11 Surprising Facts About She’s All That

Miramax
Miramax

The late 1990s saw a resurgence of teen romantic comedies, like 10 Things I Hate About You, Can’t Hardly Wait, and 1999’s She’s All That. The movie opened Super Bowl weekend and was the number one movie at the box office. It went on to gross $103,166,989 worldwide and even today still ranks as the ninth highest-grossing teen romance film (the films in the Twilight series occupy the top five spots on that list).

Freddie Prinze Jr. starred as Zack, a high schooler who makes a bet with Dean (Paul Walker) that he will groom the nerdy Laney (Rachael Leigh Cook) into a prom queen. A modern adaptation of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, the film launched Prinze’s leading man career, and also featured early performances from Kieran Culkin, Gabrielle Union, Usher, and rapper Lil’ Kim. The soundtrack played an important part in the movie, too: Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me” and Fatboy Slim’s “The Rockafeller Skank” propelled She’s All That into iconic territory. Here are 12 surprising facts about the movie to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

1. M. Night Shyamalan did an uncredited rewrite of the script.

In 2013, M. Night Shyamalan told Movies.com that he “ghost-wrote the movie,” though the credit solely went to R. Lee Fleming Jr., who stated Shyamalan lied about writing the script. But former Miramax employee Jack Lechner confirmed Shyamalan’s involvement. “He did a solid rewrite,” Lechner told Entertainment Weekly. “He made it deeper, made the characters richer. I can see how Fleming would say it’s his movie, and I can see why M. Night would say it’s his movie. They’re both right.”

One of Shyamalan’s contributions to the rewrite was the ending graduation scene. “He came up with an idea of when he was in high school, somebody streaked across their campus at graduation, which I thought was fun but I didn’t know quite how to do that given the constraints of our rating and also the time that I had to do it,” She’s All That director Robert Iscove told Cosmopolitan. “That’s why I did the graduation with Freddie just getting up and tossing the soccer ball to her.”

2. Personality was the most important thing the filmmakers were looking for in casting Laney.

Besides Rachael Leigh Cook, the producers considered Leelee Sobieski, Mena Suvari, and Jordana Brewster for Laney. “She had to be beautiful, self-deprecating, funny, withdrawn, and all that,” Iscove told The Daily Beast about the role. Yet looks weren’t the only thing that mattered. “Times have changed a lot in Hollywood, but back when we did the movie, it was very much the Hollywood standard [to cast] a beautiful girl,” Iscove told Cosmopolitan. “It was going to be our Clark Kent moment. You’re never going to get the ugly duckling to really transform … certainly [not] back then. [So] it was more the quality of the actor that we wanted to go for, someone who could have the range from being very standoffish and cerebral and in her head, and then open up and be warmer and interact with the people and be more than, ‘How beautiful.’”

3. The film was released on the anniversary of Freddie Prinze's death.

Prinze's famous actor-comedian dad, Freddie Prinze, committed suicide on January 28, 1977 (he was pulled off life support the next day), when Prinze Jr. was just 10 months old. The movie came out on January 29, 1999—22 years after the tragedy. Because of the anniversary, Prinze wasn't feeling up to attending the premiere.

“I had crazy visions like something bad was going to happen. But I got there and everyone seemed to enjoy it,” he told The Daily Beast. “I’ve only seen the film once and it was in that weird frame of mind, so I’ve never really gotten the opportunity to properly appreciate it."

4. It helped make "Kiss Me" a worldwide hit.

Sixpence None the Richer recorded the song “Kiss Me” in 1997 for their eponymous album and released it as an official single in 1998. When the song was used in the film, it peaked at number two on the Billboard charts and remained in the top 10 for 16 straight weeks. In 1999, the song was ubiquitous; it also appeared on Dawson’s Creek a couple of times. As lead singer Leigh Nash told Pop Entertainment, a man from Columbia Records came to a showcase they did in L.A. and heard them play “Kiss Me.” “He knew it was the single and I imagine had heard it before, but he thought it would be perfect for a summer movie. Actually, it wasn’t a summer movie, it came out in the end of January, I think. But, he was right. It definitely was a hit with the young folks.”

