mean girls cast 2004
Danielle Panabaker was almost cast in 2004’s “Mean Girls.” Paramount Pictures

On the latest episode of Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast “Inside of You,” the actor interviewed “The Flash” star Danielle Panabaker all about her acting journey - from commercials to working with her sister, Kay, and to failed auditions and landing her CW series.

Danielle Panabaker currently stars on The CW’s “The Flash.” The CW

It was during this conversation between the DC series alum and the current DC series star that Panabaker shared she sometimes gets emotional, which brought Rosenbaum to ask if she’d ever cried after an audition.

She disclosed that she has indeed cried after an audition, but that wasn’t the most shocking part of her answer. Instead, it was the reveal of the movie that she was auditioningfor at the time it happened that was the most surprising.

“Oh, yeah,” she said. “It’s so funny because you brought it up, but ‘Mean Girls.’”

Once she shared that little bit of information, she couldn’t help but continue the story to give more background information.

“That director - so, this is going to go back… so one of the first things I ever came to LA for was to screen test for ‘Freaky Friday,’” Panabaker also revealed. “I tested for it and the producer was Andrew Gunn and the director was Mark Waters. And I tested for it and it didn’t go my way, obviously, and then the script for ‘Mean Girls’ came around and I loved the script, and Mark was directing that, as well.”

While she didn’t get the “Freaky Friday” gig, which, of course, starred Lindsay Lohan, Panabaker was excited about the “Mean Girls” script and was ready to go after that project next.

“I went in and I did table reads for Paramount and everything and originally, I think, I mean look, my agent could’ve been lying to me… but originally they were looking at me and Lindsay,” she revealed. “And Lindsay to play the Regina George role and then at the last minute they switched it. So, I didn’t get it. And I like cried on the couch. I was so sad.”

Imagine how different the “Mean Girls” would’ve been had Panabaker starred as Cady and Lohan played Regina George. Not only would it have changed the way the movie turned out, but it also might’ve changed the cast's career trajectory.

As fans of “The Flash” know, if you go back in time and change one thing, it could have a monstrous ripple effect and alter so many things in the future. If Panabaker had starred in this 2004 teen film, she possibly wouldn’t be in “The Flash” right now.

If Lohan was Regina instead of Rachel McAdams, there’s the possibility that both of their acting careers would be on different paths as well.

But, alas, Panabaker did not end up landing the role, and she’s been busily acting in the industry all the while. The cast of the film was the way it was, and the film can still sit as an iconic teen movie.

While fans knew that Lohan was originally going for the role of Regina, after Waters revealed that news in an interview with Vulture in 2014 in honor of the movie’s 10th anniversary, this is the first people are really hearing that Panabaker was a front-runner to play Cady.

Waters never mentioned that in his 2014 Vulture interview, but he did share that he originally wanted Lohan for the role of Regina. However, after a read-through, they couldn’t find anyone “strong enough” to play Cady opposite Lohan, and Paramount, the film’s studio, decided to give Lohan that role instead.

A huge factor in that decision, Waters said, though, was the his other movie with her “Freaky Friday,” which Panabaker mentioned she also auditioned for, was released during the “Mean Girls” audition process and it was a huge success. After that, the studio felt it was best to build on Lohan’s success as the lead of that film by making her the lead in this one, as well.

“Sherry Lansing, who was heading Paramount at the time, told us, ‘We have to have Lindsay play the lead in ‘Mean Girls.’ It’s just not going to work having her play the villain, because she now has an audience that won’t accept that,’” he told Vulture.