How director Nancy Meyers cast Lindsay Lohan while filming 'The Parent Trap' is a tale for the ages

After Lohan appeared in Meyers' 1998 film, her career took off in Hollywood. She went on to star in a string of films geared towards a teenage audience.


                            How director Nancy Meyers cast Lindsay Lohan while filming 'The Parent Trap' is a tale for the ages
Lindsay Lohan (Source: Getty Images)

Finding the right 11-year-old actress for 'The Parent Trap' was a difficult task for director Nancy Meyers. Her directorial debut, produced by Walt Disney Pictures, had to introduce an actress who had all the trappings of a movie star but in the late 90s, there didn't exist such an actress. Twenty years after 'The Parent Trap's release, Meyers revealed how she came to find Lindsay Lohan who shot to fame for playing the role of twins in the film.

Meyers said at the Tribeca Film festival, "When you’re making a movie that stars an 11-year-old and there’s not an existing 11-year-old movie star, you have to find somebody [new]. I think I saw almost 500 girls and I didn't feel we had her."

The producers of the film shortlisted about 40 to 50 girls who sent in their audition tapes, among them lay Lohan's homemade video as well. At the time, Lohan was a child model, having appeared in 100 print ads and 60 television spots, including Toys 'R Us and Duncan Hines. Her acting skills, however, proved to be far more superior than her modeling. 

When Meyers received the shortlisted tapes, she spent a weekend shortening the last to just six actresses. They were called to Los Angeles for a screen test and that's when the director met Lohan.  "I wasn't so sure from the audition tape that she’d be the one, but as soon as I looked at the footage in the screening room, it was just obvious. She was just talented, adorable, natural and fun," Meyers added, according to Page Six. 

And Lohan's role as the twins- Hailey and Annie was so convincing that Michael Eisner, the head of Disney at the time told Meyers, "How lucky were you to find those two girls." 

After Lohan appeared in Meyers' 1998 film, her career took off in Hollywood. She went on to star in a string of films geared towards a teenage audience, including 'Freaky Friday,' 'Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen' and 'Mean Girls,' among others.