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these 'Legally Blonde' secrets will surprise even the biggest fans

9 Secrets About Legally Blonde Even The Biggest Fans Might Not Know

Harvard wasn’t always part of Elle’s plan.

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The confirmation of a Legally Blonde 3 has been slightly bittersweet. On one hand, fans know they will finally get to see Reese Witherspoon rock a pink business suit and dominate in court again, but on the other hand, they have to wait until 2023 for the movie's debut. Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine anything beating the original film. So, for everyone who will be bending and snapping for life, here are nine secrets about Legally Blonde that even super fans may not know.

Since its release in 2001, Legally Blonde has become one of those movies you memorize through countless viewings at sleepovers with your friends. Who needed a DVD copy growing up when the film was on TV every weekend? With its magic formula of an empowering message, hilarious script, and Witherspoon at the helm, there isn't much that's unknown about Legally Blonde, but Elite Daily managed to find some behind-the-scenes secrets that aren't too well-publicized.

Perhaps someday fans will get an audio commentary of Legally Blonde with the full cast revealing all of the behind-the-scenes secrets, but until then, knowing these little tidbits about the film (and keeping an eye on Witherspoon's social media updates) will suffice.

01
Matthew Davis (Warner) Had A Crush On Reese Witherspoon
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Warner turned out to be far from Elle's perfect match, but it was a different story for actor Matthew Davis. Everyone is guilty of massive teen crushes on celebrities, and Davis was just as susceptible. Filming Legally Blonde when in his early 20s, Davis admitted in a promotional interview for the movie that he had harbored a crush on Witherspoon, who started acting when she was a teenager, since he was 15. He told MovieLine: “Ever since I was 15 and watched A Far Off Place, I had the hugest crush on Reese. So at first I was such a bumbling idiot with her, the producers pulled me aside one day to see if I was OK.”

Although Witherspoon was married to Ryan Phillippe at the time, Davis eventually told Witherspoon how he felt about her. In true Elle Woods fashion, she called the gesture sweet and moved on to the work at hand. That's how you play off an untimely profession of love.

02
The Movie Is Based On A Book
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Yep, there's a Legally Blonde novel. Originally published in 2001, the book does align with the movie's plot quite closely, but the story stems from author Amanda Brown's real-life experiences at Stanford Law School. According to the Stanford alumni magazine, screenwriters Karen Lutz and Kirsten Smith even visited campus to give their script a tone of realism. Brown also included some real-life jokes in her original book, including the fervent discussion about the sorority house's toilet paper.

Although she initially wanted to write a "parody of law school," Brown's book has now taken on a life of its own. She eventually left law school because she discovered what she truly loved doing, telling the alumni magazine: “[Law school] helped me decide what I wanted to do: write.”

03
Harvard Was Initially Not Part Of Elle's Big Goal
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Legally Blonde's connection to Harvard Law School is so iconic that it’s surprising Harvard doesn't include movie screenshots in its brochures. However, Elle was originally meant to move from California University in Los Angeles to Stanford, following in the steps of the Legally Blonde book's author. Stanford's administration disapproved of the script, leading to the movie's location changing to Harvard Law.

Going back to that brochure idea, the movie also didn't film at Harvard, instead shooting at the California Institute of Technology, UCLA, Pasadena’s Rose City High School, and University of Southern California. Movie magic always fails you in the end, huh?

04
Elle And Vivian Were Supposed To Be Played By Other People
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It’s difficult — actually almost impossible — to imagine anyone other than the movie cast members starring as the film’s characters. However, both the roles of Elle Woods and Vivian Kensington were originally envisioned with other actors in mind.

For the character of Elle, Tori Spelling was first approached, and once she declined, Christina Applegate was asked, who also turned down the role, saying that she didn’t want to only be cast in stereotypical, ditzy blonde roles. Others considered included Alicia Silverstone, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katherine Heigl, and Charlize Theron, until eventually director Robert Luketic pressed for Witherspoon, and the rest is history.

As for the role of preppy mean girl Vivian Kensington, Selma Blair crushes it as Warner’s uptight fiancée and Elle’s law school nemesis turned eventual bestie. However, it was Chloë Sevigny who was first asked to play the role. She turned it down for another movie filming in Paris and because she apparently thought the movie would be just another short-lived rom-com — and she couldn’t have been more wrong.

Though the roles went through some major twists and turns in terms of casting, the end result of Witherspoon and Blair appearing side-by-side on screen was perfect, especially because the two had previously been together in Cruel Intentions (1999) and already shared a bond.

05
Davis Based Warner On A Certain U.S. President
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Warner might have wanted a Jackie instead of a Marilyn, but Davis didn't turn to John F. Kennedy for character inspiration. According to an interview Brown gave on the movie's special edition DVD, the actor based the slightly clueless Warner on President George W. Bush. Legally Blonde filmed from October to December 2000, meaning that Davis had the last few weeks of Bush's first presidential campaign and his victorious election day to specifically look toward for insight.

06
The Ending Involved Wigs And A European Setting
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Watching Elle triumph at her law school graduation never gets old, but this ending wasn't the script's original conclusion. The initial ending involved Elle and her new BFF Vivian starting the "Blonde Legal Defense Club," but test audiences didn't enjoy this.

Thus, the cast and crew rushed to throw together a new ending, but Witherspoon had cut her hair since the film's first wrap to start work on The Importance of Being Earnest. She was also filming in England, which led to parts of the final scene being shot at London's Dulwich College. Certain cutaways to audience members were filmed in Los Angeles, and both Witherspoon and Luke Wilson wore wigs in the scene.

07
Witherspoon Kept All Of Elle's Clothes
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The Oscar winner hinted at having her own Legally Blonde wardrobe when she threw an Elle Woods fashion show to celebrate the film's 15th anniversary in 2016. But this wasn't just a case of Witherspoon getting in touch with old costume designers for the sake of entertaining fans. Her contract stated that she got to keep all of Elle's clothes in the film, and she reportedly received the same reward after filming the 2003 sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. If Witherspoon ever wants to auction off these clothes to the common folk, let the people know.

08
She Also Gave Birth Shortly Before Working On The Film

We regularly marvel over Ava Phillippe's scary resemblance to her mom, but back in the Legally Blonde days, she was still a newborn. Witherspoon, who was only 25 when the movie premiered, got real about balancing work and a baby in an interview with Cinema.com, saying:

I was worried that I wasn't getting enough sleep because my daughter Ava was sick quite often during the shoot and there were a lot of days when I didn't think I could pull it off. Some nights Ava would wake up screaming because she had the flu and I would spend most of the night trying to rock her back to sleep and then have to be on the set at 7 in the morning for make-up! And then you throw in the fact that I'm supposed to be playing a very bubbly and energetic California preppy who is smiling all the time! I kept thinking, "I'm going to kill myself! I'm never going to make it!'
09
There Was Supposed To Be A 'Bend And Snap' Musical Number
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The Legally Blonde musical, which opened on Broadway in 2007, has its own song dedicated to the bend and snap, aka Elle's secret weapon in charming men, but the movie almost had a similar moment. According to Screen Rant, the film's bend and snap scene is actually a shortened version of the original musical number. If there's anything that could've made Legally Blonde more of a hit, it would be that long-lost song and dance.

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