For Prinze Jr., the film brought back memories of his time in high school. He once shared that he broke down after filming an emotional scene.
What is ‘She’s All That’ about?
She’s All That follows students Zack Siler (Prinze) and Laney Boggs (Cook). Zack is a handsome football player at school, while Laney is a shy art geek.
After Zack’s popular girlfriend cheats on him, he shrugs off the betrayal by declaring that he can turn any girl at school into prom-queen material. His friends make a bet with him and choose Laney as his target.
Viewers watch as Zack befriends Laney. Although she rejects him at first, the two of them eventually bond. He also gives her a makeover, which impresses the other kids at school and led her to be nominated for prom queen. Zack and Laney even bridge their differences and fall in love.
Freddie Prinze Jr. broke down after filming an emotional scene
Although Prinze played a popular guy in She’s All That, his high school experience differed slightly from Zack Siler’s. According to his 1999 interview with Chicago Tribune, Prinze grew up feeling different from his peers, and it was difficult for him to play a character who came from the other side of the spectrum.
“I tried to step out of myself and look at me, and look at Laney, and the way my former student body looked at me,” Prinze said. “And somehow figure out in my head how they were able to sleep at night calling me freak … or whatever their name of the week was. I had to figure out how that was OK with them. And it was something I was never able to do.”
After filming the scene where Laney discovers Zack’s bet, Prinze “broke down and cried.” Director Robert Iscove shared, “He was devastated; he was really emotionally overwrought for about a half-hour afterward.”
Freddie Prinze Jr. experienced difficulties in his personal life as a teen
Prinze’s teenage years were not just filled with high school issues. He was also dealing with the death of his father, comedian Freddie Prinze Sr. Prinze was only 10 months old when his father died in 1977, and he didn’t feel the effects of that until he was a teen.
“There was this huge need for a father figure, and this search for who my father was,” Prinze explained. “And nobody could really talk to me about it, because everybody was kind of scared and they didn’t know the right words to say, because they didn’t want to tell me that my old man did drugs and shot himself.”
After his father’s manager, Ron DiBlasio, told him about Prinze Sr.’s life, Prinze also struggled to come to terms with it. He recalled, “You’re like, ‘What the hell? Why wasn’t I good enough for you to stay?’ And stuff that really isn’t your fault, but when you’re 16, 17, there’s no other alternative.”
However, after many years, Prinze eventually learned to cope with the death healthily. He has even found some positives to the experience.
“My old man taught me a lot of stuff in his death that I don’t even know if he would have been able to teach me had he been alive,” Prinze said. “And that was never to do stuff that can jeopardize the people you love and hurt them.”
For more on the entertainment world and exclusive interviews, subscribe to Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s YouTube channel.