From a talented high school student to a Broadway actress, Reneé Rapp is currently taking over the August Wilson Theater in the role of Regina George in the Tony-nominated show Mean Girls. The 19-year-old actress has already received high praise after filling the pink stilettos of Taylor Louderman, who originated the role, with New York Magazine saying she “[sets] the stage ablaze.” Ahead of taking on the role, Reneé spoke to HollywoodLife.com in an EXCLUSIVE interview about becoming the meanest chick on Broadway! “Something I wanted to incorporate into my Regina is that she’s strong. She’s insecure as hell, but she is strong and she is very, very clever, and I think my take is just very in your face,” she explained. “There’s nothing super nice about it and there’s a little bit of this flair, but I think mine’s just harsh in some ways, like Regina is. She might be this cute little girl, but she’s a bad-ass.”
Reneé’s Regina sure as heck is a bad-ass, and the recent high-school grad revealed that she took a lot of inspiration from her experience. “Just coming from high school, I understand the character a lot because she is literally fighting off of insecurity, and fighting off the things she doesn’t see in herself that she wants to,” she described. “We all go through every single person’s qualities in the show and It’s interesting because I see a lot of who Regina is, and there’s a lot of it that makes you start to do your own self-reflection.” Reneé continued, “All of the girls act off of insecurity, and maybe wanting to be something a little different than who they really are.”
The actress, who won the 2018 Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress, was informed of her casting by none other than Tina Fey, herself! “It was the most casual conversation of my life!” she laughed, explaining that while she would have loved to be “stoked,” she actually felt like she had “a lot of work to do.” “It was something I had never done before, I had never stepped into a show before, I had never been in a professional show, regardless! I knew I had huge shoes to fill, because of how great the cast is and the movie before, and the legacies of the people who have worked on the production thus far,” she explained.
Reneé quickly proved herself to be more then prepared to take on Regina George and release her own kind of wrath at the August Wilson Theater, while also continuing to instill the important lessons of the show on the audience. “I think things that women, especially younger girls, should take away is that anyone on that stage, at any point in time, can be going through something behind closed doors that you know absolutely nothing about, and sometimes you’ve got to just take a step back and check yourself first,” she said. “It’s really, really important to understand what your actions mean to other people, and what your actions mean for yourself.”
Reneé added, “I want girls, especially, to understand that how we treat each other matters and the things we say to each other, and to ourselves, matter a lot. There’s a ton of little, negative digs in the show that you see how those characters deal with that, and everyone deals with it in a completely different way. Just be a little more conscious about how we treat each other, because the girls in our show definitely are not!”
Get tickets now to see Reneé Rapp lead Mean Girls on Broadway as Regina George at the August Wilson Theater!