5. Kieran Culkin didn't know why he was wearing hearing aids.

Kieran Culkin’s character, Simon, wore hearing aids in the movie, which seemed arbitrary to the actor. “It’s one of those movies that always seems to be on—and I only know that because friends are always telling me, and then they’ll ask, ‘Why did you have hearing aids?’ and I’ll be like, ‘I don’t f***ing know!’” he told The Daily Beast.

6. The "Hoover" scene was added to appeal to young male moviegoers.

Two bullies try to mess with Simon (Culkin) by putting pubic hairs on a piece of pizza, but Zack intervenes and forces the guys to “hoover” their own creation. Though the pubic hairs were made of corn stalks, the studio bosses wanted to keep the PG-13 rating. “There were hours of conversations about, ‘Well, how many corn stalks do we put on the pizza? Has he torn out all of his pubes, or only a couple of pubes?’ But now it’s one of those great, groan-worthy moments,” Iscove told The Daily Beast.

Iscove explained to Cosmo that the scene was intended to cater to men, who don’t typically like going to see romantic comedies. “So in order for them not to veto it, a certain amount of hot girls and a certain amount of gross-out [were necessary], which is why Laney starts at the beginning hocking the loogie, which is a little bit disgusting—but guys are immediately with her and with the movie. And the pube stuff keeps them going so that they can get to the romance later on. We were careful to tread that line."

7. Prinze and Dulé Hill tap danced together.

Dulé Hill wasn’t allowed to tap dance during the prom scene, but he would tap dance on set. “When we were shooting the volleyball sequence at the beach, I heard him sliding and tapping his feet on the wood, and I said, ‘Are you tap dancing?’ And he said, ‘I’m a hoofer, man.’ And that’s how we bonded,” Prinze Jr. told The Daily Beast. “We started going to this dance studio in Hollywood and we’d tap dance. We did it all the time. Eventually, I turned a room in my house into a tap dance studio and we’d put on rap music, tap dance, and drink scotch until like 4 in the morning.” The two friends reunited on Hill’s show Psych in 2010 when Prinze made a guest appearance.

8. Jodi Lynn O'Keefe had a major crush on Paul Walker.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe admitted she had a crush on Paul Walker. “I was like, ‘What is that beautiful human being?’ I think we all felt that way, like, we all walked onto the set and it was like, ‘Who is this Adonis?’ He was a doll baby, that’s what I called him. He was just one of the sweetest men I’d ever met. It’s terrible when anyone passes too soon. I remember it knocked the breath out of me. I felt really heartbroken for his daughter, because that was what we talked about the most when we were at work, we talked about his daughter, and it just felt so tragic and wrong, so early in his life.”

9. Prinze trained with a professional Hacky sack player.

In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Prinze performs hacky sack at a performance art show, in front of Laney. “I can’t hacky sack like the way you saw that sequence cut together—I have five, six reps in me tops,” Prinze told The Daily Beast. “I had to have an earpiece in my ear that kept this weird, modern art, crappy beat in my head, and do the hacky sack, and even if it fell, I had to continue the sequence: ‘Never let it drop … don’t let it drop … sooner or later, it has to drop.’ To prepare for the scene, the producers brought in a world-class hacky sack player to help Prinze keep the rhythm going, “and in five minutes he had me going from six in a row to 12 in a row,” Prinze said.

10. Lil' Kim was the most extravagant cast member.

When they filmed the movie, the rapper was already famous—but Iscove didn’t realize it until near the end of the shoot. “I thought, ‘Thank God I didn’t know about this before,’ because I only knew her as this sweet young thing that she was presenting in the film,” he told The Daily Beast. Prinze was aware of her status, though. “This movie cost us $6 million to make,” Prinze told The Daily Beast. “It was not a big budget film. Lil’ Kim showed up in a stretch limousine to the set and was wearing almost our budget in diamond earrings, rings, necklaces, sunglasses, high-heeled shoes with diamonds on top. I remember thinking, ‘This girl’s got like $3.5 million on her right now!’ And that’s how she came to the set every day. I remember thinking, ‘I wish I had some rap talent!’”

