Angourie Rice and Lindsay Lohan
The Plastics are back—and this time they’ve got vocal chops as well as an ability to make grown men cry. The new version of Mean Girls is based on the Broadway musical, which ran from 2018 to 2020. So while many of the 2004 film’s beats are still there—the Mathletes, the winter talent show, Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury—there are also dance breaks and musical numbers.
“It was so fun to take what we learned doing the Broadway musical and the tentpole songs and then put them back into more of a cinematic, music video-style,” Fey said during a January 2024 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “They look really fluid and cool.”
Fey, who wrote the book for the musical as well as the new film’s screenplay, also had a hand in casting the 2024 edition of Mean Girls. She made sure Reneé Rapp, who played Regina George on Broadway, came back for the big-screen version, and she searched high and low for a swoon-worthy actor who could play Aaron Samuels (a role which ultimately went to Christopher Briney).
“When he was on a Zoom callback … I FaceTimed, like, 12 of my 18-year-old daughter's friends, and I was like, 'What about this guy?'” Fey told Jimmy Fallon. “And they were all like, ‘Yes! He’s hot!’”
Well, he has to be—why else would Cady intentionally fail calculus? Keep reading for a side-by-side comparison of the new Mean Girls and their OG counterparts.
'Mean Girls' Cast: Original vs. Musical Movie
Angourie Rice takes on the role of Cady Heron, which catapulted Lindsay Lohan to new levels of fame nearly 20 years ago. Rice, who started acting as a preteen, previously played Betty Brant in the Tom Holland Spider-Man trilogy. She also played Siobhan, the daughter of Kate Winslet’s character, in Mare of Easttown. (Minor spoiler alert: Lohan has a cameo in the new Mean Girls as a moderator at the Mathletes competition.)
Evil takes a human form in Regina George, originally played by Rachel McAdams and now embodied by Reneé Rapp. Rapp previously starred on Broadway in the Mean Girls musical and later appeared in Max’s The Sex Lives of College Girls. In 2023, she released her debut album, Snow Angel.
Bebe Wood takes over the role of Gretchen Wieners, heiress to the Toaster Strudel fortune, from Lacey Chabert. Like Rice, Wood started acting as a child, starring in Shania Clemmons on The New Normal and appearing in Veep and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. From 2020 to 2022, she played Lake Meriwether on Hulu’s Love, Victor.
Karen Smith, originated by Amanda Seyfried in 2004, is now Karen Shetty, played by Avantika. After appearing in several Indian films, she starred in the Disney Channel original movie Spin and Netflix’s Senior Year. Later this year, she’ll be back on the big screen in Horrorscope.
Janis Ian (originally played by Lizzy Caplan) becomes Janis 'Imi'ike, now played by Auliʻi Cravalho. Cravalho made her film debut in 2016 as the voice of the titular character in Disney’s Moana. In 2019, she played Ariel in ABC’s The Little Mermaid Live! More recently, Cravalho starred in the 2023 Prime Video series The Power, based on Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name.
Jaquel Spivey takes over the role of Damian Hubbard from Daniel Franzese, who made “you go Glen Coco” an unlikely catchphrase in 2004. Mean Girls is Spivey’s first film role. He previously starred on Broadway in A Strange Loop, which earned him a Tony Award nomination for his role as Usher.
Christopher Briney stars as teen heartthrob Aaron Samuels, who was originally played by Jonathan Bennett. Briney currently stars as Conrad Fisher on the Prime Video series The Summer I Turned Pretty, which is based on Jenny Han’s novel trilogy of the same name.
She’s not like a regular mom—she’s a cool mom, and she’s played by Busy Philipps, who takes over the role from Amy Poehler. Philipps currently stars as Summer Dutkowsky in Girls5eva, which is set to debut its third season in March. She’s also appeared in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Search Party, Camping and Vice Principals.
Jenna Fischer stars as Cady’s mom, who was played by Ana Gasteyer in 2004. After her turn as Pam on The Office, Fischer appeared in You, Me and the Apocalypse, Drunk History and Splitting Up Together.
Tina Fey returns as Cady’s teacher Ms. Norbury, who moonlights as a waitress at P.J. Calamity’s. Fey wrote the book for the Mean Girls musical, which opened on Broadway in 2018. She also wrote the screenplay for both the new film and its 2004 counterpart. Outside of the Mean Girls universe, Fey has recently appeared in Only Murders in the Building, Wine Country, Free Guy and A Haunting in Venice.
Tim Meadows is back as the eternally put-upon Principal Duvall, who will keep you here till 4. Since the original Mean Girls hit theaters in 2004, the Saturday Night Live alum has appeared in Trainwreck, Hubie Halloween, Popstar: Never Stop Stopping and most recently, 2023’s Dream Scenario, which also stars Nicolas Cage. On TV, he’s racked up credits in Poker Face, I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson and The Mandalorian.
Jon Hamm gets another chance to show off his comedy chops as Coach Carr, played by Dwayne Hill in the original film. While he’ll always be known as Mad Men’s Don Draper, Hamm has more recently starred in the films No Sudden Move, Top Gun: Maverick and Confess, Fletch. He also appeared in Season 5 of Fargo and Season 3 of The Morning Show as tech mogul Paul Marks.