Tina Fey is known for writing one of the best pop culture films in recent years, Mean Girls, but was she writing from first-hand experience? It sounds like it. That said, you may be surprised about what role she had in the whole mean girls dynamic. As it turns out, Fey admits she was more of a Regina George than a Cady Heron.
Fey sat down for an interview with the Edit and revealed that she was in fact, the bully back in school.
“I admit it openly. That was a disease that had to be conquered…It’s a bad coping mechanism—but when you feel less than (in high school, everyone feels less than everyone else for different reasons) in your mind it’s a way of leveling the playing field. Though of course it’s not.”
— Fashionista.com (@Fashionista_com) December 18, 2015
Although she’s older and has said goodbye to her high school days a long time ago, Fey admits that encountering mean girls can be a bit unnerving.
“Saying something terrible about someone else does not actually level the playing field. If I meet a girl of 14 or 15 today who is that kind of girl, I am secretly, in my body, afraid. Even though I’m 45.”
Most people are bullied for their looks, so to get ahead of that curve, Fey decided not to rely on her looks since she was, in her words, “normal-looking.”
“For me it was about hitting age 13 and realizing, ‘OK, I’m not going to glide by on looks. I’m a normal-looking person, but that’s not going to be where my bread is buttered. The desire to be funny…is a coping mechanism, another way of ingratiating yourself.”
— Lucy Baker (@Lucy89Baker) December 18, 2015
Currently, Tina Fey is promoting her new comedy Sisters with her BFF and SNL alum Amy Poehler. In the comedy, the two play siblings who couldn’t be further from each other in their personalities. Their parents call them back to clean out their room because their folks are selling the home they grew up in. Through reminiscing, Fey and Poehler’s characters realize that they’re stunted and in order to say goodbye to their former selves, they decide to throw an all-out rager with their old friends from high school at their parents house.
Tina and Amy have known each other since 1993, so it’s obvious why these two playing sisters wouldn’t be such a stretch. The two are so close that Fey had to actually counsel guys who had crushes on Amy back when they were in a comedy troupe in Chicago. According to Fey, this was something that happened regularly.
“It was a phase that every Chicago improviser had to go through— ‘I’m secretly in love with Amy.’ ‘Of course you are, I know.'”
As for her working relationship with Poehler, Tina Fey admits that they work so well together because she’s easy to get along with. However, Fey does not know if that would translate to a regular television show because they’re both alpha personalities.
She wondered, “If it would be like, ‘Wait a minute, which one of us is the boss?'”
It seems like these two have such a great balance with each other, they’re probably set to work with each other for the next 20 years.
Are you surprised to find out that Tina Fey was a mean girl in high school?
[Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images]