If seeing Ariana Grande dressed up as everyone’s favorite mean girl made you do a double take, well, you’re not alone. Jonathan Bennett confused Ariana Grande for Rachel McAdams while filming "Thank U, Next," because he thought that the pop star did such an incredible job of transforming into Regina George for the Mean Girls segments of the video.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actor — who reprised his famous role as Aaron Samuels for the music video — revealed he actually did a double take when he saw the singer in costume as Regina. "Other than the height from the back, Ari looks just like Rachel [McAdams] from the back. Even from afar, when I saw her walking towards me dressed as Regina, I did a double take," Bennett admitted.
He continued, "I was like, ‘They got Rachel to do this too?’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, that’s Ari!’… I was literally in awe thinking that Rachel McAdams had shown up to set," he recalled. "And then she got closer, it was her. She nailed it."
Of course, seeing Grande dressed as the terrifying queen bee wasn’t the only thing that made Bennett have flashbacks to his days playing Aaron Samuels in the 2004 film. "There was that moment when you’re sitting in the chair, they do your hair and makeup like Aaron Samuels, and they spin you around for the first time and you look in the mirror," Bennett said of seeing his hair "pushed back," the way that Aaron’s was in the film.
"That was the first time I saw him in 15 years, and it was like seeing an old friend," he said. "It takes you back to that time when life was just simpler."
And that chance to see his old friend again made it incredibly easy for Bennett to sign immediately when he got the call asking him to play Aaron once more. "I got a phone call on a Friday saying, ‘Hey, do you want to be in Ariana Grande’s new music video, ‘Thank U, Next’?" Bennett recalled. "I was like, ‘Why would you want me to be in her music video?’ And they said, ‘You’re gonna be Aaron Samuels. She’s doing Mean Girls,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s fun. Yeah, totally, I want to do that!’"
The actor revealed that he filmed all of his scenes in just four hours — but sadly, that quick turnaround meant that he missed out on seeing Kris Jenner film her cameo as Regina’s "cool mom."
But even though he didn’t get to see Jenner on set, Bennett said he’s incredibly grateful to Grande for inviting him to be part of the "Thank U, Next" video. "It’s such a guilty pleasure video with all the craziness going on in the world, and especially all the craziness going on with Ariana the last couple months, this was something I think she needed for herself and for her fans," he explained.
"Being on set with her shooting, it was very similar to the way it was when we were shooting Mean Girls, where it’s just a bunch of kids. She reverted to a 16-year-old girl again, and was just… so full of life on set," he added.
Bennett isn’t the only actor to praise Grande for making her music video an homage to classic romantic comedies. Shortly after the clip was released on Friday, Nov. 30, Reese Witherspoon — who played Elle Woods in Legally Blonde — tweeted her approval for Grande’s homage to the sorority girl-turned-lawyer. "Can we please talk about @ArianaGrande’s Bend and Snap?!" Witherspoon wrote. "10/10 nailed it!"
Meanwhile, Jennifer Garner shared her own praise for Grande’s ode to 13 Going on 30, writing that seeing the music video made her day. "Every now and then something comes along and just brightens your day," Garner wrote. "@arianagrande you’re adorable. Thank you, pretty girl. #thankunext." The actress also gushed on her Instagram Story that Grande "looks more like Jenna Rink than I ever did."
One thing is clear: when it comes to celebrating the great romantic comedies of the early 2000s, nobody does it better, or with more attention to detail, than Grande. How truly fetch.
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