7 'Parent Trap' Secrets You Never Knew, Revealed By Chessy & Meredith
The Parent Trap just turned 20 years old, and in case you haven't spent a recent Saturday watching it on cable, the warm-hearted film about a sibling switcheroo is just as great as you remember. Young Lindsay Lohan tricked the world into thinking she was a duo of multitalented sisters destined for Olsen-like fame, and while you may have wished to be Annie or Hallie back then, the movie's secondary characters are actual goals once you've hit adulthood. The actresses behind housekeeper Chessy and villainous fiancée Meredith reunited to discuss the film on its milestone anniversary, and they spilled some Parent Trap secrets you never knew.
We all love when a fierce real-life friendship emerges from the confines of a movie set, but based on their Parent Trap personas, you probably wouldn't expect Lisa Ann Walter (Chessy) and Elaine Hendrix (Meredith) to be legitimate BFFS two decades after filming the movie. The two women recently appeared together in a TODAY Show video honoring 1998's The Parent Trap and talked about how the filming experience inadvertently began their friendship. My life is made after learning about this pair's bond (they have sleepovers and want to retire together!), and their comfortable chat with TODAY led to plenty of juicy tidbits about The Parent Trap behind the scenes.
1. It Took Forever To Film The Twins' Scenes Together Because Of How New That Technology Was
The scenes of Annie and Hallie together may still look flawless to you, but the filmmaking process involved shooting the scene once with Lohan and a double and then again with Lohan in the other twin's part opposite the same double. Because the majority of their scenes were with Lohan, Hendrix and Walter waited so long in between takes that it was basically inevitable that they'd start chatting and become friends. Walter told TODAY:
We did everything twice. So Elaine and I, part of the reason we became best friends on that set is [that] we spent a lot of time creating fun for ourselves back in the trailers while we waited for setups to happen. So a lot of the times, our fun was in between shooting things.
2. Natasha Richardson Would Invite The Women Over For Wine & A "Gossip"
Natasha Richardson, the woman behind the class act who is the twins' mother Elizabeth James, passed away after a skiing accident in 2009. While Walter and Hendrix didn't share much screen time with her, the women recalled Richardson gushing adorably about her husband, Liam Neeson, and their sons. Hendrix shared:
For me, it wasn't so much about her scenes as in the makeup chair. And she would just sit there and swoon and say, 'my Liam.'
Walter also revealed that Richardson still had a fun side to her once the day's work was done, telling TODAY:
If you walked by her trailer, she would swing the door open, and if it was in the evening, she'd have a glass of wine and say, you know, 'Come in for a gossip,' and she'd get you to come into her trailer and hang out... She was the sweetest, kindest person.
3. The Infamous Lizard Prank Involved A Real Lizard, A Toy Lizard, & A Computer Lizard
I blame this scene on my fear of most outdoor, wild creatures. Reluctantly brought along on the girls' camping trip with their dad, Meredith finds herself the victim of several pranks concocted by the twins, but few tricks are worse than them sneaking a lizard onto Meredith's water bottle. Hendrix revealed that the scene included both real and fake lizards, suggesting that fans go back and watch the sequence to figure out which part has which lizard. I'm on it!
4. Annie Took Pictures of Meredith From Her Bedroom Because Walter Had An Eye Infection & Couldn't Face The Camera
When Annie first arrives in Napa posing as Hallie, Chessy divulges all about Nick Parker's relationship with Meredith as she unpacks Annie's luggage from camp. Annie takes pictures of Meredith outside from her window while the camera shows the back of Chessy as she gabs about the summer fling. The unique structure of the scene came about when Walter's contact lens infected her eye so badly that it was "pulsating." Walter said:
I was in the makeup trailer and my contact had fallen out and it fell on the floor of the makeup trailer. They picked it up and [the makeup artist] said, 'Oh, here, I cleaned it,' [and she] put it in... Don't ever put a contact in your eye when it falls on the floor of a makeup trailer, because cut to...giant, pulsating eye infection... The reason why [you don't see my face in] my huge monologue in that scene...is because I have one giant, wonky, pulsating eye.
Well, as Walter put it, the show must go on!
5. Lindsay Lohan Was Sweeter Than Most Child Stars Usually Are & Once Worked Through Having A Cold
In her first movie role, Lohan knew how to be professional thanks to previous experiences with TV acting. According to Walter, she also knew how to work a set and treat everyone nicely. She bonded with director Nancy Meyers' children (who appear in the movie and are actually named Annie and Hallie) and Walter's oldest child, who was the same age as Lohan. You can spot Lohan's mother and siblings walking by in the airport when Hallie meets Martin, but when they weren't filming a walk-on role, Lohan would run around set holding her baby brother.
She even managed to stay on track when she was sick, as Hendrix told TODAY:
She had a cold the day that we were filming on the swingset scene, so she just [has] a hint of nasal [voice]. And I just remember sitting there as we were doing that scene and I was like, 'Do we not, like, take off?'... This was my second, like, big feature, so I was like, 'Do we not take off for people being sick and a kid being sick?' No, no, you don't.
6. Walter Had Identical Twins On Oct. 11 After Filming The Movie
You just can't make this up. In a freaky coincidence of real life imitating art, Walter revealed in the TODAY video that three years after filming The Parent Trap, she gave birth to identical twins born on Oct. 11, the same birthday as Annie and Hallie in the film. Walter said:
I told Nancy [Meyers] after I had my boys that she put a weird woo-joo on me, because it's weird enough to have identical twins...and same birthday.
7. Hendrix & Walter Can *Still* Reenact Their Famous 'Parent Trap' Monologues
Around the four-minute mark of this abbreviated version of their talk, both Walter and Hendrix recite lines of their characters that lifelong fans could probably rattle off alongside them. Reenacting Chessy's emotional revelation that London-bred Annie actually is the twin at their home, Walter even throws in wiping her eyes and walking off camera. Meanwhile, Hendrix is just as much of an ice queen in her near-perfect delivery of Meredith's threat to Annie.
I thought that nothing could be better than the happy ending of The Parent Trap, but I think Hendrix and Walter's friendship just made me love the movie even more. Honey, you never looked better.