Alberta actress recounts original ‘Mean Girls’ role during movie, theatre revivals

Click to play video: 'So fetch: Calgary actress recounts iconic role in ‘Mean Girls’'
So fetch: Calgary actress recounts iconic role in ‘Mean Girls’
WATCH: ‘Mean Girls’ is making a pop culture resurgence both on screen and on stage. As Joelle Tomlinson reports, one Calgarian has a “grool” connection to the original movie from 20 years ago. – Jan 17, 2024

This year — 2024 — just got a whole lot meaner. In a fetch turn of events, Tina Fey’s reprisal of the 2004 cult classic Mean Girls has just hit theaters.

And, Broadway Across Canada is also bringing Mean Girls: The Musical to the stage.

Stops include Edmonton and Calgary, giving fans a chance to see their favorite characters come to life.

From Regina George to Gretchen Weiners and Cady Heron, there are a number of memorable characters. But what about the infamous “mathlete” Caroline Kraft? It turns out, she’s not just a character – she’s real and she lives in Calgary.

Actress Clare Preuss landed the role of Kraft in Toronto, where the original movie was shot.

“My agent was like, ‘This is an SNL movie, so you should go in in character,'” Preuss said. “‘Don’t go as yourself. Go as Caroline.’ And, I did.”

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Click to play video: 'Mean Girls trailer: Regina George is back in reimagined film by Tina Fey'
Mean Girls trailer: Regina George is back in reimagined film by Tina Fey

Preuss said her role was small, and she never could have predicted the impact her scene would have for decades to come.

“I thought of Caroline as somebody who is extremely confident, extremely focused,” said Preuss. “I think there’s something about that I really appreciate. It’s a beautiful moment in the movie too, a beautiful realization.”

As for on set, she remembers Lindsay Lohan as nice, professional and “down to earth.” But, the person who really made an impression was writer and star Fey. Preuss said they instantly clicked, bonding over society’s expectations of women.

“We talked about female facial hair, weight and the perception of what a woman’s worth it.

“Every time there was a break, we’d come back to that conversation,” Preuss said.

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With the fresh hype around the movie and a sold-out opening night in Calgary, Preuss reflected on the unexpected cultural phenomenon Mean Girls became.

“I think a lot of us — whether we’re the Regina people at school, the mathletes, the drama kids — often there’s a sense of isolation. We’re trying to figure out who we are going to be in the world,” said Preuss.

“So hopefully this movie, this musical and all the stuff around it helps young people accept themselves as they are.”

Preuss is now the artistic director at Downstage Theatre.

She hopes the Mean Girls legacy helps young people grow to be the best version of themselves.

Mean Girls: The Musical runs at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium until Sunday.

Click to play video: '‘Mean Girls’ hitting the stage in Edmonton'
‘Mean Girls’ hitting the stage in Edmonton

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