April 30, 2004 — -- Brains, beauty and youth aren't enough. You don't click in high school unless you're in the right clique.
Rising star Lindsay Lohan graduated less than two years ago, and the 17-year-old Long Island, N.Y., native knows very well that kids are sometimes very much like the back-stabbing prima donnas in her new film Mean Girls, opening today.
"Girls like the drama," she says. "It gives them something to do in high school. It's enjoyable to get involved with drama … but then when you get older it's kind of a hassle. It's just something that's not fun to deal with."
Lohan hasn't exactly led the normal life. She was signed by the Ford Model Agency when she was 3 years old, and was soon appearing in ads for products, including Pizza Hut and Jell-O, in need of a cute redheaded spokeskid.
In the last few years, she's moved from TV's Another Word to staring roles in the Parent Trap remake and last summer's surprise hit, Freaky Friday.
In real life, the young actress has already engaged in a high-profile feud with fellow teen star Hilary Duff. The two have tussled over singer Aaron Carter, and gossip pages reported the rivals were fuming at the premiere of Duff's Cheaper by the Dozen.
Now, however, Lohan is looking to put that energy into her characters. In Mean Girls, she plays Cady, a home-schooled teen who grew up in Africa, which leaves her totally unprepared for the cutthroat cafeteria catfights with the coolest, most popular, Barbie Doll-perfect girls in school, who are derisively called "the Plastics."
The film might seem like an update of Heathers, but screenwriter and co-star Tina Fey says she got the idea from a news article about the best-selling book Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriendsand Other Realities of Adolescence.