It’s been a decade since Amanda Bynes was adorable in drag for the classic teen comedy, She’s the Man, also starring Channing Tatum. We sat down with screenwriters, Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith, to find out all the strange and fascinating things you may not have known about this delightful movie.
1. Fans were inspired by the tampon scene
According to McCullah and Smith, they received a ton of fan mail about the scene where Bynes (as Sebastian), says he uses tampons for when he gets nosebleeds. One fan’s letter was from a girl who said she was skiing and fell, injuring her nose. Wearing a really expensive powder blue ski jacket, she said she was super bummed out because didn’t want to bleed all over it. Then the girl remembered she had a tampon in her pocket, and she apparently shoved it up her nose and skied down the mountain, saving her jacket from being stained. We love it when movies save our clothing from ruin!
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2. The film is based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What you Will
The names of the main characters, Viola, Duke Orsino, Olivia and Sebastian, are the names of the characters from the play that was written sometime between 1601-02. Screenwriters of She’s the Man, Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith, also penned the screenplay 10 Things I Hate About You that was based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
3. All the filmmakers were crazy about Channing Tatum
Apparently, the filmmakers saw a lot of actors when casting the role of Duke, but according to Smith, Tatum was, “So incredibly charming and different and sweet while still being sexy and masculine,” that everyone knew he was a perfect choice.
4. Amanda Bynes’ slight Southern accent
Working closely with director Andy Fickman, who’s from Midland, Texas, his vocal patterns apparently rubbed off on Bynes. If you listen closely, you can hear a slight Southern drawl in her dialogue.
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5. Bynes studied male behavior at a mall
McCullah said Bynes and Fickman were super close on this movie and that Fickman, “Took Amanda to The Grove, which is this big outdoor shopping mall in LA, to follow guys around and watch men walk and try to figure out their mannerisms.”
6. Channing Tatum was totally hot, but…
Compared to his extreme muscled physique in the Magic Mike movies, Tatum looks a bit scrawny. The reason is that he was on a cleanse while shooting She’s the Man, drinking only hot water with cayenne pepper and lemon, eating no solid food.
7. The role of the coach was written for Peter Dinklage
Years before Game of Thrones, McCullah and Smith were huge fans of Peter Dinklage and were hoping to get him to play the soccer coach in the movie. They even named the character Coach Dinklage. Though Coach Dinklage was played wonderfully by actor Vinnie Jones, we sure would have liked to see the real Dinklage take on the role.
8. Bynes got the film made
According to McCullah, Bynes had a lot of power in Hollywood at the time. “She initially was attached to the project when it sold to DreamWorks — she was the reason that DreamWorks bought the movie. They wanted an Amanda Bynes vehicle.”
9. Bynes had smart advice about the film’s title
The original title of the film was Dude Looks Like a Lady, but it didn’t sit right with Bynes. According to the writers, she said, “No cool kids my age are going to walk up and say I’ll take two tickets for something dumb. You’ve got to imagine people saying, ‘I’ll take two tickets for She’s the Man.’ I can see that happening.” McCullah and Smith still use Bynes’ advice today.
10. The film ratings board was very strict about the dialogue
The writers weren’t allowed to use the word “ball” in the movie, so they changed the word to “kumquat.” But the ratings board came back, saying, “‘You can’t say kumquat either because we know you mean balls,'” McCullah said. That year, Smith bought McCullah a kumquat tree for Christmas.
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11. The film was supposed to be sexier and edgier
While the studio asked the writers for an “edgy” script, many of the producers got nervous that Steven Spielberg, one of the studio heads at DreamWorks, wouldn’t approve because he had young daughters and wouldn’t want anything in the movie to be inappropriate.
12. David Cross had his own take on Principal Gold
According to Smith, “David Cross came up with the idea that he would be doing chores in each scene. Trimming bushes, mopping, all that. We were told he was going to do this and make up his own lines for it, and we were like, ‘Who’s this guy?’ But then, when you watch the movie, it’s actually really funny.”
13. Amanda Bynes had to learn to play soccer
Before making the film, Bynes trained on the soccer field for several months to learn how to look believable as a top tier high-school soccer player.
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