7 Reasons Lacey Chabert Is One of the Most Difficult Stars in Hollywood
Actress Lacey Chabert, best known for her roles on Party of Five (1994-2000) and Mean Girls (2004), isn’t so fetch anymore. At the height of her Mean Girls fame, it seemed like she’d be the one to shine, but co-star Rachel McAdams became the film’s Hollywood darling, going on to star in The Notebook (2004), Wedding Crashers (2005), and Spotlight (2015). With McAdams and fellow Mean Girls star Amanda Seyfried landing big-name movies and co-star Lindsay Lohan being, well, Lindsay Lohan, that begs the question: why won’t Hollywood cast Chabert anymore?
1.She’s a mom now
Chabert gave birth to her first child, a girl named Julia Mimi Bella in September 2016 after thinking she’d be pregnant “forever,” E! News reported. According to E!, the actress went into full-on nesting mode, preparing for her daughter’s arrival by getting the nursery in tip-top shape and even sitting down her fur child, a chihuahua named Kitty, for a preparatory talk. Chabert seems to be over the moon for her little Julia—perhaps she is enjoying parenthood more than scoring the next big role?
2.She’s forever typecast as Gretchen Wieners
Chabert will always be known for coining the phrase, “that’s so fetch” as the iconic Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls. Perhaps Hollywood still sees her as the dimwitted teen whose father invented Toaster Strudel. Getting typecast is really easy in Hollywood—just look at the always eccentric Helena Bonham Carter or the go-to romantic star Jennifer Aniston. In Chabert’s case, her entire professional identity is still wrapped up in a single film. In 2014, ten years after the Mean Girls debut, Chabert told Entertainment Weekly, “People tweet me every day hundreds of times, if not thousands of times [with] lines from the movie.”
3.She’s gone to Hallmark: land of the has-beens
Chabert has starred in eight—yes, eight!—Hallmark Channel holiday movies. Hallmark’s seasonal cinema is known for its campy, syrupy sweet cheer—not exactly the place to go if you’re looking for the next juicy blockbuster smash or an Oscar nod. Other celebrities who’ve starred in Hallmark movies include Dean Cain, Danica McKellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt. When was the last time you saw them in an A-list film? That said, Chabert seems plenty proud of her feel-good gigs in Christmas movies. “They’re like comfort food,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “You know you’re going to sit down, be uplifted, feel some emotions, and be left in a good mood.”
4.Her faith may have blocked her from bigger roles
There’s a school of thought among Tinseltown circles that being an outspoken Christian in Hollywood doesn’t get you very far (We’re looking at you Mel Gibson and Candace Cameron Bure). Actor Kevin Sorbo of the Hercules (1995-99) TV series told CNS News in 2014, “I think being a conservative in Hollywood and being a Christian in Hollywood, you get attacked.” That same year, Chabert starred in Christian Mingle, which averaged two out of five stars on Rotten Tomatoes. Is it possible that one of the reasons Chabert hasn’t had much luck in Hollywood recently is because she’s been outspoken about her religious beliefs? “My faith is a very important of my life,” she told Faith.com, explaining that she was drawn to her character in Christian Mingle. “Her finding faith and coming to a real relationship to God was something that is a huge part of the film and it is something personal for me.” It’s also possible Chabert may not even consider certain movie roles due to their content.
5.Her films haven’t made much money
According to Forbes, Hollywood’s A-listers Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson earned $46 million and $25 million in 2016, respectively. They make money because their movies make money. Unfortunately for Chabert, her films don’t measure up (minus Mean Girls, of course). Perhaps casting agents don’t want to take a risk on someone who hasn’t been in a blockbuster in more than a dozen years. Chabert has an estimated net worth of $9 million, which for us normal people is nothing to scoff at, but compared to some of her peers, it’s considerably less impressive. Chabert’s biggest project, Mean Girls, grossed more than $86 million domestically in 2004. Comparably, Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 grossed some $281 million in 2015.
6.Is she hard to work with?
Chabert may not be the easiest actress to work with. According to The Huffington Post, she was the original pick to voice Meg Griffin in the widely successful Family Guy TV series, but due to contract issues, she was replaced by Mila Kunis. Rumor has it Chabert had a falling out with the show, though both the actress and creator Seth MacFarlane have offered up more civil explanations. Chabert told GameSpy (via The Huffington Post): “I actually left the show of my own accord. And only because I was in school and doing Party of Five at the time. But I think the show is hilarious, and don’t have a grudge against [Kunis] at all. I think she’s a great actress.” MacFarlane told IGN he couldn’t “even remember” why Chabert left. “It was nothing–-there was no tension or anything.” He added, “[Kunis] was in a lot of ways, I thought, almost more right for the character.” That all sounds on the up and up, but how does one explain this not so subtle clip from a Family Guy episode? We’ll let you be the judge.
7.How she can turn it around
Though she’s been flying under the radar for years, Chabert still has plenty of options going forward. If she wants to return to the red carpet, she’ll need to revamp her image by starting small, perhaps with a buzz-worthy independent film. She’s landed plenty of voice work in cartoons that has helped keep her name in the animated game, including gigs with The Wild Thornberrys (1998-2004) and Scooby Doo! Mecha Mutt Menace (2013). Perhaps Chabert could dive into animated features full-time, boosting her career with a whole new fan base, a la Anna Kendrick in Trolls (2016) or Reese Witherspoon in Sing (2016).
Adding to her future prospects, Chabert’s character from Mean Girls is back in the spotlight thanks to a choose-your-own-adventure gaming app called Mean Girls: Sorority Rush. According to Variety, in the 2016 release, “players navigate freshman year at college—the ‘University of Evanston’— and must contend with old rival Regina George in rushing the school’s most coveted sorority, Delta Mu Tau.” A previous version of the app called Mean Girls: Senior Year attracted hundreds of millions of views.
Another avenue: Chabert could take her cues from Jessica Alba and transform herself into a mompreneur designing all sorts of “that’s so fetch!” outfits for parents who grew up as Mean Girls fans.