"Mean Girls" 2004 cast: Checking in on the Plastics nearly 20 years later

Since its release in 2004, the highly quotable comedy continues to make "fetch" happen

By Nardos Haile

Staff Writer

Published October 5, 2023 10:00AM (EDT)

Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried and Lindsay Lohan, winners for On-Screen Team Award for "Mean Girls" (M. Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images)
Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried and Lindsay Lohan, winners for On-Screen Team Award for "Mean Girls" (M. Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images)

When Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) asked Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett) what day of the week it was in math class she changed the fabric of the universe as we know it. For the rest of eternity, Oct. 3 will be known as "Mean Girls" Day to any person who has a heart. The faux-national holiday was yesterday and there were traces of the film's impact all over social media. The Paramount TikTok account absurdly posted the entire film on the platform in 23 parts. Also, it was announced that the "Mean Girls" Broadway musical, which has been turned into a movie musical adaption, will be released to the public in January 2024 bringing it full circle. And then of course the original film will celebrate its 20th anniversary on April 30.

Close to its two decades of life, the film will never die and continues to take on a whole new form as new generations of people find it. In the film, Lindsay Lohan plays Cady, who had been homeschooled in Africa but now has moved to Illinois to attend North Shore High School where she meets the resident emo girl Janice (Lizzy Caplan) and the gay best friend Damian (Daniel Franzese). Janice has it out for the Plastics — the school's trio of untouchable hot mean girls, which consists of Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert) and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried). Janice and Damian enlist Cady to infiltrate the Plastics for a classic teenage revenge story to expose the Plastics for the fake, soulless and manipulative girls that they are. However Cady, who is struggling to find her place and identity in an American high school, slowly but surely morphs into – as Janice says in the film – "cold shiny hard plastic."

The film became a cult classic and shaped the careers of mega-industry hitters McAdams, Lohan, Seyfried and many more.

Here's a look at where the "Mean Girls" actors started, what they did post-film and what's next for them.

Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan in Falling for ChristmasLindsay Lohan in "Falling for Christmas" (Netflix)
The resident 2000s It Girl and "Mean Girls" lead — Lohan has lived through many different phases in her life. Starting her career as a Disney child actor she starred in classics like "The Parent Trap" with iconic actors, Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson. Lohan played the separated-at-birth twin sisters Hallie and Allie, who serendipitously meet each other at summer camp and trade places to experience the parent they've never met. Lohan has starred in many other Disney classics but none will be as iconic as "Freaky Friday" with another legend Jamie Lee Curtis.
"Mean Girls" was Lohan's real break as a teen icon and to show she had real Hollywood chops. At the height of her career then, she was a frequent target of gossip sites and the tabloid culture in the late aughts alongside Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. The star also experienced lows of celebrity attention and lifestyle with dueling and very public battles with her parents. Lohan also struggled with addiction and was sentenced to 90 days in jail in 2010 for violating her probation in connection to a drug arrest.
But she made a comeback. The former teen star and singer has been sober for years and made her film comeback in a 2022 Netflix Christmas film "Falling for Christmas" that feels like her contribution to the Hallmark-style holiday fluff. She just recently had her first child with her husband earlier this year. Lohan will also be starring in another Netflix film "Irish Wish," a rom-com fantasy that involve making wishes, alternate realities and finding true love.
Rachel McAdams
Rachel McAdams as herself in DaveRachel McAdams as herself in "Dave" (Byron Cohen/FX)
In the same year that McAdams starred as the iconically quotable and most memorable HBIC Regina George, she also starred in the big-screen  adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' "The Notebook" as Allie alongside former boyfriend, Ryan Gosling. It's no shock to anyone that her career has only grown as she was the face of two mega-blockbusters. The Canadian actress has been nominated for an Oscar for her work as a journalist in "Spotlight." While McAdams has been in several awards-contenders films and television shows, she also is clearly a great comedy actress and doesn't take her work that seriously. She is seriously funny in the underrated "Game Night" and surprisingly is in the MCU's "Doctor Strange."
This year she starred in the critics darling and Judy Blume book to film adaption "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret?" McAdams is lauded as one of the best actresses in the industry and continues to make acting choices that don't box her into the quintessential, Hollywood It actress. She also was a guest star as herself in the FX comedy "Dave" for a few episodes in the third season.
Amanda Seyfried
Amanda Seyfried in The DropoutAmanda Seyfried in "The Dropout" (Beth Dubber/Hulu)
Seyfried's meteoric rise is more surprising than her co-stars' because of how little of Karen we see in "Mean Girls." She has some killer, daft lines about being able to tell the weather with her boobs as Karen but she isn't as much as a standout. But do not underestimate her quietly strong impact as a woman in the industry. The actress has starred in the hot girl demon satire "Jennifer's Body," and not one but two "Mamma Mia" films where she unexpectedly sings her heart out.
Recently, Seyfried won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her outstanding work as Silicon Valley fraudster and turtleneck-wearing Elizabeth Holmes in the limited series "The Dropout." It's in "The Dropout" where Seyfried completely transforms into a version of Holmes and surpasses whatever preconceived notions you had about the actress' abilities. She's brilliant and deeply disturbing as Holmes when she sings and dances to Lil Wayne's "How to Love." Seyfried even nails the menacing, lower-octave voice the fraudster cultivated. Post-Emmy win, Seyfried's upcoming project is called "Seven Veils," where she plays an earnest theatre director.
Lacey Chabert
Lacey Chabert in The Wedding VeilLacey Chabert in "The Wedding Veil" (Allister Foster/Crown Media)
Chabert's Gretchen Weiners is known for always trying to always make "fetch" happen. She's second in command to Regina and is perpetually in her shadow because of it. Chabert plays her wish-washy character perfectly.
Prior to her work in "Mean Girls," she was in the '90s drama "Party of Five" where she played Claudia Salinger, one of the younger of the five Salinger siblings who are suddenly orphaned when their parents die in a car accident. She is a studious and gifted violinist grappling with grief and being raised by her older siblings. So playing sexed-up Gretchen was definitely a transition for the actress.
Since "Mean Girls," she's appeared in a number of minor roles that didn't do much, in addition to voice acting. However these days Chabert has taken up the mantle as Hallmark Channel Christmas movie queen, especially after Candace Cameron's departure. She has been in countless holiday films and this year she has two lined up in November for the season: "A Merry Scottish Christmas" and "Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up"

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Jonathan Bennett
Jonathan Bennett in The Christmas House 2 Deck Those HallsJonathan Bennett in "The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls" (Allister Foster/Crown Media)
North Shore's empathetic, hot boy, Aaron Samuels, plays a major role in the reason why Cady and Regina fight for power throughout "Mean Girls." Bennett came out on the set of "Mean Girls," as did fellow actor Daniel Franzese, who played Damien. Though it was a private coming out at the time, a public one followed in 2017.
Bennett in real life was a teen heartthrob for many girls and boys post-"Mean Girls." He appeared in a number of minor roles, but he found his niche as the welcoming host of tasty reality TV competition shows "Cake Wars," "Cupcake Wars" and "Halloween Wars."
Like Chabert, he's also joined the Hallmark family and recently starred in the channel's first-ever holiday project that centers an LGBTQI storyline in "The Holiday Sitter." In March 2022, Bennett married actor and television host Jaymes Vaughan and wrote a cookbook playing right into the "Mean Girls" fandom's hands "The Burn Cookbook: An Unofficial Unauthorized Cookbook for Mean Girls Fans." He even had a cameo in Ariana Grande's "Thank U Next" music video which was partially inspired by "Mean Girls." His next project will involve hosting a show called "Battle of the Decades" on Food Network.


By Nardos Haile

Nardos Haile is a staff writer at Salon covering culture. She’s previously covered all things entertainment, music, fashion and celebrity culture at The Associated Press. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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Amanda Seyfried Jonathan Bennett Lacey Chabert Lindsay Lohan List Mean Girls Movies Rachel Mcadams