Lunchtime Poll! Heathers Star Elle McLemore Talks High School Parties, Crushes & What It Takes to Be a Heather
May 15th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Fierce little diva Elle McLemore has given theatre audiences not one, but two high school mean-girls we’ve become obsessed with. First, McLemore destroyed some lives in her breakout role as Eva in the Tony-nominated musical Bring It On, and now she’s ruling the school with an iron fist as Heather McNamara, one of the infamous Heathers, in the sidesplitting off-Broadway musical Heathers (based on the cult film of the same name, obvi). We caught up with the super-sweet actress (who graced your small-screen on Lifetime’s Army Wives) to find out what she was really like in high school, who her crushes were and what the best party she attended was like.
1. My lunch table in high school was made up of:
Depending on the day—choir kids, the track team, thespians, hall monitors, foreign exchange students…I was most likely always in the most random group of people. I was fascinated with them all, and picked up a diverse selection of friends throughout the different hobbies and classes I got involved in.
2. The Heathers character that was most like me in high school:
I guess I would say I was closest to Veronica. I never belonged to a certain group of friends and was never really cool enough to be a "Heather!" I was kind of awkward and spazzy like I am now, so I was always running around doing my own thing. At the same time, I could relate to my character "Heather Mac" when she feels suffocated from all the pressure. I definitely went through that. Those kids were viscous and could be very cruel, and it was a big struggle. The bullying must end!
Photo by Chad Batka
3. My high school crush could best be described as:
Zac Efron lookalike, but most likely to be in the cast of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert in ten years.
4. My favorite high school teen movie of all time is:
Mean Girls. I remember going to the movie theatre with my mom and sister being in a pool of Tiffany & Co. necklace, coach bag wearing mean girls from my high school. It was the prime example of art reflecting life at the perfect time, and the Heathers of my generation. "You can't sit with us!!!"
5. If you want to be a Heather, you have to be able to:
Rock a tight blazer and miniskirt while understanding the definition of "very."
6. The best party I went to in high school was:
My sophomore year, I befriended some of the "Heathers" of my school and went on a snowboarding road trip with them to Brian Head, Utah, along with every popular kid. I found out about Goldschlager and never felt so out of place and so excited and so terrified. On the way there, I remember everyone knowing all the rap verses to "This is Why I'm Hot." Being a thespian, I winged it by using my actors tool kit – "peas and carrots watermelon watermelon.... this is why I'm hot!" What a great learning experience.
7. If I could tell my high school self one thing:
It's okay to embrace your awkward self. If you choose to listen to the "Maury Yeston Songbook" over staying up all night trying to memorize rap lyrics to “MiMs," only to appease the popular kids, that's okay too. Be you, and own it! Also, you can do without that 19th Hollister logo t-shirt.
See Elle McLemore rock her tight blazer and miniskirt in 'Heathers' at New World Stages.