15 years ago today, audiences flocked to see a mother-daughter duo played by Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis switch bodies thanks to a Chinese spell in Disney’s Freaky Friday. The family comedy was a hit with both critics and audiences and is still beloved to this day.
In honor of the film’s 15-year anniversary, here are a few lesser-known facts about the making of Freaky Friday.
Lindsay Lohan’s character was supposed to be a goth—but she thought it wouldn’t work
As The Parent Trap star, 32, read the script, she deemed Anna’s character too grungy for general audiences. “No one could relate to the character when she was really Goth. There was nothing there,” she told Vanity Fair in 2006. Lohan’s crafty solution involved showing up to the audition dressed as the polar opposite; a traditional, stylishly sophisticated Abercrombie & Fitch ad.
“I dressed really preppy,” she said. “My agent called and was like, ‘What are you doing?!’” The trick worked to her benefit, however, and her character was rewritten.
Lohan had to give Curtis “Shut Up” tutorials
During a video interview to promote the film, the True Lies actress, 59, admitted to the extra help she got from her teenaged costar. “There’s a way she says shut up that I couldn’t get. She had to give me a ‘shut up’ tutorial because it’s a very specific way,” she said.
Curtis, who was then raising her own 16-year-old daughter, Annie Guest, claimed starring in the film helped her (figuratively) step into her own daughter’s shoes.
“I think I probably have a judgmental bitch badge that I put on because I can be harsh, and I think that walking a mile in some very uncomfortable teenage shoes gave me the opportunity to see what it’s like on the other side,” Curtis said.
On the flip side, Lohan had to study Curtis’ posture in order to accurately portray the mother’s role. “I tend to use my hands a lot and Jamie didn’t use her hands,” Lohan told Chuck the Movie Guy. “Her speech, facial expressions, all of that stuff I’d have to watch looked to really differentiate the two,” she added.
Kelly Osbourne and Annette Bening almost starred in the film
Kelly Osbourne, 33, better known for her early 2000s’ Emmy-nominated reality show The Osbournes and celebrity judge on E!’s Fashion Police, was set to star as Lohan’s best friend and band front-woman before dropping out due to her mother, America’s Got Talent’s Sharon Osbourne, being diagnosed with cancer.
“I was faced with the choice of a career or spending what could have been the last days of my mother’s life with her,” Osbourne told PEOPLE in 2013. Actress Christina Vidal ended up cast in her role.
Following Osbourne’s announcement came a much more derailing departure: Annette Bening, who was originally supposed to play Curtis’ part, suddenly quit days before filming began, according to Variety. Producers reached out to Curtis, who agreed on the condition that it wouldn’t interfere with her parenting duties, she told the NY Post in 2003.
This wasn’t the first—or the last—Freaky Friday film
Inspired by Mary Rodgers’ 1972 comedic children’s novel, Freaky Friday, the film has been adapted and remade a total of four times so far, the first airing in 1976. In the earliest version, Tess, the mother, was played by Barbara Harris with a younger, 14-year-old Jodie Foster playing the part of Anna.
Later on, Disney rebooted the classic in 1995 with a made-for-television film starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman in the respective roles.
The newest remake will premiere August 10 as a Disney Channel Original movie starring actresses Heidi Blickenstaff, 46 and Cozi Zuehlsdorff, 20.
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