• Entertainment
  • movies

‘Mean Girls’ Flashback: Rachel McAdams Was Kind of a Regina George to Lindsay Lohan

2 minute read

This year marks a very important anniversary for millennials everywhere: Mean Girls turns ten.

The Tina Fey-penned 2004 teen comedy was a smash success, raking in nearly $130 million worldwide. It also marked the apex of Lindsay Lohan’s career and the launch of Rachel McAdams’. But, unlike Lohan’s career, Mean Girls has endured the test of time and — to this day — remains one of the most quotable teen movies of all time. (In a way, the movie sort of did make “fetch” happen.)

But no matter how many times you’ve watched it, there’s apparently still more to learn about the film. Vulture asked Mean Girls director Mark Waters to divulge some behind-the-scenes stories and secrets about filming the movie. And no — contrary to the rumors — Scarlett Johansson did not audition for a part.

In one of his more interesting reveals, Waters rehashes how Lohan was originally considered for the part of Regina George and McAdams was trying out for the part of Cady Heron. Waters had already decided that the then 24-year-old McAdams was too mature to play the innocent Cady; but when Lohan’s team — confident with the actress’s teen queen status — decided she should play the lead rather than the villain, the film was short one queen bee.

So Waters, inspired by the real-life dynamic that he observed between the two actresses, decided that McAdams should play Regina. According to Waters:

“When Lindsay was acting with Rachel, she got very shy, because Rachel was older and a very accomplished actress,” said Waters. “She’d come in the room and not talk to Lindsay — she was very focused. Lindsay kind of got nervous around her, and I thought that, more than anything, was going to be the deciding factor, the fact that she affected Lindsay in that way.”

So, essentially, McAdams scored her breakthrough role by being a bit of a real-life mean girl. What went into the Burn Book?

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com