Things You Never Noticed In She's The Man

Few teen films can live up to the standards set by the 2006 classic "She's the Man." The quotable, laugh-out-loud funny movie stars Amanda Bynes (just one of the projects that's contributed to her net worth) as Viola. When her school's female soccer team is cut, Viola decides to dress up as her twin brother, Sebastian, and try out for his school's male team. Of course, things get confusing when she starts to fall for her roommate, Duke Orsino, played by Channing Tatum. And when Duke's crush, Olivia, played by Laura Ramsey, starts to like Viola/Sebastian, things get even more complicated.

Alongside this wild plot of mistaken identities and misplaced crushes is a fun soundtrack of early 2000s hits and an amazing cast of supporting characters played by the likes of Vinnie Jones, David Cross, and Julie Hagerty. It's no wonder this movie has stood the test of time and remains one of our favorite teen rom-coms of all time. But, even if you're a die-hard fan of "She's the Man," there may be a few things you never noticed about the movie. Keep reading to find out what they are.

The plot of She's the Man is based on a Shakespeare play

If you paid attention in English class or if you're a theater fan, you may have realized that "She's the Man" feels somewhat familiar. That's because the movie is actually based on the famous Shakespeare play "Twelfth Night."

In "Twelfth Night," Viola dresses as a man after a shipwreck. She ends up working for Duke Orsino and helps him win the heart of the beautiful widow, Olivia. Just like in "She's the Man," Viola and Duke fall in love, while Olivia develops feelings for Viola.

While the main plot of "She's the Man" follows that of "Twelfth Night," there are plenty of references to the play throughout the film, too. For instance, in "Twelfth Night," Viola calls herself Cesario. In "She's the Man," the characters constantly eat at Cesario's. In "Twelfth Night," Olivia's servant, Malvolio, is in love with her. In "She's the Man," this character becomes Malcolm — his pet spider, however, is called Malvolio. Plus, in "Twelfth Night," Viola finds herself in a land called Illyria — in "She's the Man," this becomes the name of her school. It's no wonder Business Insider Australia called this movie "the greatest modern Shakespearean remake!"

She's the Man's message about queerness is pretty progressive

At first glance, "She's the Man" is simply a lighthearted comedy that uses the classic trope of girl-dresses-as-boy to create some pretty hilarious situations. However, looking a little closer, it becomes clear that "She's the Man" actually has some subtle messages about queerness.

For one thing, when Olivia develops a crush on Sebastian — who is, of course, really Viola — we see a woman attracted to another woman. As one writer for Screen Queens noted, "She is also attracted to aspects of Viola that are appealing regardless of her gender performance." In other words, even when Viola forgets to "play the part" of Sebastian, Olivia is still attracted to her. There's also the romance that develops between Viola (as Sebastian) and Duke. Even though Duke thinks Viola is a boy, he still finds himself developing a certain attraction. Of course, these situations are designed to be funny. But they also show us that attraction can sometimes be a little more fluid and non-binary than we thought.

She's the Man was our first real encounter with Channing Tatum

These days, it's hard to remember a time when we didn't know who Channing Tatum was. Tatum has starred in numerous blockbusters, including "Magic Mike" (he'll even soon return for another sequel), "21 Jump Street," "Step Up," and "Logan Lucky." In other words, he's a bona fide movie star.

However, when "She's the Man" was made, he was anything but an A-lister. In fact, he had very few credits under his belt. As Amanda Bynes revealed in an interview with Paper Magazine, Tatum almost lost the part because of his lack of star power. "I totally fought for Channing [to get cast in] that movie because he wasn't famous yet," she said. "He'd just done a Mountain Dew commercial and I was like, 'This guy's a star — every girl will love him!'" Even though the producers were skeptical, Bynes eventually convinced them to give Tatum a chance — and thank goodness she did! Just imagine if his career hadn't been kickstarted by this movie.

