Everyone knows and loves Jonathan Bennett. It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since he rose to fame as Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls. Now, he’s had such a long and successful career as an actor, tv host, reality show contestant, music video star, cookbook writer. And the list goes on from there. YEM was lucky enough to speak with Jonathan Bennett about his newest movie role. And of course, how “fetch” it is to be a part of the Mean Girls legacy.
Young Entertainment Mag: Have you been to NYC to see Mean Girls on Broadway yet?
Jonathan Bennett :I was there on October 3rd. It was the most surreal moment. I got go and introduce Tina Fey on stage on October 3rdto read the declaration from the governor to make it National Mean Girls Day in the state of New York. What a crazy thing! And it was so amazing because it was all the super fans! All the people in the audience won a lottery to come see the show for free on October 3rd. I got to walk on stage and surprise all the super fans. It was so much fun.
YEM: You recently had a reunion with Lindsay Lohan! What was that like?
Jonathan Bennett: I got to reunite with LiLo after 15 years! And I interviewed her on the after show for [her MTV reality show] Lohan Beach Club. Which was her first interview in a really long time. And it was really fun to reconnect with her. We acted like 16 year old kids in the interview!
YEM: What does it feel like to be a part of the huge legacy of Mean Girls?
Jonathan Bennett: I went to Canada to shoot this tiny little movie with people from SNL and thought “Oh this will be fun.” Now I walk down the street and everyday someone screams Aaron Samuels at me. What a bizarre life. But what I love about it is being a part of a movie that was written by Tina Fey, who was so good. She’s such a brilliant writer. But what’s nice is to be a part of a movie that makes so many people happy. That’s why I love being a part of it. Every time you say “Mean Girls” to someone, their face lights up, they smile, they laugh, they get excited. Everyone has a connection to this movie. It’s great to be a part of something that special.
YEM: You reprised your role as Aaron in Ariana Grande’s “Thank u, next” video. How did you become involved? What was it like to revisit your character 15 years later?
Jonathan Bennett: You get a phone call from Ariana Grande’s manager on Thanksgiving saying, “Do you want to be a part of Ariana Grande’s music video?” And first of all, you think it’s fake. And then you realize it’s not! I literally walked out onto my pouch to all my friends on Thanksgiving and said “Do I want to be a part of Ariana Grande’s music video?” They were silent and then all of them just looked at me and said “YES!” and I said “Ok, I’ll do it!”
Getting to show up to set and see Ariana Grande dressed as Elle Woods [from Legally Blonde] was hysterical. She’s so good, she’s so talented, and she’s one of the most giving creative people I’ve ever met. Like when she’s on set, it’s not about her, it’s about everyone else on set. She’s making sure everyone else is ok, she’ so giving. I’ve never seen anyone that giving on set before.
Reprising Aaron and getting dressed up as him again, it was almost like revisiting an old friend. When they flat ironed my hair and put it down on my face, I was like “whoa! He’s back!”
YEM: You’re also the host of Cake Wars and lots of other shows on Food Network! Will we see more seasons of Cake Wars and your other Food Network shows?
Jonathan Bennett: I would like to but that’s up to the powers of Food Network. I know we’ll be doing more Holiday Wars and Halloween Wars. But I would love to do more.
YEM: You released a Mean Girls Burn Cook-Book! How did that come to be?
Jonathan Bennett: Being a part of the Food Network family, I’m around food constantly. And I’ve always tried to find a way to create my own food in that space. One day, I was with a friend and she made me try this guacamole. And she said, “it’s not regular guac, it’s cool guac!” And right then and there, it just all clicked. I said, “we have to make a Mean Girls cookbook.”
What would be more fun? Everyone gets together to watch Mean Girls all the time. So I said, what if we made a roadmap to do that? And made, not just a cookbook, but an experience book? So we put tons of games and funny quizzes- all these fun things. People can get together with their best friends, watch Mean Girls and have a good time. Mean Girls is about dividing people in the lunchroom so I wanted to find a way to bring people together. So I did it with a book.
YEM: You’re starring in the new movie: The Haunting of Sharon Tate. Can you tell us about the movie, which stars Hilary Duff?
Jonathan Bennett: The movie is absolutely phenomenal. Hilary Duff is utterly terrifying in this movie and I can’t wait for the world to see it. I am so proud of this movie. Hilary and I worked together on “Cheaper By the Dozen 2” so it was nice to reunite with her and work on something that was out of both of our comfort zones. It felt safe to be with her during this. She’s fantastic. This movie is so scary and so real.
It portrays what happens the days leading up to the Manson murders. It’s not about the murders, themselves it’s about the events leading up to it. Instead of giving the attention to the murderers, it gives the attention to the victims. Which is different than most of the movies that are in this genre.
YEM: Did you do any research for the role?
Jonathan Bennett: Yeah I did a lot of research. Because we wanted to be respectful of these victims. I watched every documentary there was. And I read every article. I learned a lot about my character’s life and who he was to the best of my ability.
YEM: You were just recently on Supergirl! Can you tell us about being on the show?
Jonathan Bennett: I am so excited to be a part of The CW. And to be a part of this amazing show, Supergirl. I play Quentin who is an attaché for the government. What I love about this story is it mirrors what is going on in society now. And today in politics. It’s a really interesting take.
YEM: You’ve done so many different types of projects, from movies to hosting to competing on Dancing with the Stars and Big Brother Celebrity Edition. Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would like to?
Jonathan Bennett: The one thing I would love to do is a multi-camera sitcom. And I would also love to host a show with a live audience. Those are my two things that I haven’t done yet that I want to do.
Jonathan’s new movie, the Haunting of Sharon Tate, is in theaters now!