"Legally Blonde" (2001) came out 19 years ago, but even die-hard fans may not know everything about the comedy.
The film is based on a true story, and Reese Witherspoon almost didn't get the role of Elle Woods.
Matthew Davis said he had crushes on Witherspoon and Selma Blair.
It's been nearly 20 years since "Legally Blonde" (2001) hit theaters. The comedy features Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, a spunky blonde sorority girl who defies all stereotypes and gets into Harvard Law School.
Years later, there are still a few fun facts about the movie that even the biggest fans might now know.
Here are are some behind-the-scenes secrets about "Legally Blonde."
The film was based on a book that's inspired by a true story.
Before "Legally Blonde" the movie came "Legally Blonde" the book.
It was written by Amanda Brown and was inspired by her real-life experience at Stanford Law School.
Brown told the SF Gate in 2003, "I wrote it all on pink paper, with my pink furry pen. I finally found an agent who picked it up out of a slush pile because it was on pink paper."
The scene where Delta Nu votes to use name-brand toilet paper was based on a real sorority house.
During Elle's Harvard Law School admission video, Elle's sorority Delta Nu votes on opposing the change from Charmin toilet paper to a generic brand. That scene was based on cowriter Karen McCullah's experience in a sorority at James Madison University.
McCullah reportedly told the university's Montpelier magazine, "We were denied our toilet paper. I offered my sorority sisters activity points for stealing replacement rolls from the administration building."
The role of Elle Woods almost went to Christina Applegate.
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It feels nearly impossible to imagine anyone but Witherspoon playing Elle Woods, but Christina Applegate had a chance at the role.
However, she told Entertainment Tonight in 2015 that she turned down the part because she wasn't sure she wanted to play another stereotypical blonde character like her role on Fox's "Married With Children."
"What a stupid move that was, right?" she said. "Reese deserved that. She did a much better job than I ever could, and so that's her life. That's her path."
Selma Blair almost didn't score the role of Vivian. It was originally offered to Chloë Sevigny.
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The role of Vivian was originally offered to actress Chloë Sevigny.
Sevigny told The Daily Beast in 2014 that she turned down the part to do the thriller "Demonlover" (2002), which was shooting at the same time.
Witherspoon met with real sorority members to prepare for her role.
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Witherspoon put a lot of work into embodying Elle Woods.
She told Entertainment Weekly in 2001 that she spent time with real-life sorority members to get ready for the part.
"I went to dinner with them. It's sort of like an anthropological study. You learn what they eat, how they behave, how they take care of their young, that sort of thing," she said.
Matthew Davis once said he had a big crush on Witherspoon.
He told the publication that he acted like a "bumbling idiot" around her on set — so much so that the "Legally Blonde" producers pulled him aside to ask if he was OK.
He eventually told Witherspoon, who was married to Ryan Phillippe at the time, about his crush.
"She was like, 'That's so sweet! OK, let's work on the scene,'" he said.
Davis has also said that he had a crush on Blair.
The actor may have gone into "Legally Blonde" with a crush on Witherspoon, but it seems that he developed one for another leading actress too.
"I absolutely loved and adored Selma," he told News.com.au in 2017. "I developed a crush on her at the time but she was with someone else — I think she was dating the guy from 'Rushmore' [actor Jason Schwartzman] but he was coming around and I was kind of like 'who is this guy?!'"
Witherspoon filmed the movie shortly after having her first child, so she had quite a few sleepless nights.
The actress had her first child right before taking on the role of Elle.
In an interview with Cinema, Witherspoon said that her daughter Ava kept her up most nights during filming.
"I was worried that I wasn't getting enough sleep because my daughter Ava was sick quite often during the shoot and there were a lot of days when I didn't think I could pull it off," she said. "Some nights Ava would wake up screaming because she had the flu and I would spend most of the night trying to rock her back to sleep and then have to be on the set at 7 in the morning for make-up."
The movie almost had a very different ending.
Per Marie Claire, at the 2015 Vulture Festival, McCullah shared that the film originally ended at the courthouse right after Elle won the case, with her and Luke Wilson's character, Emmett, sharing a grand kiss on the steps.
It then cut to Elle with Vivian starting their own Blonde Legal Defense Club at Harvard Law School.
"It was just kind of a weak ending," McCullah said. "The kiss didn't feel right because it's not a rom-com — it wasn't about their relationship. So test audiences were saying, 'We want to see what happens — we want to see her succeed.' So that's why we rewrote for graduation."
Witherspoon said she got to keep all 60 of Elle's outfits from the film.
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The actress told Hollywood.com that she kept all of the outfits she wore in the film, mainly to keep them from being sold on the internet.
She said, "It really bothers me. Imagine some sicko in Wisconsin smelling the seams … it creeps me out. It's all in the closet. One day my daughter can play with it."
Davis said he based his character on one of the US presidents.
According to The Morning Call, in an interview on the movie's Special Edition DVD, Davis said that he based Warner off of President George W. Bush.
The decision to make Elle's signature color pink was very deliberate.
In a 2012 interview with Elle, costume designer Sophie de Rakoff shared how they picked Elle Wood's signature color.
"Reese and I actually went to visit a sorority house in the early prep, and it was just obvious that pink should be her signature color," she said.
Witherspoon hung out in Beverly Hills to nail her character's personality.
Witherspoon, who is from the South, told ScreenSlam that she spent a lot of time in Beverly Hills to get used to Elle's California-girl mannerisms.
She said she observed women eating and shopping in order to get a better idea of how to act in the role.
According to the writers, the "bend and snap" was a spur-of-the-moment, drunken creation.
The producers really wanted a scene for Jennifer Coolidge, who played Paulette.
At first, it was going to be about a robbery or a crime, but then McCullah and cowriter Kirsten Smith created the "bend and snap" in a "drunken moment" at a bar.
Witherspoon has said that it was tough to play such an energetic character.
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In another ScreenSlam interview, the actress admitted that the role was "a jump" for her, as she didn't consider herself to be naturally perky and bubbly.
She said it was also hard to really capture the way Elle put so much "care and energy" into things.
A reporter once gave Witherspoon a 15,000-word dissertation on "Legally Blonde."
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When reporter Lucy Ford interviewed Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey for "A Wrinkle in Time" (2018), she gave Witherspoon a copy of the 15,000-word dissertation she wrote on "Legally Blonde."
"Thank you, that really touches my heart," Witherspoon said.
It was titled, "Dumb Blonde Ambition: 'Legally Blonde,' Postfeminism and the Reimagination of the 'Strong Female Character,'" and Ford told the actress that she watched the film 800 times to write the paper.
Blair and Witherspoon were neighbors during filming.
Witherspoon told Entertainment Tonight on set in 2000 that she lived across the street from Blair during filming.
"She'd come over. When I'd get locked out of the house, she'd have my key and stuff, so we're really close and it's been great because we get to hang out," Witherspoon said.
Blair added, "She's been my friend since 'Cruel Intentions.' I would act with her any day."
The film inspired some women to go to law school, according to Witherspoon.
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In an interview on the "Today" show in 2018, Witherspoon said the character of Elle will always hold a special place in her heart.
She added, "I've had more young women come up to me and say, 'I went to law school because of Elle Woods.' It's very incredible to see how long movies can last and how important they can be to young people, generation after generation."
Ariana Grande paid tribute to the film in her "Thank U, Next" music video.
Ariana Grande's 2018 "The U, Next" music video is filled with movie references, including a recreation of Elle's sunbathing scene.
The video also pays tribute to other iconic films from the 2000s, including "13 Going on 30" (2004) and "Mean Girls" (2004).
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