11. A remake could be happening.

For several years, there's been talk of a She's All That remake. In April 2015, The Wrap reported that Tonya Lewis Lee (Spike Lee’s wife) had plans on producing a remake, with Kenny Leon directing. But Iscove doesn’t think a remake makes sense.

“It’s so quintessential ’90s, so hopefully if they’re going to do it, they’re going to make it whatever a 2016 version is,” he told Cosmopolitan (in 2015). “But if you’re going to do that, why not just do Pygmalion in high school, why do She’s All That? She’s All That was of the time. It’s like, I could remake Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles, but unless I’m going to use it of that period and of that time with those people, why call it Pretty in Pink? It’s not going to be Molly Ringwald. She’s All That is not going to be Freddie and Rachael. I wish them well. I hope they make it a contemporary version.”

Because the film was based on Pygmalion, Cook looks at the idea of a remake a different way, though.

"I think that [a remake] would be neat," Cook told International Business Times in 2018. "I think it would be a heck of a lot easier than being spoofed, which has already happened to us." (That spoof she's referring to, of course, is 2001's Not Another Teen Movie, which skewered She's All That and a handful of other beloved teen films.)

An earlier version of this article ran in 2016.

The Very Real Events That Inspired Game of Thrones's Red Wedding

Peter Graham's After the Massacre of Glencoe
Peter Graham's After the Massacre of Glencoe
Peter Graham, Google Cultural Institute, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Ask any Game of Thrones fan to cite a few of the show's most shocking moments, and the so-called "Red Wedding" from season 3's "The Rains of Castamere" episode will likely be at the top of their list. The events that unfolded during the episode shocked fans because of their brutality, but what might be even more surprising to know is that the episode was based on very real events.

Author George R.R. Martin has said that the inspiration for the matrimonial bloodbath is based on two dark events in Scottish history: the Black Dinner of 1440 and 1692's Massacre of Glencoe. “No matter how much I make up, there’s stuff in history that’s just as bad, or worse,” Martin told Entertainment Weekly in 2013. And he’s absolutely right. See for yourself.

The Massacre of Glencoe

The West Highland Way in 2005, view from the summit of the Devil's Staircase looking south over the east end of Glen Coe, towards Buachaille Etive Mòr with Creise and Meall a' Bhuiridh beyond
Colin Souza, Edited by Dave Souza, CC BY-SA 2.5, Wikimedia Commons

In 1691, all Scottish clans were called upon to renounce the deposed King of Scotland, James VII, and swear allegiance to King William of Orange (of William and Mary fame). The chief of each clan had until January 1, 1692, to provide a signed document swearing an oath to William. The Highland Clan MacDonald had two things working against them here. First of all, the Secretary of State, John Dalrymple, was a Lowlander who loathed Clan MacDonald. Secondly, Clan MacDonald had already sworn an oath to James VII and had to wait on him to send word that they were free to break that oath.

Unfortunately, it was December 28 before a messenger arrived with this all-important letter from the former king. That gave Maclain, the chief of the MacDonald clan, just three days to get the newly-signed oath to the Secretary of State.

Maclain was detained for days when he went through Inveraray, the town of the rival Clan Campbell, but still managed to deliver the oath, albeit several days late. The Secretary of State’s legal team wasn't interested in late documents. They rejected the MacDonalds's sworn allegiance to William, and set plans in place to cut the clan down, “root and branch.”

In late January or early February, 120 men under the command of Captain Robert Campbell arrived at the MacDonalds's in Glencoe, claiming to need shelter because a nearby fort was full. The MacDonalds offered their hospitality, as was custom, and the soldiers stayed there for nearly two weeks before Captain Drummond arrived with instructions to “put all to the sword under seventy.”

After playing cards with their victims and wishing them goodnight, the soldiers waited until the MacDonalds were asleep ... then murdered as many men as they could manage. In all, 38 people—some still in their beds—were killed. At least 40 women and children escaped, but fleeing into a blizzard blowing outside as their houses burned down meant that they all died of exposure.

The massacre was considered especially awful because it was “Slaughter Under Trust.” To this day, the door at Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe has a sign on the door that says "No hawkers or Campbells."

The Black Dinner

In November of 1440, the newly-appointed 6th Earl of Douglas, who was just 16, and his little brother David, were invited to join the 10-year-old King of Scotland, James II, for dinner at Edinburgh Castle. But it wasn’t the young King who had invited the Douglas brothers. The invitation had been issued by Sir William Crichton, Chancellor of Scotland, who feared that the Black Douglas (there was another clan called the Red Douglas) were growing too powerful.

As legend has it, the children were all getting along marvelously, enjoying food, entertainment and talking until the end of the dinner, when the head of a black bull was dropped on the table, symbolizing the death of the Black Douglas. The two young Douglases were dragged outside, given a mock trial, found guilty of high treason, and beheaded. It’s said that the Earl pleaded for his brother to be killed first so that the younger boy wouldn’t have to witness his older brother’s beheading.

Sir Walter Scott wrote this of the horrific event:

"Edinburgh Castle, toune and towre,
God grant thou sink for sin!
And that e'en for the black dinner
Earl Douglas gat therein."

This article has been updated for 2019.

15 Game of Thrones Products Every Fan Needs

Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan, HBO

Though Game of Thrones might be coming to its official end, that doesn’t mean that your fandom can’t—or won’t—carry on. Whether you’re a years-long defender of House Stark or have been rooting for House Targaryen since the beginning, there’s a candle, collectible pin, coffee mug, card game, and pretty much anything else you can imagine with your name (and preferred sigil) on it.

1. A Song of Ice and Fire Book Series; $46

Bantam's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' book series

Bantam, Amazon

If you’ve never read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which the series is based, plenty more Westerosi drama awaits. And just because you’ve seen every episode of the series 10 times doesn’t mean you know which way the books will turn. (The TV show diverged from their narrative a long time ago—and dozens of the characters who have been killed off on your television screen are still alive and well in the books.) Plus, as Martin has yet to complete the series, you may just catch up in time for the newest book.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Map Marker Wine Stopper Set; $50

Nobody solves a problem like Tyrion Lannister … and his thought process usually includes copious amounts of wine (Dornish if you’ve got it). Something tells us you’re going need some vino yourself to get through the giant, hour-long hole left in your Sunday nights once Game of Thrones officially ends. Make sure you don’t let a drop of it go to waste by keeping one of these six wine stoppers—each one carved to represent the sigil of the most noble houses in the Seven Kingdoms—handy.

Buy it: HBO Shop or BoxLunch

3. Winterfell Coffee Mug; $25

If coffee is more your speed—we get it: the night is dark and full of terrors—this simple-yet-elegant Winterfell mug is an easy way to communicate to your co-workers why you’re typically a little bleary-eyed on Monday mornings.

Buy it: HBO Shop

4. Hodor Door Stop; $12

A 3D-printed Hodor door stop, inspired by 'Game of Thrones'

3D Cauldron, Amazon

An important part of being a Game of Thrones fan is accepting that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have no problem killing off your favorite characters, often in brutal ways. One of the series’ most memorable deaths was that of Hodor, Bran Stark’s personal mode of transport, who we loved despite the fact that the only word he ever uttered for six seasons was “Hodor”—and who we loved even more when, in the final moments of his life, we learned why that was the case. Pay tribute to the gentle giant, and his backstory, with this 3D-printed door stop.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Tarot Card Deck; $25

A 'Game of Thrones' tarot card deck, from Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books, Amazon

Channel your inner Maggy the Frog and see what the future holds for you and your loved ones (your enemies, too, if the mood strikes you) with Chronicle Books’s gorgeously packaged tarot card deck. The tarot tradition and Game of Thrones mythology blend seamlessly together in this box of goodies, which includes an instruction book and illustrated cards featuring your favorite characters and most beloved scenes from the show.

