Lindsay Lohan Discusses The Role She Originally Wanted To Play In Mean Girls

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) sits in the lunch room and looks uncomfortable in a scene from Mean Girls
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

When you think of Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan is probably one of the first people that comes to mind. As the star of the 2004 comedy, she is front and center for many of its most unforgettable moments. In many ways, the film made Lohan the poster child for that awkward transitional period so many teenagers live through. But it turns out she wasn’t planning on playing Cady Heron when the movie first crossed her radar. As she recently discussed, she had another role in mind. 

It's hard to imagine a version of Mean Girls in which Lindsay Lohan doesn't play Cady. But in a recent Vogue video, she explained why she originally wasn’t interested in playing new-girl-turned-mean-girl Cady Heron – and how the movie’s creative team convinced her to do it anyway: 

The story behind me playing Cady in Mean Girls is actually really unknown by a lot of people. I wanted to play Regina, because I had just come off of Freaky Friday, and I really wanted to play a pretty, normal girl now, and I wanted to have a different kind of role than just the damaged teenager again. And Mark Waters, the director, was insistent that I played Cady, and so was Tina [Fey]. They were like, ‘No, no, no, you're the lovable one, you have to play Cady.’ So I was so eager to get into the transitional part of, 'OK, let's get to the pretty part of Cady.’ It's just such a lovable movie.

Freaky Friday was a breakout moment for Lindsay Lohan at that point in her career, but it’s understandable why she may have wanted to try a new kind of role after playing Anna Coleman. To go from a rebellious rock star in the making to the prom queen may have seemed appealing at the time, but it’s hard to deny that she was the perfect person to play the lead character when everything was said and done. 

One of the main points of Mean Girls is that normal doesn’t mean perfect, and Cady is the perfect vehicle to drive that point home. So even though the Parent Trap star didn’t get a chance to play the ‘normal’ one, she still played a role that ended up being much different than any she’d previously taken on. 

It was a smart choice for her to play the former homeschooler despite her initial misgivings. The Tina Fey-penned comedy ended up becoming a genre-defining movie, one that launched catch phrases and terms like "Fetch", which we still use today and helped solidify the careers of several of the film’s cast members. No one could have known how popular the teen flick would become, but it seems like Lindsay Lohan has nothing but love for the movie and the fact that she got to play her character. 

These days, Lindsay Lohan is still making new career moves. She recently signed on for a new romantic Christmas comedy. While it doesn’t have an official release date, it should end up on Netflix’s 2022 movie schedule. And it seems like she would be on board for a potential Mean Girls sequel – so there’s always a chance we could see a grown up Cady and just how “normal” her life turned out to be. Until that happens, though, Amazon Prime subscribers can rent the original movie.

Katherine Webb