It’s been a decade since Mean Girls hit us right in the funny bone, the lexicon, the heart. It was a film written by Tina Fey in all her candid glory, taking us beyond the glittery facade of the most popular girls in school and showing what it’s like trying to survive our high school years intact.
By now, the lines are cemented in our everyday lives. “I have ESPN”, “Say crack again”, “Stop trying to make “fetch” happen”; they’re completely quotable and will still elicit a giggle from anyone familiar with the movie, which seems to be everyone these days. It wasn’t just a chick flick, either; ask many guys of a certain age and they’ll be able to give you at least one line from the movie. What makes the film so enduring is a combination of Fey’s gifted writing and the perfect dream team of actors. What many don’t know, however, is that one of those actors almost wasn’t a part of it.
According to Daniel Franzese–who played Damien–the part of Aaron Samuels was in flux until Jonathan Bennett was cast, and James Franco was in the running.
“I hit it off with everyone and I remember leaving, saying, “I’ll see you all tomorrow at the table read. I’m the only one who doesn’t have the part yet.” Although Jonathan Bennett [who played Aaron Samuels] wasn’t cast yet either. There was another actor who was playing Aaron Samuels at the dinner. Now, the next day at the table read, this other actor hadn’t shaved and he didn’t take his hat off; he was playing it really cool. People kept coming over to him like, “You know, you should really take your hat off.” And then, right after the table read, he got fired and they called Jonathan Bennett, who I guess was their second choice,” he said, and although he won’t mention who that actor was, he says it’s someone with a famous name. “He has worked consistently, he’s a good guy… but, yeah he is somebody who you would’ve known. Also, Lindsay recently told me that, even before [the actor who got fired], James Franco was considered for the role of Aaron Samuels. I thought that was so cool — Bennett was great but that would’ve been cool.”
Another awesome, random fact? Franzese says one of his lines–well, the delivery of it–was inspired by a certain Seinfeld character.
“The “I want my pink shirt back” line was one of my favorites from the movie. I came up with it during rehearsal; we were rehearsing driving around the cul-de-sac and I asked Mark if I could say, “I want my pink shirt back, bitch.” He said, “Sure, say it twice and real fast like George Costanza in Seinfeld,” and he let me run with it.”
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