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The Iconic ‘Mean Girls’ Moment That Still Makes Amanda Seyfried Cringe

"I look back on some of the acting choices I made and wish I had done things differently."

If you’ve spent any time on social media lately you’ll have noticed the era of excess is having a moment. From the resurgence of ‘Y2K’ style, think butterfly clips, Miu Miu mini skirts and a nauseating dose of hot pink, to the revival of click flick classics on TikTok, the early 2000s are back, but not everyone is embracing the return of the decade.

In our cover story for the April issue of marie claire Australia, Amanda Seyfried reveals she wishes she had played the doe-eyed and intellectually challenged Karen Smith differently in the 2004 hit film Mean Girls.

Mean Girls
(Credit: Getty Images)

When asked about her portrayal of Karen in her breakthrough role, Seyfried scrunches up her nose and closes her eyes before re-enacting her famous “I can’t go out *cough* *cough* I’m sick” line over Zoom.

“I look back on some of the acting choices I made and wish I had done things differently. I definitely would have, if I wasn’t 17 and terrified,” reveals The Dropout star.

Mean Girls
(Credit: Getty Images)

“It is stupid because I did a fine job with Karen. It was perfectly fine. But there’s certain moments, like very specifically that ‘I’m sick’ line. I mean, it’s a classic now, and I had a part in that. I just wish I could see it differently, but I didn’t hurt the movie. People aren’t looking at it that way. It’s a good lesson on not being so hard on myself.”

Her performance certainly didn’t hurt the film, which, despite being released 18 years ago – before current high school students were born – still has made a significant impact on the next generation.

Seyfried shares a recent exchange with a high school senior who told her their yearbook is a burn book modelled after the one Karen and her friends have in the film. “We didn’t even really have cell phones in the film,” she says. “It’s crazy to me that the next generation can even relate to it.”

This story originally appeared in the April issue of marie claire, on sale now.

(Credit: Photography: Bjorn Iooss)

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