10 Years Later: What Are Your Favorite 'Mean Girls' Actors Doing Now?

by Rolling Stone
Paramount Picutres

In honor of the teen comedy's aluminum anniversary, we check in to see what the film's stars have been up to over the past decade.

On one hand, it's almost impossible to believe that an entire decade has passed since Mean Girls hit theaters.

The movie's sendup of the high-school pecking order as enacted by popular teenage girls (a.k.a. the Plastics) undoubtedly remains as relevant today as it did in 2004, although the only people who could truly say so now were, like, five when the film came out.

On the other hand: Lindsay Lohan. The time when poor LiLo wasn't a tabloid mainstay feels like forever ago.

While the actress has been in and out of rehab, the actors who played second (and third, and fourth) banana to her character, Cady Heron, have worked steadily — and in some cases, built up some very impressive resumés.

Looking back, Mean Girls proved to be a hotbed of talent, a stepping stone in the careers of many of the people involved. So what's everybody up to, 10 years down the line? Take a look.

Rachel McAdams

The Canadian actress was originally out for the role of Cady, while Lohan relished the chance to play HBIC Regina George, but director Mark Waters swapped the two.

McAdams went on to have one of the most famous cinematic embraces of all time with former beau Ryan Gosling in 2004's The Notebook, recreated to steamy effect at the following year’s MTV Movie Awards. (Why couldn't these two make it work?)

She's worked steadily ever since, showing up in everything from blockbuster franchise fodder (Sherlock Holmes) and raunchy bro-comedies (Wedding Crashers) to Woody Allen movies (Midnight in Paris).

Too often, however, McAdams has found herself stuck in treacly romantic dramas (The Time Traveler's Wife) and even more treacly rom-coms (The Vow, About Time); though she did make 2010's Morning Glory bearable, the attempt to sell her as a next-gen Meg Ryan hasn't quite worked.

Next up, she plays a human-rights attorney in one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final films, A Most Wanted Man.

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Amanda Seyfried

As the fatuous Plastic Karen Smith, Seyfried almost seems like an afterthought. But not long after she made her film debut in Mean Girls, the actress started popping up everywhere.

On TV, she played the murdered friend of Kristen Bell’s character on the cult hit Veronica Mars and the most memorable daughter in a Mormon brood on HBO’s Big Love.

For the big screen, Seyfried landed key roles in the teen-vampire flick Jennifer’s Body, not one but two popular movie musicals (Mamma Mia and Les Miserables) and last year’s Lovelace, in which she was cast the iconic Seventies porn star.

Lately, she’s been seen stepping out with boyfriend Justin Long — man, that guy can’t lose — and is set to play the romantic interest in Seth MacFarlane's upcoming sequel to his foulmouthed-teddy-bear hit Ted.

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Lacey Chabert

To some, Chabert will always be li’l Claudia Salinger from Party of Five, which the actress might not find very fetch, as Gretchen Wieners would say.

Her IMDb page is stuffed with made-for-TV movies and some low-budget horror, but her main gig seems to be palling around with besties Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) and former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, both of whom attended her secret nuptials to David Nehdar at the end of last year. What a media circus that would have been!

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Lizzy Caplan

Caplan is almost unrecognizable now as "art freak" Janis Ian, with her baffling hair parts and baggy punk clothes, but Janis' trademark acidity never abandoned her: She played the disinterested love object in 2008's hand-held horror flick Cloverfield, the disaffected caterer in the prematurely canceled cult series Party Down, and a cynical cokehead in 2012's women-behaving-badly comedy Bachelorette.

Lately her eff-off approach has taken Caplan in a new direction, as the fearless sexual adventurer Virginia Johnson in the popular Eisenhower-era Showtime drama Masters of Sex.

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Daniel Franseze

In honor of MG's 10th anniversary, the actor recently came out via a moving letter to his character, Damian, in which he explains how pissed he originally was when he thought the role held him back from more "masculine" parts.

He writes: "It wasn't until years later that grown men started coming up to me on the street — some of them in tears — and thanking me for being a role model to them…it was then that I realized how much of an impact YOU had made on them."

These days, Franzese curates art shows, including one dedicated to long-gone stars ("depARTed") and superheroes ("Crusaders and Haters").

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Jonathan Bennett

After playing the high-school hunk who catches Cady's eye, Bennett scored a few TV appearances (notably a Veronica Mars role) and seemed to pop up in a number of WTF prequels (Van Wilder: Freshman Year; the TV movie The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning)

Did you catch the mini-Mean Girls reunion on the set of Slightly Single in L.A., which stars Chabert as a single girl named Dale wondering if it's possible to find love in the big city and Bennett as her gay best friend, Seven? Neither did we.

Tina Fey

Fey was already a big deal as the head writer for the notoriously boys-clubby Saturday Night Live when she wrote the screenplay for Mean Girls (based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosaline Wiseman), and her ascension never slowed.

Fey won an Emmy for her madcap meta comedy 30 Rock;wrote a funny, well-received memoir (Bossypants; and might one day wrestle the Oscars away from witless, pandering hosts if she and Amy Poehler graduate from the Golden Globes — that is, assuming the Academy could tolerate such immortal introductions as, "Like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio."

Amy Poehler

Poehler needs to take over the world, or at least become its official Cool Mom (nothing like the misguided, palsy-walsy Plastic parent she played in Mean Girls).

After an eight-year run on SNL, Poehler left the Weekend Update desk to become relentlessly upbeat city official Leslie Knope, who will continue to detoxify politics for at least one more season of Parks and Recreation.

Not content to merely star in one of the best shows on network TV today, Poehler also executive produces Comedy Central's hilariously absurd buddy sitcom, Broad City.

Special shout-out to Smart Girls at the Party, her web series for young women, which is as admirably earnest as anything Leslie could conceive of.

Tim Meadows

Meadows is the only star to reprise his role — as beleaguered Principal Duvall — in the made-for-TV sequel Mean Girls 2, and the actor currently voices Mike the Mailman on the popular animated Fox series Bob's Burgers.

Last December, Meadows threw down against Saturday Night Live, taking to his Facebook page to announce that he hadn't been invited back for the resuscitated Bill Brasky sketch, a regular gig during his tenure in the late '90s: "I'm not 'Anchorman' and I'm not promoting a show so who would pay for me to fly to NYC." Boo, hiss, Lorne Michaels.

Lindsay Lohan

In 2006, Lohan began her perilous hopscotch between rehab and courtrooms, and over the years, her substance abuse and subsequent DUIs have cost her roles as studios became increasingly unwilling to insure the unstable actress.

These days, she's left with mostly campy fare, like 2012's Liz & Dick and Paul Schrader's erotic thriller The Canyons, though critics agree that Lohan has not lost her talent along with her freckles.

The eponymous reality show was inevitable (now airing on Oprah Winfery Network) and she recently guest starred on an episode of Two Broke Girls.

Here's hoping her life stops being fodder for the tabloids before this type of article turns into a depressing coda.

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