20 years after Lolita Despite Me, Cady and the Plastics are back in cinemas with a new film which is inspired by the musical launched on Broadway in March 2018, itself adapted from the first feature film. Having become cult over the years, Lolita Despite Me was led by Lindsey Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert and Lizzy Caplan.
Written by Tina Fey – already at work writing the first part and the musical – and directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr, Mean Girls takes place in the present day and continues the story of the first film including smartphones and social networks.
Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) leaves Kenya and ends up in an American high school. The new student finds herself rubbing shoulders with the elite of the social food chain, the popular girls called “The Plastics”, led by their queen Regina George (Renée Rapp) and her minions Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika Vandanapu ). But when Cady has a crush on Aaron (Christopher Briney), she doesn't immediately realize that she has just made a big mistake, her new bestie will quickly turn into an enemy. Cady decides to overthrow the established order with the help of her loser friends, Janis (Auli'i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey).
Tina Fey and Tim Meadows, already in the cast of the 2005 film, reprise their respective roles of teacher and Principal of the high school while Ashley Park (Emily in Paris), Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Busy Philipps (Cougar Town, Dawson) complete the distribution of this new version.
On the occasion of the theatrical release of the feature film, we spoke with the young actress, already seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming and No Way Home where she plays Betty Brant. Here she takes up the role played by twenty years earlier.
AlloCiné: Have you seen the 2004 film?
Angourie Rice: I grew up with this movie! I love Lolita despite myself. I have it on DVD and have seen it several times. When I heard about a new version which would be a musical, I immediately wanted to be part of this project.
What is your favorite scene from “Lolita Despite Me”?
I love all the scenes where we see Cady who is in her dreams. I like her vision, her interpretation of what she thinks of the high school world in which she operates. It's an interesting and honest perspective of what it means to be a student in high school.
How does this film differ from the previous version?
Automatically this film can only be different given that it takes place 20 years after the first film. We live in a totally different world in 2023. The humor is different. Today social networks and smartphones are omnipresent and that makes human relationships totally different.
Today we live in immediacy and this makes relationships more complicated. Being able to have the “world” at your fingertips through your cell phone is a blessing but also a major problem. Because it's complicated not to become dependent on your cell phone and the internet.
But even if the film has differences from the first, it remains in the same spirit. It's a look at the world of high school and what it's like to be a modern girl.
How did you prepare for this role? What was the biggest challenge?
I practiced a lot, especially for the singing part of the film. Visually and technically, I think all the music scenes were a big challenge. I had to stay focused to find my feet and make sure everything was executed perfectly. In the end it's really fabulous to see this film which came together perfectly. I am so happy with the result.
Tell us about your collaboration with Tina Fey who wrote and produced this film and the previous one?
is truly a comedic genius and it was she who allowed us to make such a film. There were moments of improvisation where she asked me to change this or that line of dialogue.
I really loved working with her because she was always trying to find the best moment, the best tirade, out of every scene we shot. She always had an answer to any question I might have. It was a fantastic experience.
What do you think is the most important message of the film?
The film takes a look at what young girls have to go through to become women. It's about understanding how difficult it is to build yourself in an environment full of pressure.
I think today with social networks everything is more difficult. So many young girls are victims of harassment. It's not easy to be a successful young girl in today's world.
For my part I just try to live my life day by day and live in the present moment. I always try to surround myself with people who allow me to be who I really am, without any pressure.
What memories do you have from your high school years? The good and the bad…
What I mainly remember are all these extraordinary friendships. For the worst, I felt from time to time like an “outsider”, I was not part of any camp. I also remember that it was difficult to live with the pressure of the different exams that we had.
can be seen in cinemas this Wednesday, January 10.