WHO: Bebe Wood
WHAT: The movie musical Mean Girls.
“That’s so fetch!” When we first heard Mean Girls, the Broadway musical version, would be adapted into a movie, we were excited to see what a 2024 version of one of our all-time favorite films would look like. That enthusiasm doubled when we heard who would be stepping into the high-heeled shoes of the Plastics. We stan Reneé Rapp, of course, but we also love a fresh face and couldn’t wait to see Avantika Vandanapu and Bebe Wood in action. Wood—whose previous credits include Hulu’s Love, Victor, Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal, and ABC’s The Real O’Neals—is so fun to watch as the catty but vulnerable Gretchen Weiners. Not only does she deliver on the laughs, but she also has a noteworthy musical number in “What’s Wrong With Me.” What’s more, she’s a fashion risk-taker and lover of all things vintage—a woman after our own heart.
My experience auditioning for Mean Girls was… Totally surreal! I grew up with Mean Girls. I truly can’t remember a world before it. In fact, did the world even exist before Mean Girls? It was such an honor to be considered for the part and totally insane and thrilling to actually be cast. It really is a dream come true.
I was excited to put my own spin on Gretchen Wieners by… The nature of my being me! Gretchen is such an iconic character that so many incredible actors have touched. It’s easy to overthink it! I tried my best not to fall into that trap and trust that, by virtue of my being a different performer, the performance will be different. At the same time, I think the essence of Gretchen will always be the same. Tina’s writing is so brilliant. Gretchen’s voice is so clear. Sometimes, as an actor, if you’re going out of your way to try and make a character different, you can actually stray from who said character really is in a way that will hinder you.
If I could go back to one day on set, it would be… The day we were shooting “I’d Rather Be Me” and a full-on blizzard broke out. That whole sequence was done in two very long takes. From the cafeteria to the outside area, we don’t stop. We had done it a few times, making it outside each time. The weather seemed perfectly fine! But then, we did it again, and when Janis (Auli‘i Cravalho) opened the door, it was fully snowing. We were all like “WTF?!” It was hysterical. We had to go home and film the rest another day. Aha ha!
The stories and/or characters that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Stories about women with big minds, hearts, and ideas. I also feel excited about stories that thematically touch on the nuances of life and humanity, all the beautiful little things that lay within the in-between.
Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… Music and songwriting!! I am passionate about so much, but music feels more like my soul. I released my debut EP 21st Century Hippie back in 2021, but I’m excited to record some new stuff I’ve been working on. I also love art, history, poetry, nature, antiques, and my cat and puppy!
If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… Ooh! It depends on the season. In spring and summer, I love a white cotton number. Turn-of-the-century Edwardian underwear is really my 21st-century outerwear in the summer. In the winter, you can catch me in knitwear, my long black Max Mara coat, and a wide-leg pant. These seeded denim trousers from Carrier Company are my favorite. I also always wear little gold hoops.
When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Vintage! Clothes tell stories. I like to think about who wore something before me. And it’s good for Mother Earth—yay sustainability!
My winter wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces: