Lindsay Lohan was fetch long before fetch was a thing. So, it should come as no surprise that Paramount paid the actor handsomely to cameo in the new “Mean Girls.”
Sources say Lohan, who became one of young Hollywood’s biggest stars after starring in the 2004 film of the same name, pulled down about $500,000 for a half a day of work in the latest incarnation, a musical that stars a new clique of Plastics led by Angourie Rice and Reneé Rapp. Paramount declined comment. A rep for Lohan declined a request for comment.
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Lohan’s surprise entrance in the new film, written by Tina Fey, drew thunderous applause at the New York premiere on Jan. 8. In her scene, Lohan returns to the math competition that served as the denouement of the original, and offers a full-circle moment for the “Mean Girls” franchise, which also spawned a Broadway musical. The actor also flew in from Dubai to walk the red carpet.
Like other studios, Paramount has been eager to lean into the nostalgia factor, wooing original cast members to pop in for small but pivotal roles in recent films like 2017’s “Baywatch.” For 2022’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” Paramount brought back Val Kilmer to film an emotional scene as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, despite the difficulties involved given that the actor lost much of his ability to speak after battling throat cancer. (The Los Angeles Times called Kilmer’s return the most powerful moment in the box office behemoth.)
While Lohan plays neither a flashback version nor an older relative of her “Mean Girls” teen alter ego Cady Heron, her scene offers a clever bridge between the past and the present.
The musical film, directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr., has already found its groove at the box office, landing the No. 1 spot over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend with a $33.2 million haul domestically. Paramount originally planned to release the $36 million film for streaming only on Paramount+, but reversed course after test screenings indicated there was still a big-screen appetite. Exit polls show the film is appealing to both a Gen Z crowd as well as the over-35 demographic, the latter buoyed by Lohan’s presence, which Paramount managed to keep under wraps until the film’s debut.
The new “Mean Girls” revolves around the high school dramas of Cady Heron (Rice) as she navigates the “it” crowd ruled by Regina George (Rapp takes over for Rachel McAdams, who did not return). Avantika Vandanapu and Bebe Wood round out the film’s main foursome, while Fey and Tim Meadows reprise their roles as a weary math teacher and hapless principal, respectively.
Lohan took more than a decade break from studio films before returning to the fray with the Netflix romcom “Falling for Christmas” in 2022. She next will be seen in Netflix’s “Irish Wish,” which launches on March 15.
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