offer up a little introduction instead. The current film stars Reneé Rapp as Regina George, Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, Christopher Briney as Aaron Samuels, Avantika as Karen Smith and Jaquel Spivey, while Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their roles from the original film. As a new student, Cady is welcomed into the elite group of popular girls called “The Plastics,” ruled by Regina and her minions Gretchen and Karen. As Cady falls for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron, she sets out to take down Regina with the help of her outcast friends Janis and Damian.
Before playing Gretchen, Bebe was known for her roles in shows including Love Victor and The Real O’Neals.. Bebe said she hadn’t had the chance to meet Ashley Park, who played Gretchen on Broadway but hopes to soon. She said this was her first time acting in a musical, with most of her prior experience being in film and television, and she really enjoyed singing, including her musical number of “What’s Wrong with Me,” sung in Regina George’s closet.
“I think ‘What’s wrong with me’ is probably one of my favorite songs from the Broadway show, so it was a huge honor that I was tasked with that musical number. I think there is something so raw and honest about that song.”
Auliʻi made her acting debut as the title character in Disney’s Moana in 2016 and said she was a huge fan of the original Janis, played by Lizzy Caplan. Auliʻi wanted to pay homage to Janis’s character and got great input on many of her outfits and makeup. She revealed this was her first time having to focus on choreography and live vocals but said she really enjoyed it.
“Part of this film scared me but I think that’s also why it came out so well, because everyone just decided ‘lets do it’. We love the original Mean Girls so much that we want to make this one even more special, so we went for it.”
Thank you to both Bebe and Auliʻi for your time and for speaking with Young Entertainment. Make sure to follow both of them on Instagram at @broadwaybebe and @auliicravalho. Please also watch the interview where we ask them more questions about paying tribute to the original characters, their firsts on set of a musical film, and preparing their iconic lines. While you’re there, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for the latest news in young entertainment!
1. Try not to overthink certain lines in a script. Take each scene moment by moment.
2. Take steps outside of your comfort zone, whether it be while acting or singing. These experiences help you learn.