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Why Karen From Mean Girls Looks So Familiar

It's hard to believe we're closing in on 20 years since the release of "Mean Girls." The Tina Fey-penned comedy centers around Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) and her efforts to fit in at North Shore High School. Cady eventually falls in with a group of girls whose proclivity to persecute anyone that isn't "fetch" turns her into a mean girl herself. The film was released in 2004 and was a hit, earning over $130 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo) and turning its leads, Lohan and Rachel McAdams, into major movie stars.

In addition to a stellar cast that features Fey, Lizzy Caplan, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, and Tim Meadows, another one of the film's lead actors transformed into a bona fide A-lister after playing Karen Smith, the dimwitted but lovable member of the Mean Girl gang. This actress helped make Karen one of the funniest characters in the film, with her delivery of lines like "On Wednesdays we wear pink" and "It's like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can always tell when it's going to rain."

But most may not know that this woman almost played the Queen Bee of the Mean Girl hive, auditioning for the role that ultimately went to McAdams, Regina George. Director Mark Waters said she "played it in a much more ethereal but still kind of scary way. She was more frightening, but oddly, less intimidating" (via Glamour). So, instead, she was cast as Karen. "I just wanted to be in the movie," she said (via Entertainment Weekly). "To be asked to play Karen, I was like, "Great! Whatever!"

While most people recognize this actress from the role of Karen, here's where else you've probably seen her over the years.

Amanda Seyfried played a crucial role on Veronica Mars

While Amanda Seyfried is most known for her film roles, she appeared in a variety of television roles over the last two decades, including dramas and mysteries.

"Veronica Mars" was a television show focusing on the titular character being both a student at Neptune High and a private investigator, seeking to solve the murder of her best friend, Lilly Kane. Seyfried played Lilly on the show's pilot and appeared in ten more episodes of the show. She did so well in her audition that she landed herself more scenes than originally planned. "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas said Seyfried was "about 100 times better than anyone else that we saw, she was just spectacular" (via E! Online).

In 2017, Seyfried popped up in the David Lynch's 2017 "Twin Peaks" revival playing Rebecca "Becky" Burnett, daughter to Shelly Johnson (Madchen Amick) and wife to the abusive and drug-using Steven Burnett (Caleb Landry Jones) on the show. Amick praised the choice to cast Seyfried in the role, saying she was "perfect" and was "so lovely to work with, and it's great to see these actors that have these gigantic film careers and they're just like kids in a candy store and so excited about it. It's very sweet" (via The Hollywood Reporter).

She landed a dream role in Mamma Mia!

Who could pass up an opportunity to not only work alongside the legendary Meryl Streep, but do it while singing a bunch of ABBA songs? Seyfried jumped at the chance to play Sophie in the 2008 adaptation of the hit broadway musical "Mamma Mia!". Growing up, Seyfried said she loved singing and when her family would to take her to see musicals in New York she "loved them" (via Cinema.com).

Initially, Seyfried anticipated that she failed to land the role in the film after a meeting with "Mamma Mia!" director Phyllida Lloyd. "I had one last audition with Phyllida and that was really fun because I got to do the scene with her but she was so quiet and shy," Seyfried said. "I was like, 'this woman does not like me!'" Seyfried was sure her audition for the role was the best she could do. "I'd never felt that I'd done the best I could ever do before that audition so it was pretty emotional. And then they told me that I had the part and I was just overjoyed."

The movie went on to become a monster success, grossing over $600 million worldwide (via The Numbers), and it spawned another massively successful sequel, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" in 2018.

She added dimensions to Cosette in Les Misérables

In 2012, Seyfried starred alongside Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Eddie Redmayne in the film version of Les Misérables. Seyfried was cast as Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine (Hathaway) who, after her mother's death, is saved by Jean Valjean (Jackman) and ultimately falls in love with Marius Pontmercy (Redmayne).

Because Cosette wasn't as three-dimensional of a character as she'd have liked, Seyfried said she "had to explain Cosette and give the audience a reason [to see her as] a symbol of love and strength and light in this tragedy, I needed to be able to convey things you may not have connected with in the show" (via Hollywood.com).

One of the aspects of the 2012 film was that it required the actors to sing their songs live on set. Director Tom Hooper called it "essential" and that "the whole sense that the character is producing the song, rather than the character is following a song, completely changes the medium of the music" (via MTV). Seyfried agreed, but would later admit she wished she could redo the film because she thought she could have done a better job singing. "I was very weak. I feel like I could definitely play Cosette now. I've been working diligently ever since 'Les Misérables' to strengthen my voice and to have some stamina. Plus working on my vibrato, which was completely lost. From a very technical standpoint, I was very unhappy with my singing" (via Indiewire).

Seyfried landed an Oscar nomination for Mank

Most recently, Seyfried played 1930s movie star Marion Davies in Netflix's "Mank." It tells the story of Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), the screenwriter of "Citizen Kane" who, in 1940, is holed up at a California desert ranch writing what would become one of the most praised films of all time. Davies was mistress to William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance), the newspaper tycoon whose life inspired the creation of Charles Foster Kane. Davies is the one who introduces Mank to Hearst.

According to NPR, Seyfried prepped for the role of Davies by watching Davies' films, reading her autobiography and listening to "old scratchy recordings." It also gave Seyfried the opportunity to dress quite elegantly. "There was no limit to what she could spend, and so that's how I was dressed," says Seyfried. "You know, it's like the Oscars every day."

The prep paid off for Seyfried who, for the first time in her career, was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Seyfried said the role was a "a turning point" in her a career and felt the nomination was icing on the cake. "This just felt like a bonus," she said. "A massive bonus that I wasn't looking for, I wasn't expecting, but I'm freely welcoming it in" (via ABC7NY).