Freaky Friday: 13 Things You Probably Never Knew About The Disney Classic

This month marks 18 years since one of the most entertaining films to leave Walt Disney Pictures graced our cinema screens – Freaky Friday

It showcases a mother-daughter duo – played by Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis – who switch bodies once a spell takes effect, with unexpected consequences. 

A remake of Disney’s previous 1976 and 1995 adaptations, the 2003 family comedy was a major success, with many young people and their parents finding it hilariously relatable to their lives in one way or another. 

To mark Freaky Friday’s milestone anniversary, we’ve uncovered 13 facts you probably didn’t know about it. 

1. Lindsay’s character was originally supposed to be a goth 

When the Parent Trap star read the original script, she thought Anna’s character was a bit too scruffy. “There was nothing there, no one can relate to the character when she’s really goth,” she told Vanity Fair in 2006. 

To recreate her own envision, LiLo turned up to the audition dressed extremely preppy, which worked to her benefit as the character was rewritten. 

2. The shots in the opening credits are actual photos of Jamie Lee Curtis and her daughter Annie Guest 

We all love a fake snapshot or two at the beginning of a film, but who knew the photos at the start of Freaky Friday actually captured true moments from Jamie Lee’s real life. 

One sees her daughter as a toddler laying on her mother’s back, with her arms tightly placed around her neck.

3. Lindsay had to give Jamie Lee precise lessons on how to say ‘shut up’ 

During a promotional interview on YouTube, the True Lies actor admitted to needing help from her then-teenage co-star with the specific way she said ‘shut up!’ 

“There’s a way she says shut up that I couldn’t get. She had to give me a ‘shut up’ tutorial because it’s a very specific way,” she said.

Jamie Lee, who was raising 16-year-old daughter Annie Guest at the time, claimed that starring in this film with a young person helped her see things from her child’s point of view. 

“I think I probably have a judgmental bitch badge that I put on because I can be harsh, and I think that walking a mile in some very uncomfortable teenage shoes gave me the opportunity to see what it’s like on the other side,” she said.

4. Gwen Stefani was offered a role as a member of the band  

According to IMDB, the US singer was offered a role as a member of Anna’s band, but sadly we didn’t get to see that happen – although we think she would have been a perfect addition to that cast.

5. Michelle Trachtenberg was supposed to be Anna

The Ice Princess star was first to be cast as the mouthy teenager, but had to back out of the project due to her her contract with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she played Dawn Summers. 

This was actually the second film Michelle turned down in which LiLo later landed the lead gig – the first being The Parent Trap in 1998, in which Lindsay made her name. 

6. Kelly Osbourne also auditioned for the role

The star, known for her family reality show The Osbournes, was also offered the part of Anna after auditioning, but had to pull out after her mother Sharon was diagnosed with cancer. 

Kelly later described how people told her it was the biggest mistake of her career, due to the success of the film. 

7. Lindsay’s mum made an appearance in the movie

LiLo’s mum Dina can be seen in the final scene where Anna is dancing with Jake. Dina is in the background dancing with an older man, but there is an awkward moment where she is seen looking directly at the camera. 

8. The famous Anna and Tess collision scene is similar to a scene in Bewitched

Anna and Tess’ idea to collide at full force in an attempt to reverse the spell is similar to a scene in 1966′s Bewitched: Divided He Falls, where Darrin is split into two people and Endora suggests he do the same to break the spell. 

However, in this scene, the trick had the desired effect. 

9. Lindsay had her first on-screen kiss in Freaky Friday 

In a behind the scene YouTube clip, Lindsay admitted that the kiss she shared with co-star Chad Michael Murray was the first she had done on screen.  

10. Lindsay went on to win three awards for the movie 

Freaky Friday quickly became a Disney fan favourite in the early 2000s and Linday took home three awards for her performance of both Anna and Tess Coleman. 

At the 2004 Teen Choice Awards, she won Choice Breakout Movie Star and Choice Hissy Fit. She then added to that at the MTV Movie Awards, receiving the Best Breakthrough Award in 2004. 

11. The film paid homage to Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother 

A character named Mr Bates appears in the film as a tribute to the actor’s mother, Janet Leigh who is best known for her performance in the 1960 film Psycho. 

Mr Bates is a reference to Norman Bates’ character in the classic movie.

12. A member of the band Orgy instructed Jamie on how to play the guitar for the last scene 

Orgy, an American rock band formed in 1994, offered up one of their members to teach Jamie Lee how to play the guitar, and although the actor practiced making the concert scene look as authentic as possible, a studio musician dubbed over the guitar solo in the finished film.  

13. Freaky Friday is based on Mary Rodgers 1972 novel of the same name 

Rodgers’ story was adapted many times, including the original Disney version in 1976. 

In 2020, it was the source for the movie Freaky, which focuses on a teenage girl who unintentionally swaps bodies with a middle-aged male serial killer.

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