It’s been 20 years since Rachael Leigh Cook stole our hearts as the indelible Laney Boggs in the hit teen rom-com She’s All That, and to mark the occasion, Cook sat down with ET to take a trip down memory lane.
Starring some of the hottest stars of the ’90s, from Freddie Prinze Jr. to Gabrielle Union and even Usher, She’s All That is just as memorable now as it was upon its initial release on Jan. 29, 1999. Most memorable of all? That iconic stairwell scene.
Any true fan of the movie should know the scene in question: Nerdy outcast Laney takes her slo-mo walk down the stairs to reveal her post-makeover look before clumsily tripping on the last step right into the arms of her love interest, Prinze Jr.’s Zack Siler. All to the tune of Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me.”
While audiences will forever hold a special place in their hearts for that famous scene, Cook remembers it for a very different reason.
“I remember feeling really self-conscious in the scene where I have to come down the stairs in the red dress,” the 39-year-old actress admitted to ET’s Keltie Knight.
“There were two of that dress. We needed a stunt double dress for the scene where I had to run out and fall down in the driveway,” Cook explained.
“One dress felt a good size smaller than the other one,” she elaborated. “Apparently the [main dress] was not available, so I’m in the second dress just going like [holds breath] to get down the stairs. Just without breathing. Say some words and then we’ll be done!”
Cook joked that perhaps the scene became so iconic because you could feel her tension in the too-tight dress. “It’s entirely possible!” she said.
The film was a massive hit at the box office, earning over $100 million worldwide on a production budget of just $10 million — but that didn’t make that time in Cook’s early Hollywood career any easier.
“I remember it being a special time but, you know, I was a teenager making a movie about being a teenager,” Cook reflected. “So, like any teenager, I was full of awkwardness and insecurities and not knowing how to navigate my life or my career or anything!”
Despite all that, the 20th anniversary of the film means quite a bit to the now 39-year-old mother of two, who recently skipped her own 20-year high school reunion. “No offense to Minneapolis South High School, but I think [the She’s All That anniversary] means slightly more to me just because this continued to be such a huge part of my life.”
“It’s immortalized but also I had all of those sort of classic high school moments,” Cook recalled. “I got to go to a fake prom, I got to maybe be fake prom queen, like a lot of stuff happened in three and a half weeks in 1999.”
Next up for Cook, she stars in Valentine in the Vineyard, reprising her role of Frankie for the third time in Hallmark Channel’s In the Vineyard film franchise, premiering Feb. 2.
Tune in to Tuesday’s ET for the full interview with Cook.
Here’s also a look at what the She’s All That cast told ET about a possible reboot: