‘Mean Girls’: Rachel McAdams’ 1 Demand Cost the Film an Extra $10,000

It’s been more than 15 years since “Mean Girls” premiered back in 2004, but the movie has remained one of the most iconic teen comedy/dramas ever made. The film, written by Tina Fey, starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried, among other notable faces.

Rachel McAdams, who played popular teenager Regina George, was actually hiding a $10,000 secret when it came to her appearance.

'Mean Girls' stars Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Rachel McAdams
‘Mean Girls’ stars Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Rachel McAdams | CBS/Getty Images

Lindsay Lohan reportedly wanted to be Regina George

When it came time to cast the leads and supporting actors for the film, Fey and the filmmakers had an idea of some of the movie stars they wanted to cast. When director Mark Waters was scouting locations for filming, they met with Lohan, who revealed that she actually wanted to play Regina George.

“I wanted to play Regina. I had just played—in “Confessions” and “Freaky”—not the cool girl in school,” Lohan told Entertainment Weekly in 2014. Still, those working on the film wanted Lohan to be the lead, which required her to be Cady Heron. Since Lohan’s previous roles had built her a certain reputation, the filmmakers didn’t think she’d be a good fit for Regina. Eventually, Lohan agreed. 

'Mean Girls' stars Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Lohan, and Lacey Chabert
‘Mean Girls’ stars Rachel McAdams, Lindsay Lohan, and Lacey Chabert | CBS/Getty Images

Rachel McAdams’ blonde hair was actually a $10,000 wig – she refused to bleach her real hair

Once Lohan was cast as Cady, it was time to find the perfect Regina George. Those working on the film eventually landed on Rachel McAdams. But when McAdams learned she’d have to bleach her hair blonde, she refused.

“Rachel McAdams’ blonde hair is not her hair in the movie,” said Rajiv Surendra, who played Kevin Gnapoor in the film. Surendra told Seventeen that McAdams didn’t want to bleach her hair, since it could cause so much damage. So instead, the producers caved to her demands and did the next best thing.

“They had a wig made out of human hair by a very well-known wig maker from this little town called Stratford, Ontario,” Gnapoor said. “They actually would wash [the wig] and put this little shower cap thing on it that they would hook the blow dryer onto that would dry the wig. It was like a $10,000 wig.”

For what it’s worth, filming “Mean Girls” and “The Notebook” in the same year only solidified that McAdams looks great with any hair color.

Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan
Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan | CBS/Getty Images

‘Mean Girls’: Amanda Seyfried Almost Played a More ‘Frightening’ Regina George Instead of Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams was initially told she was ‘way too old’ to be Regina George

Despite that McAdams killed the role of Regina George, she was initially thought to be too old to play a teenager. In real life, McAdams was 24, and Waters thought it wouldn’t be convincing to pass her off as a 16-year-old.

According to E! News, Waters revealed in an interview with Vulture that he didn’t think McAdams made sense for the role. “After [the audition] was over, I told her, ‘I think you’re a movie star, but you’re way too old for this character. You just aren’t going to be able to play the ingenue,” Waters said.

Eventually, though, Waters reconsidered. When it came time to make a final decision, it was hard to argue that there was anyone who could play the role better than McAdams.