What could be more exciting than a new show that involves an actress from one of the most legendary musical films of all time? How about a new show involving the actress who plays the most awesome character from that film? Yes I am talking about the one and only Grease, and the one and only-est Stockard Channing! The famed Rizzo has been cast on an ABC pilot where she will play mother to none other than the teen pop icon turned actress, Mandy Moore. I am almost equally thrilled at Mandy's participation in this pilot because I have been a fan of hers since her big acting debut in A Walk to Remember. Her portrayal of Jamie Sullivan is one of the reasons I believe in true love to this day. Clearly both actresses are musically gifted so the producers on this pilot might as well stop kidding themselves and turn the show into a musical right now. Either way, these two are going to make a dynamic duo on the small screen and I will probably cry if it doesn't get picked up. Being reminded of some favorite actresses from my adolescence got me thinking about what some of the other gals who influenced my younger self are working on these days.
What pre-teen girl didn't love the movie Now and Then? It is the absolute all-time coming-of-age classic -- even for guys, in my opinion! For the 1% of you that haven't seen this amazing film, it's about four 12-year-old girls who spend the summer trying to solve a murder mystery, while at the same time discovering boys, dealing with disastrous family circumstances, and confronting their ever-changing pubescent emotions. It's really quite the heart-warming story.
In the movie, Christina Ricci plays Roberta, the ruthless tomboy who could beat any guy in a sports game, or just beat his ass. But Roberta wasn't only tough as nails -- she got the guy too. She totally makes out with Scott Wormer, played by hottie Devon Sawa, after they play a sweaty game of basketball in her driveway. As a 10-year-old girl it was pretty much the most awesome on-screen kiss I had ever witnessed. And let's not forget that Christina also got to make out with Devon again in the movie Casper... I think I'm still recovering from the fact that those two didn't get together in real life. Their story had Hollywood romance written all over it! What a tragedy.
So what is Ms. Ricci up to these days? Well, you may have seen her recently as flight attendant Maggie Ryan on the new ABC period drama Pan Am. Maggie is quite the scrappy young lady, who wants to see the world and experience a life of glamour and adventure. Christina may no longer be playing a butch tomboy, but she's definitely still a badass.
Christina is also starring in the upcoming feature Bel Ami which chronicles "a young man's rise to power in Paris via his manipulation of the city's most influential and wealthy women," set to be released in the U.S. on June 8th 2012 (deadline.com/Hollywood.) Ricci stars alongside Robert Pattinson who plays said "young man," and I'm sure she will do a lot of making out with him (if not more) proving that she's still getting those on-screen hotties more than a decade later. You go girl.
So, what other young starlet was totally "all that" back in the day? Rachel Leigh Cook, duh! First of all, how could I not love another Minneapolis native? Who by the way, also went to my high school (Go Tigers!). And while she obviously rocked it as nerdy art lover turned prom queen Laney Boggs in She's All That, I was way more obsessed with Rachel when she played Mary Anne in The Baby-Sitters Club. Her kind-hearted generosity made Mary Anne the all around nice girl that you wanted as your best friend. Not to mention that she, like Christina, also got a ton of on-screen action with some pretty cute faces. Mary Anne might have been quiet and shy but she was the only one of the baby-sitters with a serious (hot) boyfriend -- and she was only 13!
I was also delighted by Rachel's performance as Becky Thatcher in the 1995 young adult comedy/action feature Tom and Huck. Even though I was super jealous that she got to lip-wrestle with my all-time favorite teen heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas (and yes I did just quote Kimmy Gibbler). Speaking of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, or JTT, as he was better known to most young women in the '90s, where the heck did he disappear to? You star in film and television masterpieces like Tom and Huck, Home Improvement, and Wild America (opposite above mentioned hottie Devon Sawa!) and then you just vanish from my life forever? Come on JTT! I thought I meant more to you than that! But I digress...
Recently, Rachel Leigh Cook has done various character voices for Seth Green's Robot Chicken on Adult Swim, yet it's been a while since she has graced us with her on-screen presence. I for one am NOT happy about this. She has a few projects in the works including an unreleased TV drama titled Perception about a neuroscientist who assists the government in solving criminal cases. Sounds pretty awesome, and if they ever release it I'm sure I will be watching. However until then, I really think that the best thing for Rachel to focus on is making another movie with JTT immediately. I mean really, how could that not be the most awesome movie ever? I know that pretty much every girl who was between the ages of 11 and 15 in the mid-90s would be first in line at the box office.
Maybe TV Land would do a throwback special of some kind, involving as many '90s teen stars as they could get. Is it weird that I'm getting to the age where shows that I watched as a child are now considered appropriate TV Land content? Yes, it is... but I'm not worried about that right now. What I'd really like to know is whom do I talk to about creating this epic '90s teen-celeb super-fusion television special?