She's the Man is ahead of its time when it comes to gender politics

"She's the Man" may seem like just another silly teen movie, but it actually contains a pretty poignant political message about gender. As a girl, Viola is expected to attend the upcoming debutante ball. Soccer is seen as a distraction. And when the women's team is cut at her school, the coach refuses to let Viola and her friends try out for the men's team. "Girls aren't as fast as boys. Or strong. Or athletic," her coach says. "Girls can't beat boys. It's just as simple as that. It's a scientific fact." This outdated idea that girls can't beat boys is put to the test in "She's the Man" — and, eventually, proven to be false when Viola beats her misogynistic ex-boyfriend in the climactic soccer game.

Look a little closer, and you'll see that "She's the Man" actually delivers a pretty punchy message about gender. As one writer for The Guardian wrote, "Not since 'Tootsie' has a gender-swapping comedy challenged the subject with quite so much comedic vigor, emotional heart and both male and female empowerment."

Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum are pretty good at soccer

Watching "She's the Man," you may not have initially noticed just how much soccer the film's stars actually have to play. But once you look closer, you'll notice they have some skills!

It turns out, both Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum worked pretty hard to look like real soccer players. "In the morning, usually, they'd have hours of soccer practice," director Andy Fickman said in a DVD special feature. Bynes added that she had to work hard to learn to play. "When I watched the movie ... I was sort of impressed," she confessed.

Tatum also trained for the movie. In fact, when Duke scores that epic goal in the final game, that wasn't even a stunt double — it was actually Tatum! "We had the double on stand-by," Fickman told E! News. But, in the end, Tatum performed the trick himself. "That beautiful bicycle kick shot is all Channing, first-take," Fickman said. "He had just worked so hard." Wow, we are impressed!

To play Sebastian, Amanda Bynes watched teen guys at a mall to learn their behavior

Amanda Bynes' transformation in "She's the Man" is seriously impressive. And you may not have realized just how much detail went into the performance. As the actress said in an interview, she wore sideburns, eyebrows, binding, a muscle suit, and four layers of clothing. "I'm always wearing longsleeved shirts, even when it's like a hundred degrees outside," she said.

In addition to all of this, Bynes also spent time practicing her manly mannerisms with the director, Andy Fickman. "Andy and I went to the mall and we'd just sort of watch guys and girls and how they were together," she said in an interview. And Fickman made sure Bynes kept it up while filming. "If I noticed that she was becoming Amanda for a minute in the scene, [I reminded her], like, 'Shift this way. Your posture shouldn't be that good,'" Fickman told

In fact, her transformation was so complete that it actually freaked Bynes out a little when she saw the movie. As she told Paper Magazine, it was "a super strange and out-of-body experience." We can hardly blame Bynes — her transformation into a boy is pretty spot on.

The actress who played Eunice was actually the opposite of an awkward nerd

One of the greatest supporting characters in "She's the Man" has to be Eunice, the eager, awkward, braces-wearing nerd who becomes Duke's lab partner — much to his disappointment. Watching the film, it's hard to imagine the actress being that different in real life, but, it turns out, Emily Perkins, who played Eunice, is the polar opposite of her character. "She doesn't have the braces, she doesn't have the headgear," director Andy Fickman told "She is a stunningly beautiful woman." Apparently, everyone in the cast even had a crush on Perkins at some point during the filming of the movie! 

Of course, this just makes her performance even more impressive. As Fickman explained in another interview, Perkins was so good at transforming into Eunice, they actually made her role much bigger. After the first read-through, Fickman recalled, "The first thing we said was, 'Give this girl more lines.'" Thank goodness they did!

The girls' fight scene looks real because it is, with no stunt doubles

One of the most memorable scenes in "She's the Man" is the fight between Viola, Olivia, and Monique in the bathroom during a debutante meeting. It's a wild, out-of-control fight involving hair pulling, pushing, punching, falling, tripping, and more — most viewers would probably assume it was done with stunt doubles. However, it turns out, the three actresses did pretty much everything themselves. "The big cat fight between Laura [Ramsey] and Alex [Breckenridge] and Amanda [Bynes] just got so much bigger than I think anyone ever anticipated," director Andy Fickman said in a special feature.

Bynes went on to explain that the three actresses were desperate to do the fight themselves, even though there were stunt doubles on set. So, the stunt doubles taught the actresses some moves. "We have these stunt girls teaching us, you know, what's the best way to jump on each other and what's the best way to, like, pull each other's hair, and we went for it," Bynes recalled. Her only regret was not having more to do in the scene!

