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It’s Not Reneé Rapp’s Fault We’re Like, in Love With Her

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Whether it’s her unfiltered interview moments or her recent first appearance on Saturday Night Live (SNL), the internet can’t stop talking about Reneé Rapp. Most known for her Mean Girls Broadway-to-movie role reprisal, Reneé is also a rising pop star and established Gen Z queer icon. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of Reneé’s career before it takes off to even greater heights.

From Mean Girls to Mean Girls

In 2019, Reneé played Regina George in Mean Girls on Broadway. She was only 19 on Broadway, and like every 19-year-old girl, her future still felt unwritten — especially because her long-term goal was to be a pop musician rather than an actress. In an interview with Collider, Reneé explains that she “never had doing Broadway on my five-year plan; however, that became such an important part of my career.” Her Broadway run would lead to her reprisal of the role in the 2024 Mean Girls movie. Currently the highest-grossing movie in the U.S. according to IMDb, the new Mean Girls is an adaptation of the musical rather than a remake of the 2004 original. Then and now, Reneé is a vocal powerhouse who brings Regina’s feminine energy and snide remarks to life.

Reneé goes to college

Although Reneé went straight to stardom after high school, she gets a taste of fictionalized college life in The Sex Lives of College Girls (2021). This dramedy depicts a group of freshmen navigating adulthood and relationships at the fictional Essex College. Reneé plays Leighton Murray, a wealthy legacy student with a complicated dating life as a closeted lesbian. Reneé will return for a few episodes of the show’s upcoming third season, then exit to focus on her music career — a bittersweet decision for those of us who are big fans of Leighton as much as we are of Reneé.

An Angel in the Snow

Reneé signed with Interscope Records and released her first EP, Everything to Everyone, in 2022. “Too Well,” the EP’s standout single combines heartfelt lyrics and a danceable beat to describe the feeling of being haunted by an ex. She further coins this juxtaposition of heartbreak and happiness in her 2023 debut album, Snow Angel. Reneé, via Apple Music, describes that the songs on Snow Angel “come from real things that are happening in my life. Friendships end, relationships end. Sometimes you just have to sit with your feelings.” In the album’s quirky opener, “Talk Too Much” Reneé screams out her frustrations with her tendency to overcomplicate everything. In “So What Now,” she describes treading the awkward line between love and hate in a relationship. Regardless of which song fans resonated with most, we hit replay enough times to make Snow Angel the biggest debut album by a solo female artist in 2023. Reneé is currently supporting the album with the Snow Hard Feelings Tour, and in April, she’ll take the Coachella stage. 

Can a Gay Girl Get an Amen?

Whether we are most drawn to her music or her acting, Reneé Rapp fans can agree on one thing: we love her because she is loudly and unapologetically queer. Her latest song, “Not My Fault (with Megan Thee Stallion)”, written for the Mean Girls soundtrack, has been used in 23.9k Tiktok videos, most of which highlight its iconic line, “Can a gay girl get an amen?” During SNL last week, Reneé was referred to as a “little lesbian intern” while playing herself in a skit — a quip many understood as a hard launch coming out. She waves pride flags on tour as she performs “Pretty Girls”, a song she describes via Apple Music as “the universal gay-girl experience.” Also, when asked if Regina George is a lesbian, Reneé’s answer is always yes.

In the Snow Angel track “23,” Reneé sings the wistful lyric, “I hope that I’ll see 24”. With the success of her acting career and her music’s popularity on the rise, it’s safe to say she isn’t just seeing 24, but seizing it.

Hanna is an English major at UCLA, from Los Angeles, California. She loves traveling, attending concerts, and writing about her favorite music.