Buy it: Amazon or Chronicle Books

6. Fire and Blood Candle; $12

Mad Queen or not, show that you still stand behind the Mother of Dragons by filling your home with this House Targaryen-inspired votive candle. Best of all: Just wait to see the look on the faces of your guests when they ask “Mmmm … what’s that smell?” If you’d prefer not to answer with “fire and blood—doesn’t it smell delicious?,” there are other scents available: one called "Moon of My Life My Sun and Stars," another called "Be a Dragon," and one inspired by the Iron Throne itself (which must smell like victory).

Buy it: HBO Shop

7. Clue: Game of Thrones; $50

Margaery Tyrell with the battle axe in Cersei’s bedchambers. Rewrite the rules—and brutal deaths—of Game of Thrones with this special edition of the classic board game, which tasks you with figuring out who murdered whom, using what weapon, and where the incident took place. A double-sided playing board lets you choose whether you want to set the game in The Red Keep or Meereen.

Buy it: HBO Shop or BoxLunch

8. Game of Thrones Monopoly; $24

'Game of Thrones Monopoly' game board

Hasbro, Amazon

Who wants to be the Lord or Lady of Winterfell when you can become the preeminent real estate mogul of all the Seven Kingdoms? This special-edition Monopoly board puts a distinctly Westerosian twist on the classic game, with silver tokens to represent the sigils of each of the main houses and a card holder that plays the series’ haunting score whenever you press it.

Buy it: Amazon or Best Buy

9. House Stark Hoodie; $60

If you really wanted to dress like a Stark, you’d have a master blacksmith on hand to help customize your armor—or at least turn your IKEA rug into a luxurious cape. If you’re far less crafty, there’s always this full-zip hoodie featuring an embroidered direwolf on the front and an outlined illustration of the same on the back. The minimalist design is a way to show your fandom in a way that, to the untrained eye, might just look like you’re a fan of wolves. But the rest of us will know better. And approve.

Buy it: ThinkGeek

10. Deluxe Iron Throne Funko Pop! Set; $130

Funko's Iron Throne Pop! set of five

Funko, HBO Shop

Though it seems unlikely that a few of these characters will ever sit on the Iron Throne (either because they’re dead or have gone mad), a fan can always hope. And buying them as part of this five-piece set is an easy way to collect them all. If you don’t see your favorite character here, Amazon has got plenty more squat-headed figures to choose from, including Arya, Brienne of Tarth, Rhaegal (poor Rhaegal), and Ghost (poor Ghost). If you ever happen upon a headless Ned Stark Pop!, grab it; this hard-to-find figure can sell for more than $2000 on eBay.

Buy it: HBO Shop

11. Iron Throne Bookend; $60

After devoting more than eight years of your life to seeing Game of Thrones all the way through, maybe it’s you who deserves the Iron Throne. You can’t sit on this 7.5-inch replica, the base of which features sigils from all the noble houses, but you can show off your fancy George R.R. Martin book collection … or all that dragon fan fiction you’ve been working on.

Buy it: Best Buy or the HBO Shop

12. Game of Thrones Music Box; $13

'Game of Thrones' music box

Shenzhen Youtang Trade Co., Amazon

Channel your inner Arya by psyching yourself up with the iconic Game of Thrones theme song whenever you feel the need to hear it with this hand-cranked music box.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Iron Throne Tankard; $70

Show your guests who's boss at your next dinner party—or raucous feast—as you take your place at the head of the table and guzzle your mead (or giant's milk—we don't judge) from this Iron Throne-themed tankard, completed with sword handle.

Buy it: HBO Shop

14. Game of Thrones Socks; $8

It gets cold in the North. Keep your tootsies warm with this six-pack of stylish ankle-cut socks.

Buy it: Target

15. Living Language Dothraki; $16

A copy of the Living Language Dothraki language course

Living Language, Amazon

By now, you've surely learned at least a handful of common Dothraki words and phrases. But if you wan to become fluent in the (fictional) language, this language course is one way to do it. Now: Finne zhavvorsa anni?

Buy it: Amazon

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