In honor of Mean Girls' upcoming 10-year (!!!) anniversary, Vulture has posted some excellent trivia from the film, courtesy of someone who was as close as one can be to production: The film's director, Mark Waters. There are 10 stories (for 10 years), and while all of them are interesting and a must-read for all Mean Girls fans, the following really stuck out as the most shocking: Apparently, Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows, two vital parts of making the project what it was, almost weren't cast in the film because of their affiliation with Saturday Night Live.
According to Waters, Paramount Pictures was weary of hiring anyone from SNL because they'd "been burned" with some SNL movies from the sketch show's creator (and Mean Girls producer) Lorne Michaels, so they didn't want to hire anyone from SNL for fear that people would stay away from the movie.
Luckily, Waters and Tina Fey were able to secure both actors for the role after considerable fighting with the studio:
You might think that Tina Fey wrote the roles of Mr. Duvall and Mrs. George with her Saturday Night Live castmates Tim Meadows and Amy Poehler in mind, but that wasn't the case, said Waters: In fact, the studio didn't want either actor in the movie at first. "It's weird, but Paramount had a nervousness about Saturday Night Live," he said. "They'd been burned on some Saturday Night Live movies that had come from Lorne, so they didn't want many Saturday Night Live actors in Mean Girls, because then it might feel like an SNL movie and people might shy away from it." In particular, casting Meadows "took a lot of fighting with the studio," Waters said. "They'd made The Ladies Man and they thought, 'He's not a movie star,' but I was very adamant about it. Frankly, he's genius in the movie. It's so fun to watch him play that part."
Waters was even higher on Poehler, who was cast as Regina's deliriously deluded mother even though she's only seven years older than her screen daughter McAdams. "When Tina said, 'Amy would be really good for this if you're interested,' I was like, 'Are you kidding me? Let's fucking get Amy!' From the moment I first saw Amy — I think it was an SNL sketch where she's playing an amateur porn star on a date with Seann William Scott — I was in love with her." Poehler proved difficult to schedule, since she could only fly in for half-days during her SNL workweek, but once she was on the Mean Girls set, none of that mattered to Waters: "She was making baskets from all over the court. She killed it."
The film would not have been the same without them.
You can check out the other nine trivia facts from Waters over at Vulture (and you definitely should), here.