Fans probably know Lacey Chabert best as iconic feminism expert Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls.
What they may not know is that Chabert is also a prolific voice actress, lending her pipes to roles including Eliza Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys and, most recently, Dani Burns on the second season of The Hub cartoon Transformers Rescue Bots.
“I like that in voice acting you can play different characters than you can when you’re on camera and you’re limited by your physical being,” she explained to EW earlier this week. “The upside is you don’t have to have hair and makeup. You can go in your sweats if you want — that’s always a plus! I particularly like this show because it’s a group of guys that have become like my brothers. We get to see each other once a week — we actually record together. Most of the time for [voice] you record separately. On this one, we get to actually be with each other, which helps tell the story better. They’re lovely people and we hang out after almost every session. They’re such great guys; I’m like a little sister there.”
Chabert says she’s been a fan of the Transformers world for a long time. “I grew up with a little brother and we would always watch Transformers together, and he had all the toys,” she explained. “So I was really thrilled and honored to be a part of this franchise.”
But the actress has more than Transformers on her plate. In May, she’ll star in a Hallmark channel movie based on the nonfiction book Color of Rain. “Playing a real-life character is definitely a lot more responsibility than one that is fictionalized,” she said. “I play a woman who loses her husband to cancer, and she has two children, and she meets a man who has just recently lost his wife to cancer that has three children. They find friendship and love and healing through the process of them coming together. We got to meet the real family; it’s Gina and Michael Spehn. They’re just lovely people who are so kind. It was really an honor to tell their story.”
The real-life couple visited the Vancouver set while Chabert was shooting the film — leading to the sometimes-intense experience of acting out emotional scenes while the person who actually went through that pain was right off camera. “It was a little nerve-wracking having the person you’re portraying sitting in your peripheral vision,” Chabert said. “I just wanted to make them proud. Their story is a beautiful one of hope and healing and I just wanted to tell it in the most honest way possible.”
That film will premiere on Hallmark May 31. Prior to that, there’s a little 10-year anniversary of a certain teen film touchstone coming up — and the Mean Girls anniversary is one Chabert can’t possibly forget. “It’s unbelievable,” the actress told EW with a laugh about the continued love for the comedy. “I was so blessed to be a part of that movie, because who knew 10 years later people would be talking about it — talking about it more than when it came out, I feel like. People tweet me every day hundreds of times, if not thousands of times [with] lines from the movie: ‘That’s so fetch!,’ ‘I’m watching it now.’ It’s so nice be a part of something that’s so well-received.”
The love isn’t just coming online. It seems that even 10 years later, no one can resist reciting a Gretchen-ism back to her — regardless of what Chabert is doing. “I was at the pharmacy and I was sick and trying to get medicine, and the pharmacist just looked at me and goes, ‘You don’t look like you feel very fetch today.’ Everyone knows those lines, everyone knows that film.”
Is there a possibility of more? Lindsay Lohan floated a reunion on The Tonight Show yesterday, and last year Tina Fey announced she was working on a musical version of the story. “I would absolutely love it,” Chabert said about playing everyone’s favorite gold hoop earring-loving frenemy again. “I sing, I started my career at 9 years old in Les Misérables on Broadway. To do that again for a character I love so much would be fantastic. It would be so fun.”
Catch Chabert in a new episode of Transformers Rescue Bots Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET on The Hub.