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Lizzy Caplan Felt Typecast After Playing Janis Ian In Mean Girls

It's hard to believe that "Mean Girls" came out over 18 years ago. Since its release, Tina Fey's high school comedy has become a cultural phenomenon, with many memes and quotes still flooding social media today. Fans have even gone so far as to unofficially claim October 3 as "Mean Girls Day," paying homage to the movie's popular scene regarding the date. 

"Mean Girls" brings the traditional high school stereotypes front and center as new kid Cady (Lindsey Lohan) tries to find her spot in the complicated social hierarchy. She befriends Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese), who teach her the ins and outs of the new school. The trio creates a plan for Cady to infiltrate and dismantle the popular girl group The Plastics, which consists of Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert), and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried). 

What's now become a cult classic, "Mean Girls" marked the beginning of numerous present-day Hollywood A-listers' careers. Coming off her legendary time on "Saturday Night Live," the movie was Fey's first feature-length project that would cement her as a comedic icon. Lohan was at the height of her career, serving as the film's main star, introducing McAdams, Seyfried, and Caplan to mainstream audiences. All three actresses have since gone on to develop incredible careers. 

Caplan recently reflected on her time on "Mean Girls," and how it translates to today's high school life.

Times have changed since Mean Girls

Lizzy Caplan recently guest-starred on Conan O'Brien's podcast "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend." As their discussion transitioned to "Mean Girls," which brought the actress into the Hollywood industry, she looked back on how society and the movie industry have changed since the film's release. At the time, Caplan felt typecast in the role of high school weird girl Janis Ian, but she now recognizes that the character could lead her own movie. "With the Mean Girls thing, I felt pigeon-holed and typecast, but it's not like that anymore for the girls playing the weird best friend anymore," she told Conan. "The best friend gets to be the central character now." 

In the podcast, Caplan also realizes that today's high school students have a slew of new struggles that weren't around in the early 2000s, primarily social media's influence on their daily lives. However, "Mean Girls" remains just as popular among the younger generation. She admits that young and old fans still approach her to discuss the movie. Caplan understands the cult classic will never entirely go away, but at one point wished people would talk to her about any of her other roles. Her mindset changed after she learned that high schoolers still relate to "Mean Girls," despite the lack of social media in the movie. What they identify with is the general story of bullying, which still plagues kids throughout their schooling. While it's a horrible part of high school, Caplan recognizes the longevity of the message of "Mean Girls" as a beautiful truth. 

With Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Seyfried recently talking about a potential "Mean Girls 2," there's room for the sequel to expand the original's message further.