Reneé Rapp, who will reprise her Mean Girls Broadway role of Regina George in an upcoming musical film, says that the production team “would say some vile … things about my body,” as did the press and social media.
One of the best things that ever happened to Reneé Rapp was getting cast to star as Regina George in Mean Girls … and then one of the best things to happen to her was that show ending its run.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Rapp talked about how her time on the stage was filled with body-shaming and “vile” comments about her body from the production team, the fans and even the media.
She said she was asked her thoughts about being a “curvy” Regina from the press, and once received an Instagram message from a so-called fan who said she was “distractingly big” on the stage, while production staff “would say some vile f–king things to me about my body.”
All the while, Rapp was struggling with a lifelong eating disorder, so this noise was only exacerbating the challenges she was facing. It got so bad, her parents went to New York to try and convince her to quit.
Mean Girls opened in April 2018 and wrapped in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapp took over the role of Regina permanently in September 2019 and would remain until the show shuttered. It is being adapted into a musical feature film, with Rapp having agreed to return to the role.
While there was a part of her grateful that she was able to step away from the show, her parents are “more worried than they have ever been,” in part because she’s shifting her focus to her music, but also perhaps because she’s stepping back into another version of Mean Girls.
“Eating disorders don’t just go away and like, you’re healed, like: ‘Sorry, I can eat again, ha ha!,'” Rapp told the outlet. “It’s a lifelong thing. There are battles with addiction and whatever everywhere.”
“I still struggle with it, but at least my parents know that I’ve been taken out of environments that were really harmful to my sickness, which is awesome and a huge win,” she continued. “They worry like hell, but they’re chilling, I guess.”
Rapp is also cognizant of her potential vulnerabilities as she looks ahead to being able to work on the feature film. “My biggest thing right now is trying to prepare myself to go into the filming environment with a way healthier mindset,” she told NME in January. “Because I don’t want to fall back into anything.”
She said she felt it was important to speak up about her eating disorder after suffering “in silence for so many years,” in part to push back against some of the culture of the younger generations.
“My generation and the generation that will follow mine is much more open — especially women, non-men, queer people,” she said. “I do think I’ve been afforded more opportunities than women before me, men and queer women before me. This generation is still super mean to each other, but we are more outspoken — and give less of a f–k.”
Rapp recently stepped away from another project, her starring role on The Sex Lives of College Girls in Season 3 to focus on her music. The actress and musician released her debut album Snow Angel on August 18.