What The Cast Of Mean Girls Looks Like Today

One needn't wait for October 3 every year to revel in the timeless splendor of the masterpiece that is "Mean Girls." The 2004 was a classic teen flick for the ages and a coming-of-age awakening for the whole millennial generation — and then several generations after that. The relevance of Mark Waters' high school drama simply refuses to fade away. In the words of producer Lorne Michaels to Variety, "The reason it resonated and did so well, there was something honest and funny and certainly recognizable." After all, cliques like the Plastics will always continue to haunt school corridors, as will high-octane girlhood drama. 

Upon its release, the film opened at the box office with a better-than-decent $25 million and was declared a sleeper hit. Two decades on, its popularity has only continued to swell, with each passing year marking a new "Mean Girls" anniversary and occasional glimpses of cast reunions. In fact, fans were treated to one as recently as October 2023, when pictures surfaced of stars Lindsay Lohan, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried reportedly working on a "Mean Girls"-themed commercial. This bombshell, coupled with an upcoming movie musical helmed by the genius behind the original, Tina Fey, has given the rom-com's massive fan base much to look forward to. 

Between routinely reminiscing about the classic and manifesting future reboots, the star ensemble has been up to wild, wonderful things since the film premiered. Here's what the cast of "Mean Girls" looks like today.

Lindsay Lohan

A lot has transpired in Lindsay Lohan's life since "Mean Girls." Her career-making role blazed unmatchably bright — putting her on the map of major youth awards and teenage aspirations — before things went dark for a while. Lohan got caught up in a streak of troubles like her character Cady Heron wouldn't believe. Her first arrests were in 2007 over charges relating to driving under the influence and drug possession. It only marked the beginning of legal issues that would plague Hollywood's notorious party animal for several years and serve as profit-making tabloid fodder. 

She didn't attempt to shrug off her circumstances though, taking responsibility for her addiction instead: "It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs," she said in a rather candid statement. Her journey to recovery led her to seek out Alcoholics Anonymous and rely on the support of the people around her. 

Work didn't stop in the meantime: Her big-screen stint as a lead actor was taken over by reality television, music, and eventually life milestones that involved a relocation to Dubai, her marriage to financier Bader Shammas, and the birth of her son. Through everything, Lohan never lost touch with her teen rom-com roots, even appearing enthused about a possible sequel to "Mean Girls." But none of that musical stuff for her: As she told co-star Amanda Seyfried for Interview Magazine, "It has to be the same tone."

Tina Fey

The world has much to thank Tina Fey for, and "Mean Girls" ranks high on that list. The actor, writer, and comic extraordinaire boasts a glowing career of tickling people's funny bones that goes back beyond her "Saturday Night Live" days. When an opportunity to write for the big screen came knocking, she hit it out of the park, drafting a screenplay in 2004 that would single-handedly change the course of the teen rom-com genre and millions of lives. 

The primary source material for "Mean Girls" was Rosalind Wiseman's book "Queen Bees and Wannabes," though Fey admitted to drawing several bits from her own life as well. Believe it or not, Plastic-in-chief Regina George was something of a self-sketch for Fey, she once told The Edit. "If I meet a girl of 14 or 15 today who is that kind of girl, I am secretly, in my body, afraid," she said. Aren't we all? 

Besides pumping pink into the "Mean Girls" legacy with a stage musical that reached Broadway and another film in the works, Fey made strides on television by writing and producing acclaimed television shows — among them "30 Rock," a glittering standout at the Emmys year after year. Through it all, Fey kept her "SNL" crew creatively as close as she had in her "Mean Girls" days, with the ensemble buddy comedy "Wine Country" and her live comedy show "Restless Leg Tour" with BFF Amy Poehler.

