Auli'i Cravalho Reveals Tina Fey's 'Power Move' on “Mean Girls” Set: 'Everyone Quiets Down' (Exclusive)

"I will be taking that with me," the 'Moana' star tells PEOPLE

<p>Arturo Holmes/Getty</p> Auli

Arturo Holmes/Getty

Auli'i Cravalho, Tina Fey

Tina Fey ran a tight ship on the set of the new Mean Girls film, according to star Auli'i Cravalho.

In an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE, the actress, 23, who portrays character Janis in the new movie musical adaptation, opens up about how Fey, 53, used a "power move" while the movie was in production.

"Tina Fey speaks really softly on set, which is actually a power move, because everyone leans in and quiets down to listen to her," Cravalho says of the Saturday Night Live alum, who reprises her role of Ms. Norbury in the film.

"I thought that was a boss move, and I will be taking that with me," she continues. "It was great to see women in power."

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<p>Jojo Whilden/Paramount</p> Tina Fey in the new 'Mean Girls.'

Jojo Whilden/Paramount

Tina Fey in the new 'Mean Girls.'

Related: Fetch Happened! Mean Girls Cast Shares Words They Want to Make Stick in 2024: 'Wave,' 'Flop' and More (Exclusive)

According to Jaquel Spivey, who plays Janis' BFF Damian in the film, Fey told the duo to "have fun" while filming the project.

"Tina told us to be ourselves and to make these characters our own and to have fun and to trust that we were chosen for a reason," Spivey, 25, tells PEOPLE.

"For me personally, her entire demeanor, the way she carries herself on set in and of itself is a big lesson," Avantika, who portrays Karen Shetty, adds of Fey. "She's just really the epitome of an incredible woman in this industry, who really leads with kindness and brilliance and incredible work ethic, and is incredibly talented."

"As someone who has always aspired to be a producer and go beyond being an actor in this industry, she's just truly admirable in every sense of the word," she continues.

<p>Paramount Pictures</p> 'Mean Girls' poster.

Paramount Pictures

'Mean Girls' poster.

The new Mean Girls film comes almost 20 years after Fey's original movie premiered in theaters in April 2004.

Mean Girls starred Lindsay LohanRachel McAdamsAmanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert. Lohan, 37, portrayed Cady, a high school student who moves to the United States from Africa.

She is then introduced to the complexities of high school's social hierarchies when she meets teen queen bees Karen Smith (Seyfried), Gretchen Wieners (Chabert) and their leader, Regina George (McAdams) — with the trio known as The Plastics.

The new movie musical stars Angourie Rice as Cady, Renée Rapp as Regina (reprising her Broadway role), Avantika as Karen and Bebe Wood as Gretchen.

<p>Jojo Whilden/Paramount</p> Jaquel Spivey, Angourie Rice and Auli'i Cravalho in 'Mean Girls.'

Jojo Whilden/Paramount

Jaquel Spivey, Angourie Rice and Auli'i Cravalho in 'Mean Girls.'

Related: How to Watch Mean Girls, Including Where It Will Be Available to Stream

On finding an updated group of stars for the new adaptation, Fey — who wrote the film while Arturo Perez Jr. and Samantha Jayne directed — tells PEOPLE, "Bringing together a cast of actors is one of my favorite parts of the process, whether it's in film, television or stage."

"I love getting a chance to be a part of it," she continues. "And I'm so thrilled about this cast that has come together for the new Mean Girls."

"They're all so incredibly charismatic," Fey adds of the cast, which also includes Jon Hamm as Coach Carr, Jenna Fischer as Cady's mom and Busy Philipps as Regina's mom.

The new Mean Girls is currently playing in theaters.

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