She’s All That is one of the most beloved films in the 1990s teen film canon. In honour of its 15th anniversary, we dialled up Taylor Vaughan herself—Hit the Floor star, jewelry designer and licensed bounty hunter Jodi Lyn O’Keefe—to take us behind the scenes of this guilty-pleasure classic.
1) O’Keefe was super-nervous about auditioning. “I had a chance to go in and read lines. I thought the script was fantastic. I was relaxed, which was not easy for me, because I was fairly new in the business. I always say I don’t really know how I ever got a job, because I might be the worst auditioner on the face of the planet.”
2) She drew on real-life bitches she’d encountered to create Taylor Vaughan. “If we’re going to be totally honest, I think we all we’ve all gone to school with either the most popular girl or the girl who had everything. I just drew from what I knew, and I made a character from that—a bit bigger than it would be in real life.”
3) The male stars of the film were just like their characters. “Freddie Prinze Jr. is one of the nicest human beings on the face of the planet, and we had a great time from the first moment we met. Matthew Lillard put stitches in my side. We had worked together on Nash Bridges previously, so I already knew what to expect when he showed up, which is that I’m going to have a very hard time keeping a straight face, because that man is funny.”
4) She had been pals with She’s All That cameo star and future Mrs. Prinze Jr. Sarah Michelle Gellar since they were both child stars. “It was nice for me to see her on set, because we came up in New York together. I don’t think Freddie and Sarah were together then. I ran into him years later at the grocery store and I said, ‘You married my childhood friend!’ It was pretty funny.”
5) The best part about being in She’s All That: meeting Lil’ Kim. “I’m from Jersey; she’s Lil’ Kim. I had this big grin on my face every day that I would see her. When I knew her at the time, she was one of the sweetest people on the face of the planet.”
6) Being mean to Rachael Leigh Cook was really hard. “My face-off with Rachael Leigh was one of my favourites ever because it was the first time I really had to be that girl, and be mean. It was hard to do, because she’s so sweet and adorable. I remember thinking, Can I actually spill a drink on her? Can I do it?”
7) Matthew Lillard had to film his dance sequence dozens of times. “When Matt had to dance, I watched him do that routine no less than 30 times. I was laughing so hard. “
8) The Technicolor brights of the late-’90s wardrobe was so not her style—but she loved it anyway. “My favourite was the pink-on-pink. You can’t get much more ’90s than that. It was perfection. I didn’t get to keep any of the clothes. Looking back, I wish that I had done so, just as something to hold onto and maybe pass down because those were such great moments for me. I really wish I had held onto that pink sweater.”
Catch the season two premiere of Jodi’s VH1 series, Hit the Floor, on May 26.