Jonathan Bennett

As Aaron Samuels, Jonathan Bennett gave flight to countless teen fantasies. In fact, we could argue he was instrumental in the founding of Mean Girls Day by asking Cady Heron what day it was on October 3. But the film is still central to Bennett's life, not just on that day, but every day. "It's the weirdest thing to be Aaron Samuels because not a day goes by that someone doesn't come up to you and say something," he told Teen Vogue, expressing his pride in the teen classic. Having seen the film over a hundred times, Bennett could well lead a "Mean Girls" fan club or two. All things considered, he's one of the few original cast members to express no interest in starring in a remake. But that's not to say he doesn't revel in its legacy for the sake of fans and goodwill. 

In 2017, Bennett marked October 3 by getting together with co-stars like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Seyfried to raise money for charity following that year's shooting in Las Vegas (still the deadliest in U.S. history). Then, in 2023, he surprised a bunch of students performing in a high school production of "Mean Girls," amping up their spirits and showering them with pre-show advice. Bennett continued to work in film after his breakout role, but most of his major career turns came on television through Hallmark films and hosting on the Food Network. He married his longtime partner Jaymes Vaughan in 2022. 

Lizzy Caplan

Lizzy Caplan was every high school teenager's goth dreams come to life. With her flat black hair, dark eyes, unorthodox wardrobe, and quick wit, the "Mean Girls" star played the role of Janis Ian to perfection. The 2004 film changed her life in many ways, most notably in how it put her on the radar of fan attention that, decades on, still gets her stopped on the streets. Caplan told The A.V. Club that she originally read for Cady Heron's part but was keen on landing her breakout role of Janis. "I remember reading that script, thinking it was the funniest thing I had ever read, and wanting to be in it more than anything," she said. That happened successfully, leading the way for Caplan to embark on more extensive acting work. 

In some of the most notable titles in her filmography — "127 Hours," "The Disaster Artist," and "The Interview" — she was in the company of old co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, alongside whom Caplan had made her screen debut in "Freaks and Geeks." She turned lead for shows like "Fatal Attraction" and "Masters of Sex" (which she also produced) and updated her relationship status from single to married in 2017. She shares a son with her husband Tom Riley.

Though she believes in the wholeness of the original, Caplan is more than willing to come aboard a second "Mean Girls." As she told Grazia: "I would be an idiot not to join." 

Rachel McAdams

There wouldn't be a "Mean Girls" without Regina George. And despite her Plastic queen bee nastiness, Rachel McAdams is grateful to have played her. "I have to thank Regina George for giving me some longevity," she told The New York Times. "I was at the beginning of my career, and it was a lofty thing out there, that I really, really, really wanted to do." That year, McAdams wasn't just writing in burn books or telling boys they looked good with their hair pushed back. "The Notebook" hit theaters two months after "Mean Girls," catapulting McAdams to rom-com renown for fans and awards circles alike. Consecutive successes with films like "Wedding Crashers" and "Red Eye" brought her further acclaim as she charted her way upward in Hollywood. 

Then, in a bid to recalibrate her life, McAdams left the spotlight — a choice that cost her many roles (including in "The Devil Wears Prada") that could have enriched her career further. "There's certainly things like 'I wish I'd done that,'" she told Bustle. "But I also knew it wasn't quite jiving with my personality and what I needed to stay sane." McAdams came back like a breath of fresh air after her brief hiatus, working with major directors like Richard Curtis and Woody Allen. Her role as journalist Sacha Pfeiffer in "Spotlight" was among her most important and prompted a splash of awards and nominations that cemented McAdams' stature as a versatile actor worth watching for years to come. 

Ana Gasteyer

Before she was Cady Heron's mom, Ana Gasteyer was a "Saturday Night Live" regular. In fact, like many of her castmates from "Mean Girls," her long stint on the NBC sketch show was instrumental in getting her involved with the 2004 teen rom-com — courtesy of fellow comic Tina Fey. And in Gasteyer's own words to Marie Claire, "Anything you do with your 'SNL' cohorts is always a little bit of a summer camp experience. We share a weird mutant bond." While Gasteyer didn't cash in on the magnificence of "Mean Girls" by branching out too much in film, her streak of television successes remained unbroken, with memorable appearances on series like "The Good Wife," "Suburgatory," "The Goldbergs," and "Lady Dynamite." 

