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TikTok star Addison Rae is taking on her first movie role as a social media influencer in He’s All That (released on Netflix on Aug. 27), a reimagining of the original 1999 film She’s All That, and she revealed how playing Padgett made her reflect on her own journey to becoming a massive social media star.
"I went through kind of the same thing that she did, I started social media when I was really young, I downloaded all of my social media apps probably in like middle school, but I grew up and then when I was in college, I started social media," Rae told Yahoo Canada.
"I think it's really interesting to see the way Padgett handled it and then also the way it compared to the way I kind of went through things. Also learning to really be true to myself and know who I am, and at the end of the day, embrace all the things that maybe aren't so perfect."
At the beginning of He’s All That Padgett is basically living the ultimate high school life, she is insanely popular on social media, a style and beauty icon, and part of a power couple with her pop star boyfriend Jordan Van Draanan (Peyton Meyer).
But not everything is as perfect as it seems. Padgett is living a double life, pretending to live in a luxury loft building, when she really resides in a more modest home with her mom, played by Rachael Leigh Cook, who took on the iconic lead role of Laney in She’s All That.
When Padgett catches her boyfriend cheating on her on the set of his music video, an embarrassing moment (involving a snot bubble) goes viral for all the wrong reasons, and that's when Padgett’s seemingly perfect teenage life starts to unravel.
This includes jeopardizing Padgett's brand deal with a fictional beauty company, the sponsorship contact for the brand played by Rae's real-life bestie Kourtney Kardashian.
"Mucus is just not on brand for us," Kardashian quips in the film, while riding what looks like a Peloton bike.
Rae has revealed that being able to share her feature film debut with Kardashian was special. While the reality TV icon may have been nervous for the role, Rae promises that Kardashian does a great job portraying the overbearing brand representative and the TikTok star is "excited for everyone to see that side of her."
Padgett's 'He's All That' style channels high school Addison Rae
Fans of the original movie will know that a core aspect of the She’s All That plot is Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.) taking on a bet that he can transform Laney into the school’s prom queen, but ends up falling in love with her.
That narrative is relative unchanged in He’s All That but this time, Padgett bets that she can transform her more disheveled, antisocial classmate Cameron (Tanner Buchanan) into prom king, all initially in an effort to restore her previous pristine reputation.
While managing a life as a social media influencer is very much connected to Rae’s real life, she also revealed that Padgett’s style in the movie, a style that seemingly every teen is trying to emulate, is actually very similar to her own.
How can you get the Rae - Padgett style? Start with pink.
"The style of Padgett has a lot of pink, which I love pink,” she revealed. “I had a pink car at one point so I'd say it definitely reflects the love for pink."
"It was a little bit of my...style that I wore in high school, I could see a lot [reflected] into the character."
For Tanner Buchanan, he much preferred his character's post-makeover style and was specifically happy to step away from the hair extensions he had to wear in his pre-transformation look.
"It took about an hour and a half to put extensions in every day," Buchanan revealed. "Then they weren't the most comfortable....it was not fun."
There’s one scene in particular when both Rae and Buchanan’s styles are fully on display at a Great Gatsby-themed party. No matter what you’re thoughts are on the actors or the storyline, there’s no denying the pair nailed their vintage-inspired looks, even if they weren't the most comfortable.
"I had an amazing dress that was actually hand made, they created this look and it was so beautiful, so heavy," Rae explained.
"Kind of uncomfortable to sit but it was so pretty, so beautiful and I just felt so fun in it."