12 fun facts about 'Legally Blonde'
In honour of the film's 20th anniversary
“What, like it’s hard?”
That’s right, it’s been a full 20 years since Legally Blonde first hit theaters in 2001 (We’re not talking about the 2003 sequel OK). If you’re a super fan like us and pink is your signature colour, you might enjoy these fun facts about the behind-the-scenes of this cult classic.
1. It’s based on a true story, kind of
Legally Blonde the movie was inspired by Legally blonde the book, which in turn was inspired by author, Amanda Brown’s real-life experience at Stanford Law School where she felt like she didn’t fit in.
According to Brown: “I wrote it all on pink paper, with my pink furry pen. I finally found an agent who picked it up out of a slush pile because it was on pink paper.”
2. Elle was named after the magazine
Fittingly, one of Brown’s favourite magazines is Elle.
3. Reese Witherspoon wasn’t always going to play Elle
Can you imagine Christina Applegate as Elle Woods? Well it nearly happened.
Applegate says she turned down the part because she wasn’t sure she wanted to play another stereotypical blonde character after starring on Married With Children.
Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Silverstone, Katherine Heigl, Milla Jovovich, and Jennifer Love Hewitt were also all considered for the role.
4. The actress had a very specific clause in her contract
Witherspoon was adamant that she would get to keep all 60 of Elle’s stunning costumes from the film, and the filmmakers agreed.
5. The “Ovester” debate is based on a real conversation
“That’s why I’m petitioning for next semester be referred to as the winter overster.” This iconic line delivered by Elle’s classmate Enid was inspired by a real meeting Brown attended at Stanford and a line that she thought was hilarious.
6. The “bend and snap” was inspired by a drunken night
The producers really wanted a specific subplot for Jennifer Coolidge, who played Paulette, but they were stumped. Thankfully, during one drunken night out the writers created the “bend and snap” at a bar, and a legend was born.
7. The movie was filmed at Stanford but they weren’t allowed to name it
In Amanda Brown’s book, Elle attended USC (University of Southern California) before going to Stanford Law. Though neither USC nor Stanford would allow their university to be associated with the movie, USC did allow shooting to take place on campus, which acted as a stand in for Harvard.
The producers originally wanted to set this movie at the University of Chicago but school administrators declined because of a scene toward the end of this movie where a professor places his hand on Elle’s leg.
8. Chloë Sevigny almost played Vivian
Can you imagine if Vivian was also a blonde? Sevigny told The Daily Beast in 2014 that she turned down the part as she’d already signed onto the thriller movie Demonlover, which had clashing shooting schedules. Lucky Selma Blair was cast because we can’t imagine a better Vivian.
9. They had to re-shoot the ending
Initially, the movie ended with Elle and Emmett (Luke Wilson) kissing on the courthouse steps directly after Brooke’s trial ended, then cutting to Elle Woods and Vivian forming a “Blonde Legal Defense Club.” Test audiences wanted more closure though, so a graduation scene was added, set two years later. Because Witherspoon was in England working on her next project, parts of the scene were shot at Dulwich College in London and the actress had to wear a wig to get Elle’s signature hair back.
10. Bruiser’s real name was Moonie
And he sadly passed away on March 10, 2016 at the age of eighteen.
11. A perfect score on the LSAT exam is 180
Elle’s score of 179 puts her in the top 0.1 percent.
12. Mindy Kaling (my hero) is co-writing the third movie
Reese Witherspoon delighted fans when she announced a Legally Blonde 3 is in the works way back when in 2018. Since then we’ve received a bit more info, like the fact that the movie is set to open in May 2022 and is being co-written by Mindy Kaling and Brooklyn Nine-Nine creator Dan Goor which is just the greatest news ever.