Gasteyer's illustrious career took one of its most definitive turns in 2021 when she joined the cast of NBC's socially relevant sitcom "American Auto." Her role as lead star, after nearly three decades in television, had been a long time in the making. "You weren't going to march into a fantastic female protagonist out of 'SNL' in 2002," she told Vulture. "I'm very aware of what a lucky break it is. It's hard to get a network television show." Though her career since "Mean Girls" has been vast and varied, comprising everything from voice-over roles to music albums and Broadway, the idea of returning to the film still excites her. "It's a piece of masterful writing," she told Looper, underlining the high school narrative's enduring relevance. 

Amanda Seyfried

She's a mouse, duh! But she's also an Oscar-nominated actor now. Having started out when she was still a child, Amanda Seyfried has had a prolonged showbiz career peppered with many breakthroughs. Her first came when she played the benevolent airhead Karen Smith in "Mean Girls." Her definitive big-screen debut launched her headfirst into global recognition, so much so that random boys would ask her to predict the weather. Another starring rom-com role followed in 2008 with "Mamma Mia!" but as Seyfried herself has acknowledged, she has always just teetered near the edges of stardom.  

"I've never been super famous. I've always been somewhat recognizable. It's been the healthiest trajectory," she told Marie Claire. In a bid to stay out of the limelight, Seyfried even invested in a farm up in the Catskills that she calls home with her husband Thomas Sadoski and their two children. Besides rubbing elbows with big names like Meryl Streep, Mark Wahlberg, Megan Fox, and Russell Crowe, Seyfried also dipped her toes into television. 

As Seyfried matured, her career did too, as she took on serious roles in "The Dropout" and in "Mank." The latter marked a milestone in Seyfried's filmography, winning her an Oscar nod for her portrayal of icon Marion Davies. As she gushed to The Hollywood Reporter: "To be recognized by your peers — you don't expect it but when it happens, it just deepens my clarity on having chosen my career." 

Lacey Chabert

Lacey Chabert is still so fetch! The actor, best known for playing Gretchen Wieners, has been up to cool stuff even in her post-"Mean Girls" era. After her star-making role in the 2004 feature, Chabert acted in a few notable titles — such as "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner — before she found her groove over at Hallmark. Starting out in picture-perfect festive flicks in 2010 set Chabert on a path of genre-specific acting that she is still on today. "These movies mean so much to me," she told Us Weekly about her Hallmark portfolio, which includes films like "The Wedding Veil" and "The Sweetest Christmas." "They're not just jobs, and I feel a responsibility to the audience to make the absolute best movie I can." 

Though she's now a Hallmark queen, Chabert is tailed everywhere by her "Mean Girls" legacy — even in the unlikeliest of places, like pharmacies. "You don't look like you feel very fetch today," a pharmacist who once sold her medicine said, as Chabert told Entertainment Weekly. Tweets and mentions referencing the classic run in the hundreds on her social media. But Chabert is not complaining. "You hope it's going to resonate with people, and the fact that all these years later, it's something people are still talking about and it's become such a part of pop culture," she told Forbes. Like many of her fellow actors, Chabert is more than open to the idea of a reboot. 

Amy Poehler

So, what's the 411 on Amy Poehler? The cool mom from "Mean Girls" had a busy few years in the aftermath of the seminal 2004 teen comedy, notably anchoring "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live" and slowly gaining recognition as one half of the friendship duo she formed with Tina Fey. Of course, her most distinguished role wouldn't come until 2009. In the intervening years, she did extensive television and film work, including for several animated classics like "Horton Hears a Who!" and "The Simpsons." 

She reached a career peak as Leslie Knope in "Parks and Recreation," a mockumentary-style show revered in the sitcom world. Award nominations and global fame rained on Poehler for her character, whom she drew inspiration from in return. As she told The Guardian, "[Knope] doesn't always think or act correctly, but her heart is always in the right place. So, yes, I do sometimes think about what Leslie would do." 

