Mean Girls star Angourie Rice said yes, Hollywood is just like high school.

Angourie Rice has starred in Marvel blockbusters and critically acclaimed films directed by the likes of Sofia Coppola, yet she still feels like she never left high school.

After playing Betty Brant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring opposite Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown and Nicole Kidman in The Beguiled, the 22-year-old Australian actress has carved out an impressive legacy in Hollywood since the early days of her career that began more than a decade ago in Western Australia.

Now she is playing the lead role in the upcoming Mean Girls movie based on the Broadway musical of the same name which was adapted from the hit 2004 film, with all three versions written by Tina Fey.

Video: Mean Girls (2024) Official Trailer. Post continues below.

Video via Paramount Pictures.

In the film, Angourie takes on the role of Cady Heron, first immortalised on screen by Lindsay Lohan, a formerly homeschooled high school student who returns to the United States after living in Africa and discovers the savage nature of high school politics.

Much like every other young woman with access to a streaming service, Angourie grew up watching Mean Girls, with the iconic lines from the film seared into her brain as the movie continued to find new audiences since premiering 20 years ago.


When asked if her preparation for the film included reaching out to Lindsay Lohan or studying her on-screen performance in any way, Angourie laughed but quickly moved the conversation along, making it clear that she doesn't want her portrayal of Cady to look like an impression of a past actor's work.

What she is happy to discuss, however, is the shock and excitement that came with Tina Fey herself emailing her about her role.

"I approached this character in the same way that I approach any other character," Angourie told Mamamia, when asked if she was nervous about stepping into a role already tied to another famous name. "Which was really good for dispelling any anxiety I had around it."

"I went through my usual process of going through the script, making notes and writing down my own thoughts around the character. I think this helped me to get over my nerves and my fear that this character would be too much the same or it would be too different, to the original. I had to trust in the work I do.

"I would have been too scared to sing in a room in front of Tina Fey," Angourie continued, explaining what the casting process for Mean Girls was like. "It really all began, unbelievably, with an email from Tina Fey along with the script." 


"She introduced herself, talked about why she was making the movie, and said she thought I'd be good for the role of Cady. I was just astounded that she would take the time to do that. Then I read the script and really connected with the songs, I'd send through videos of myself performing them."

Both the Broadway show and its upcoming musical movie adaption follow similar plot points to the original film, with Cady falling in with 'The Plastics,' led by queen bee Regina George (Reneé Rapp, who originated the role on Broadway) and her minions Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika). 

But when Cady falls for Regina's ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), she finds herself at the centre of Regina's wrath. Cady then sets out to take down the group’s 'apex predator' (one of the best songs from the Tony Award-nominated stage show) with the help of her outcast friends Janis (Auli'i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey).

Jaquel Spivey as Damian, Angourie Rice as Cady and Auli’i Cravalho as Janis in Mean Girls. Image: Paramount Pictures. 


Cady's experience of feeling out of place somewhat mirrors Angourie's ascent in Hollywood, a universal experience she attributes to the movie's ongoing relevance, even after 20 years on our screens.

"There's this movie with Emily Blunt called The Jane Austen Book Club and there's this line in it that goes 'high school is never over' and that line has always stuck with me," she said. "It's something we say in our family a lot and I think that's one of the reasons why Mean Girls feels so timeless. It's because we still all have those feelings of not knowing where to sit at lunch or feeling like a fish out of water, even as an adult."

"So I definitely related to that with Cady, especially at the start of my career," she continued. "I remember so vividly being on my first big American film set and not knowing how things worked, having to ask questions and feeling really naive. This feeling resonates with me still."


When it came to putting her own stamp on the character, Angourie said she turned towards the costume department. The looks from Mean Girls are among the most recognisable from the past two decades of film releases, and it was a legacy the actress pushed to preserve.

With only one caveat.

"One of my favourite moments from filming the movie was the winter talent show," Angourie said. "The scene where we are all wearing the Santa outfits, because it's such an iconic moment from the original. I just kept looking around the set and thinking 'I can't believe I'm actually here'. Then I would send my family selfies."

"The look I had the most input into too was the party look," she continued. "It’s the scene where Cady throws a big party without her parents knowing and that is such an iconic dress that Lindsay wore in the original. It's a black strapless dress with a pink stripe. For that scene, I was very specific about what I felt comfortable wearing in terms of a tight dress. So I was very grateful to the costume designer for listening to my request."

Mean Girls will premiere in Australia January 11 2024.

Laura Brodnik is Mamamia's Head of Entertainment and host of The Spill podcast. You can follow her on Instagram here.

Featured Image: Supplied.

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