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Why Mean Girls Resonates Twenty Years Later, According To Ana Gasteyer - Exclusive

Almost two decades later, the future of "Mean Girls" is brighter than ever. The original film follows the formerly-homeschooled Cady (Lindsay Lohan) when her family, lead by father Chip (Neil Flynn) and mother Betsy (Ana Gasteyer), settles back in the states after living in Africa. Cady enrolls in a school whose social circles are run by the wealthy, cruel elites known as the "Plastics," spearheaded by Regina George (Rachel McAdams). The beloved Tina Fey-penned film has since been turned into a stage-musical, which itself is getting a Paramount+ musical adaptation.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, "American Auto" star and "Mean Girls" mom Gasteyer talks about the comedy classic and its evergreen popularity. In the interview, Gasteyer also explains how part of the film's cultural longevity stems from how funny yet intelligent Fey's excellent script is, as well as how audiences are deep done the same, even when so much has changed over the years.

Two adaptations for you, Glen Coco! You go, Glen Coco.

When asked if she would return to the world of "Mean Girls"  in a sequel or future projects, Ana Gasteyer eagerly confirmed that she would. She then discussed what makes the 2004 feature film still so popular in the 2020s.  

"It's a piece of masterful writing," Gasteyer said. "Mean Girls" is not just a funny script written by Fey; it is also a script partially inspired by the book "Queen Bees and Wannabes," which dissects high school cliques, as well as the aggressive behavior teen girls can engage in. "I remember when Tina [Fey] optioned the book, it was 'Queen Bees and Wannabes,' and it was ... an anthropological study or a psychological study of group dynamics." 

While "Mean Girls" stands the test of time in part because of its empirically grounded realism and humor, Gasteyer identifies another reason why these dynamics speak to the film's original fans and new audiences. Though growing up today differs in many ways from prior eras, dynamics haven't changed that much.

"As much as we've evolved, we haven't," Gasteyer said, "and I think that resonates for people. No matter how we parse it, high school — with social media [or] without it; online, not in person — development is development, and people go through phases. It may be evolved in a new kind of mutation, but there's a reason that "Mean Girls' works. It's awesome." 

Audiences can catch "American Auto" Tuesdays on NBC at 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT).