Vulture interviewed Mean Girls director Mark Waters for the comedy's 10-year anniversary and he decided to share some secrets from the making of the film that you probably didn’t know.
1. Lindsay Lohan was set to play Regina George.
Mark and Lindsay had just wrapped the Freaky Friday remake together and were set to film Mean Girls with Lindsay in the role of Regina George. She was super excited to play a villain, but after the success of Freaky Friday, studio execs insisted that she play the lead, Cady, because audiences wouldn’t accept her as a mean girl. “Lindsay kind of begrudgingly said, ‘Okay, I guess I’ll play the lead,’” Mark said. “'At least I get to have more lines.'”
2. Lindsay was actually intimidated by Rachel McAdams, which is partially why she got the role of Regina.
Rachel originally auditioned for the role of Cady when it was still determined that Lindsay would play Regina. But Mark felt Rachel, at 24, was already too old to play the high school newcomer. Then Mark switched the roles and brought Rachel back in to read for Regina and it all came together. “When Lindsay was acting with Rachel, she got very shy, because Rachel was older and a very accomplished actress,” Mark observed. “ She’d come in the room and not talk to Lindsay—she was very focused. Lindsay kind of got nervous around her, and I thought that, more than anything, was going to be the deciding factor, the fact that she affected Lindsay in that way.”
3. Amanda Seyfried was really close to getting cast as Regina.
Amanda was actually “neck and neck” for the Regina role and casting “agonized over which one we were going to cast.” He said her audition was “kind of brilliant, and very different than Rachel’s approach…more frightening, but oddly, less intimidating.” When she lost the role to Rachel, they brought her in for Karen and she “nailed it.”
4. Scarlett Johansson never auditioned for Mean Girls.
Scarlett auditioning for Karen is a rumor that has persisted for years, but it just isn’t true, according to Mark.
5. The famous four-way call was shot without Lindsay present and in slow motion.
Because she was still a minor at the time and not allowed to work more than nine hours, Mark had to shoot that scene without her and in slow motion, so he could get the timing just right in editing.
6. The studio didn’t really want Tim Meadows or Amy Poehler in it.
Tim Meadows because the same studio made The Ladies Man and were hesitant to hire more "SNL" cast members. They didn't want Amy because she was on "SNL" at the time and could only work half days. Mark had to fight for both of them.
7. Kevin Gnapoor was originally Kevin Ngor.
The character was originally written as a Korean math nerd, but because they couldn’t find anyone in Toronto good enough to pull off the role, they rewrote it for someone who actually killed it in his audition: a Sri Lankan teenager.
8. Mean Girls was one blowjob joke away from being rated R.
Mark got into many fights with the ratings board. One of which included the oft-quoted “Amber D’Lessio made out with a hot dog” line, which was originally “Amber D’Lessio gave a blowjob to a hot dog.” They changed it to keep it PG-13. However, one joke the creators refused to change was the “wide-set vagina” joke. The ratings board said they had no choice but to give the film an R rating because of it, but Mark made the argument that in Anchorman, Will Ferrell sports an erection and they gave his film a PG-13 rating. Not wanting to be sexist, they conceded and kept the rating as is.