This Is What Mean Girls Would Look Like Recast With Latino Actors
Mean Girls from 2004 has survived the test of time as a classic coming-of-age story that follows the conventions of teen movies and rom-coms, but adds a quirky and delicious twist. The story of an innocent girl who lands in a high school ruled by the clique The Plastics was innovative in its portrayal of body image issues, gender representation and revolutionary girl power. The movie was scripted by Our Lady Funny, Tina Fey, so it is not a surprise that it feels so fresh and current even today. It is hard to believe that this timeless classic is almost 15 years old!
But… and this is a big but…. Mean Girls scored pretty low on the diversity scale, so we need to give it our world famous “recast with Latinos” treatment. In today’s popular media plenty of Latino talent has made their voice heard in the United States and other markets like Latin America, Spain and even Asia. It was hard for us to choose this imagined cast! We chose both upcoming and established faces in the deep well of Latino talent of the entertainment industry.
As us Latinos say: Pa luego es tarde!
Cady Heron (originally Lindsay Lohan)
The heroine of the story. Sweet-sixteen Cady was homeschooled in Africa and now has to face the menacing jungle of a public school full of a new kind of predatory animal: teenagers! Lohan was at her best here: the unassuming Hollywood princess before the glamour of Tinseltown derailed her life and career.
Our Latino Power choice: Belinda
Even though Belinda was born in Spain, her singing and acting career has taken off in Mexico. She is talented but can look deceptively tame, a quality that is key in Cady. We can totally picture her standing up for what she believes in.
Regina George (originally Rachel McAdams)
The leader of The Plastics, a group of rich cabronas who rule over everyone else with an iron Prada fist. McAdams went on to build a stellar career in Hollywood with movies like the tearjerker The Notebook (confess, we have all cried watching it), but we will always remember her as the queen bee of The Plastics.
Our Latino Power choice: Naya Rivera
In a way, she has already played this role in Glee, where she played the mean girl cheerleader Santana Lopez. She can sing and dance, alright? If the famously strict showrunner Ryan Murphy fell for her charm, so do we! She is sassy and wears her Puerto Rican heritage on her sleeve. She would add depth to Regina and make her transformation believable.
BTW, if you’re still trying to make “fetch” happen, we’re betting you’re still wearing army pants and flip-flops because Cady H wore army pants and flip-flips. This can only mean one thing which is that you’ve got one of those wardrobes that could use a mitú-style Plastics makeover. Regina George tip #1: start with the concha shirt and work your way down. Get in on it Loser.
Ms. Norbury (originally Tina Fey)
The dorky and loving calculus teacher everyone adores but no one truly respects. Fey is at her best here: the same smart but modest charisma that she displays in 30 Rock as Liz Lemon (the quirky dork par excellence!).
Our Latino Power choice: Jessica Alba
It has been a while since we have seen this true Hollywood starlet in a funny and easygoing role. She looks gorge in glasses and is extremely smart, so she would be perfect as Ms. Norbury. We love Tina Fey, of course, but Alba would be a fantastic option.
Mrs. George (originally Amy Poehler)
Regina’s mom, a true wreck who thinks that parenting is a walk in the park… or a picnic in the park full with a glass of wine or two. Mrs George wants to be a cool mom, but forgets that teenage girls crave limits. Pobrecita, la verdad. Poehler gives a slapstick quality to the character that is infamously engrained in our memory.
Our Latino Power choice: Christina Aguilera
An intriguing choice, but we can totally picture the diva being funny. Just remember her persona as a judge in The Voice, where she was lovely but tough. It would be amazing to see Christina in a more relaxed role, wouldn’t it? She would sure have tons of fun and she would be a commanding presence on the set.
Janis Ian (originally Lizzy Caplan)
The epitome of the emo, artistic, poetic girl. She quickly becomes Cady’s friend. Her antagonist is obviously the spiteful Regina. Caplan is an amazing actress who is a bit underused in this movie and we got to witness her true capacities in the amazing TV show Masters of Sex (if you haven’t watched do it now: it is like steamy Mad Men).
Our Latino Power choice: Dulce Maria
We first fell in love with this Mexican dynamo when she played a rebellious and independent teen in the super popular telenovela Rebelde, which happened in a fancy boarding school with similar social dynamics to Mean Girls. Like Caplan, Dulce Maria is a brunette with an air of gothic beauty.
Karen Smith (originally Amanda Seyfried)
The most airhead member of The Plastics. She is equally clueless (get it, get it?) and loyal to The Plastics. Seyfried went on to become an A-lister and go-to actress for important directors like Armenian-Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan.
Our Latino Power choice: Jasmine Villegas
Let’s think outside the box: the R&B singer Jasmine V would be an intriguing Karen. She is beautiful like Seyfried and her voice would give renewed energy to the character.
Gretchen Wieners (originally Lacey Chabert)
Picture un perrito faldero (a lap dog) and you will understand Gretchen’s relationship with Regina. She is willing to do lo que sea to get Regina’s acceptance. Get some dignity, girl! Her most infamous quote: “Oh my God, Karen, you can’t just ask people why they’re white”. Ugh.
Our Latino Power choice: Alexa Vega
We first saw her as a kickass power puff girl in Robert Rodriguez’s franchise Spy Kids. She re-teamed with Rodriguez for the cult Machete Kills, a mexploitaition masterpiece, as well as in Sin City, where she plays a fierce lady.
Damian Leigh (originally Daniel Franzese)
A 2000s teen movie would not be complete without a trusted gay BBF, and Damian is exactly that for Janis and their new pal Cady. Damian is proud of his identity, but we don’t really get to know his tribulations.
Our Latino Power choice: Rico Rodriguez
Rico Rodriguez has achieved international fame as the child-in-an-old-man’s-body Manny Delgado. Rodriguez has impeccable timing for comedy and her interactions with our imagined Latino cast of Belinda and Dulce Maria would be witty and charming. We just hope that Rico can escape being cast in Manny-like characters only, he deserves better than that.
Aaron Samuels (originally Jonathan Bennett)
Regina’s ex-beau and Cady’s love interest. She just can’t resist the primitive urge to munch on this All-American boy. Cute but kinda lame, the standard romantic partner in any high-school-themed comedy. Perhaps Tina Fey wanted to make fun of the stereotype when she wrote the script.
Our Latino Power choice: Michael Trevino
This heartthrob of Mexican descent captivated us as a sexy werewolf-vampire hybrid in The Vampire Diaries. He has that vulnerable bad boy vibe that is so hard to find and only the likes of James Dean and Robert Pattinson possess.
And we would also choose a director: Tanya Saracho
This Mexican female director led the awesome TV show Vida for Starz. She is great at capturing the nuances of Hispanic identity in the United States.