It's been 20 years since Mean Girls first strutted onto our screens (wearing pink on Wednesdays, of course) and now North Shore High School’s “Plastics” are back, and they’re more fetch than ever. Angourie Rice, who plays the Lindsay Lohan role in the latest incarnation of Mean Girls — a movie musical — says the film's themes are even more relatable.
A combination of the original 2004 movie and the more recent stage musical, Rice believes it’s still a timeless story, but adding social media to the mix has brought it right up to date.
“What made it so timeless was that it was about the emotions and hierarchy at high school. Those things never really change,” she explained to Yahoo UK. “It doesn’t matter what time you’re in, you’re always going to be embarrassed by your parents and you’re always going to feel that you need to impress the top dog.
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“With the advent of social media, these themes are even more relatable and important, because everything’s become so much more heightened. Social media wasn’t a part of high school in 2004, but it is a huge part of high school in 2024 so our film touches on that.”
Fans of the original can also look forward to re-living some of their favourite Mean Girls moments. “It still includes iconic things from the 2004 film like the Burn Book. It’s still a physical book that you actually write in and I think that’s really important,” says Rice. “It gives some weight to the tangible side of high school popularity. It’s not just something that exists in the virtual space.”
Familiar faces from the first film make a return as well, including Tina Fey as Mrs Norbury and Tim Meadows as Principal Duvall, and Fey is back on screenwriting duties, after penning the original and the Broadway show.
Watch a trailer for Mean Girls
Rice takes on the pivotal role of Cady, the new arrival at school who becomes friends with A list clique, the Plastics. Played first time round by Lindsay Lohan, she makes the mistake of falling for the ex-boyfriend of their queen bee, Regina (Reneé Rapp). Now a target for Regina’s malicious plotting, Cady decides to take down her new enemy, while learning to survive the high school jungle.
A fan of the original film and all its quotable lines – “one of my favourites is when Gretchen gives the speech in class about stabbing Caesar, and she’s so clearly talking about Regina!” – Australian-born Rice has always admired Lohan’s performance.
“Mean Girls is one of the movies I grew up watching over and over again, so her voice as Cady is so in my head. I wasn’t super worried about making the character consciously my own. I just knew and trusted it would happen anyway.”
Most recently seen in Apple TV+’s The Last Thing He Told Me, her breakthrough role came in cult comedy, The Nice Guys. Rumours of a sequel to the Russell Crowe/Ryan Gosling 2016 hit re-surfaced yet again last year and Rice’s reaction to the idea of returning to the world of the 1970’s private eyes is “Sure! It’s definitely a role that holds a special place in my heart.
"It was so much fun to do and it would be really interesting to re-visit the character almost ten years later.”
Mean Girls is released in cinemas on 17 January.
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Angourie Rice Explains Why Starring as Cady in New Version ‘Wasn’t an Automatic Yes’ for Her (The Wrap, 2 min read)
Angourie Rice Dishes on That Major “Mean Girls” Cameo: 'Such a Rare Experience' (People, 3 min read)