She's the Man was shot in Canada

Have you ever wondered where "She's the Man" is actually set? It's clearly set somewhere in the U.S., but it's hard to tell where. It looks like possibly California or even the east coast. As it turns out, the movie was filmed in Vancouver, Canada. As the director, Andy Fickman, said in a featurette regarding the making of the movie, "We sort of set it in Stratford, 'Anywhere' USA, and Vancouver gives you a lot of looks and a lot of feels that's sort of a timeless area."

This filming location sometimes made things tricky. "Vancouver's weather is an unpredictable mystery," Fickman said in the featurette. Apparently, while the cast and crew filmed the opening scene where Viola plays soccer on the beach, the weather was actually freezing and grey, and the cast had to shoot in bikinis and swimming trunks! The crew even had to make the sky look bluer in post-production.

The men in the scene where Viola follows strangers around are not actors

There's another scene in "She's the Man" that you may be surprised to learn is a little more real than you thought. Remember that brief moment during the fun makeover scene when Viola is seen walking the streets impersonating random guys?

Well, it turns out, those men weren't actors — they were real men who happened to be walking around where the team was filming! "That is actual footage," Amanda Bynes explained to MTV. "I was walking along a very busy street in Vancouver, and then some people would get freaked out and angry at me, but it was fun." If the people she followed happened to recognize her, Bynes recalled, she would say, "Act casual, we're making a movie." Wow, we have to say, that's pretty brave — but it definitely made for a hilarious moment in the film!

Vinnie Jones, who played the angry British coach, is an actual soccer player IRL

Remember that angry British coach of the Illyria soccer team in "She's the Man"? Well, if you weren't a big soccer fan, you may not have realized he was played by Vinnie Jones, an actual famous British footballer. Jones played in the English Football League before becoming an actor known for playing a series of tough guys.

While it may seem that a teen comedy like "She's the Man" wouldn't really be the most natural fit for somebody like Jones, he never saw it that way. "I done 'EuroTrip', and the comedy stuff in 'Snatch' and 'Lock Stock' is very along these lines," he said in an interview.

It turns out, the film's director, Andy Fickman, had always wanted Jones to play the part. "He was the only person I ever met with and the only offer we ever made," Fickman said. Even though the rest of the team doubted Jones would be interested in a teen comedy, Jones was keen to get on board. As Fickman said in the same interview, "It's a different type of movie for him, and I think that there's a whole different audience that gets exposed to him."

Many of the movie's best lines were improvised

"She's the Man" is seriously funny — even if you think it's just another dumb teen movie, you will still find yourself laughing hysterically when you watch it. And that's because there are tons of amazing lines! It turns out, many of the movie's best lines weren't actually planned — they were improvised. "We allowed the cast to play," director Andy Fickman told E! News.

While he let all of the cast improvise, David Cross, who played the school principal, apparently improvised a lot on set. For instance, his bizarre line, "Have a great apple and sandwich" was an improvised line. Emily Perkins, who played Eunice, also improvised a few lines. As Fickman told E! News, "Emily just said stuff that you'd just look at the script and look up at Emily and then look back at the script and then say, 'Yes, go with that!'" Another improvised line is in the gym scene when Channing Tatum takes a call on his flip phone while speaking with Olivia. "It wasn't even written that Channing would, like, open the phone funny and ... fall and be awkward," Amanda Bynes recalled in an interview.

Julie Hagerty stole the show as the mom in She's the Man

Another amazing secondary character in "She's the Man" is Viola and Sebastian's mom. While the character doesn't actually appear in many scenes in the movie, she definitely stands out every time she appears on screen. That is largely thanks to the zany performance of Julie Hagerty. Her character always tries to get Viola to embrace being a debutante. With her manic smile, airy voice, wacky clothing, and bizarre, spaced-out demeanor, Hagerty's portrayal is totally unforgettable. "She brought this sort of insanity to the character of, like, you know, it never turns off," Amanda Bynes said in an interview, imitating Hagerty's wide-eyed smile.

We never really thought about it before, but, now that we do, it's clear that Hagerty's unique performance in "She's the Man" made this character a little loopy and a total stand-out in the film.