Her creative genius couldn't be restricted to acting, so Poehler eventually ventured into creating, directing, and producing as well, making judicious use of her renowned brand of feminism with projects like "Russian Doll" and "Moxie." "I do make it a point to try to investigate different ways to tell female stories," she told The New York Times. "But I look for those stories because I want to make stuff I want to see." Poehler's years of comedic prowess culminated in a well-earned star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 2015.

Daniel Franzese

"Mean Girls" is more than just a movie for its fans — and some of its stars. It was a meaningful milestone for Daniel Franzese, who found affirmation for his queer identity in the 2004 rom-com classic long before he told the world about it. His universally beloved gay alter ego Damian Leigh became a source of inspiration for not just people watching him on-screen but himself, too. As Franzese wrote in a heartfelt coming out letter to his character, published in IndieWire on the film's 10-year anniversary: "It took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again." As cathartic as the experience of playing out his identity through Damian was, Franzese shared a complicated relationship with his character for years after the film. 

According to Franzese, the industry took "Mean Girls" as a license to try and pigeonhole him into stereotypical gay roles — a demand he refused to give into. "I stayed unemployed for many years after 'Mean Girls' because I refused to go backwards on the movement. I turned down a lot of money as my fame was rising," he told Them. A few films and episodic appearances on shows like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" flecked his portfolio until 2014, when Franzese went public with his sexuality. It was after this momentous announcement that Franzese landed notable television work on the HBO series "Looking" and became attached to the popular reality show "RuPaul's Drag Race." Glen Coco who? You go, Daniel Franzese! 

Tim Meadows

Tim Meadows hardly needs an introduction. Known in comedy circles for having one of the longest "Saturday Night Live" tenures ever, this stage and screen legend has many years of making people laugh behind him. In "Mean Girls," he stepped into different shoes as the rarely smiling, mostly stern Ron Duvall, principal of North Shore High School, who felt personally victimized by Regina George. But when the cameras stopped rolling, he shared great camaraderie with his fellow actors and even stayed in touch with them after the film. As he told The A.V. Club, "It's like being in a Christmas movie or something," Meadows said. "It's on every year. People like it. It speaks to a lot of people, women especially."

Meadows clearly enjoyed being part of the teen rom-com and was the only original cast member to reprise his role for a 2011 television film sequel of "Mean Girls." Alongside Tina Fey — aka Ms. Norbury, his character's supposed love interest — Meadows will also return as Principal Duvall for an upcoming "Mean Girls" musical that's in the works, as Fey noted on "Late Night with Seth Meyers." Parallel to his "Mean Girls" homecomings, Meadows has continued to maintain strong ties to his improv comedy roots, touring comedy clubs across the United States. He has also remained a television fixture with appearances on popular sitcoms like "The Office," "30 Rock," "The Goldbergs," and most recently, "Digman!"

Rajiv Surendra

Rajiv Surendra may not go down as one of the most famous names in Hollywood history, but his character Kevin Gnapoor might have seen himself that way. The Canadian actor became a prominent face of South Asian representation in millennial pop culture with his unforgettable portrayal of the math whiz-cum-occasional rapper in "Mean Girls." Off-screen, he harbored other co-curricular interests, earning him a colorful nickname on set. "[T]hey called me Martha Stewart because they knew I did pottery and knitted and everything," he told GQ. His reserve of varied creative interests would years later sprout into a YouTube channel with multipurpose videos and thousands of committed followers.   

A major part of Surendra's decade after the premiere of "Mean Girls" was spent chasing the role of a lifetime in the award-winning drama "Life of Pi." The pursuit was fervent enough to prompt Surendra to drop out of college at one point. The lead part eventually went to Indian actor Suraj Sharma, but as Surendra's favorite Kevin G quote goes: "Don't let the haters stop you from doing your thang." He turned his unsuccessful quest for his dream role into a book titled "The Elephants in My Backyard" and, though the acting route didn't work out for him, his "Mean Girls" showcase gave him ample satisfaction. "For me, if I never act again, I am so grateful that I was in at least one thing that people loved," he told Kajal

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