Famous for her work on Mean Girls and Party of Five, actress Lacey Chabert isn’t as young as she once was.

She looked like she would keep shining at the height of her Mean Girls popularity, but co-star Rachel McAdams went on to become the movie’s Hollywood favourite, starring in films such as Spotlight, Wedding Crashers, and The Notebook.

Even Amanda Seyfried and Lindsay Lohan, who starred in Mean Girls together, managed to maintain their prominence; Seyfried was cast in highly regarded roles, while Lohan was just Lindsay Lohan.

What, though, has Lacey Chabert been up to in the intervening years? Actually, she’s discovered her calling elsewhere.

This is how Lacey Chabert has managed to succeed over the years.

A change in priority

In September 2016, Lacey Chabert gave birth to her first child, a girl called Julia Mimi Bella.

E! News reports that the actress entered full nesting mode in anticipation of her daughter’s arrival, organising the nursery and even having a pre-interview conversation with her furry companion, a chihuahua named Kitty.

Even though Chabert was clearly thrilled to have daughter Julia, it’s possible that becoming a parent caused her priorities to change.

This was made clear when Chabert spoke about the difficulties of juggling life as a working mother in the entertainment industry and her new professional path during the press tour for her 16th—yes, you read that right—Hallmark film in the autumn and winter of 2018.

In November 2018, Chabert stated to the Clarion Ledger, “If you had told me two years ago that this is what my career would look like today, I think I would’ve been surprised, but it’s such a great fit for who I am and where I am in my life right now.” 

She will always be associated with Gretchen Wieners

The catchphrase “that’s so fetch” was first used by Chabert, who played the legendary Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls. Maybe she’s still viewed by Hollywood as that stupid adolescent whose dad invented Toaster Strudel?

After all, it’s really simple to get typecast in Hollywood — just take a look at the perpetually quirky Helena Bonham Carter or the beloved romantic actress Jennifer Aniston.

In Chabert’s instance, a single film still encompasses her entire career identity, at least in terms of her more mainstream work. Chabert stated to Entertainment Weekly in 2014, a decade after the Mean Girls premiere, that “People tweet me every day hundreds of times, if not thousands of times [with] lines from the movie.”

To be fair, though, she’s not bothered by the association. Indeed, Chabert stated to Star in December 2018 that she “would love to be a part of it” if a sequel were ever developed. Make Tina Fey a call right now!

The Hallmark films starring Lacey Chabert…

As of this writing, Lacey Chabert had starred in well over 20 Hallmark Channel programmes.

For any channel, let alone one that specialises in the campy, sugary sweet fare that no mother on earth could resist, that’s a lot of productions. But if you’re hoping for an Oscar nomination or the next huge blockbuster smash, Hallmark isn’t exactly the place to go.

A few other well-known people that have acted in Hallmark films are Jennifer Love Hewitt, Danica McKellar, and Dean Cain.

When did you last see them in a movie with an A-list cast? Nevertheless, Chabert is clearly pleased with her new network and the heartwarming shows it produces—which she referred to as “like comfort food” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

It’s also no accident that she creates a lot of holiday-themed content for Hallmark. “I love Christmas. Anyone who knows me will tell you how obsessed I am about it,” Chabert said to the Clarion Ledger. “I wish it was longer than just a month out of the year. So it’s natural that I would enjoy making Christmas movies.”

Perhaps Lacey Chabert’s beliefs kept her from greater parts

There is a belief in Tinseltown circles that having a strong Christian faith doesn’t always translate into success (Mel Gibson and Candace Cameron Bure come to mind).

In 2014, Hercules TV series actor Kevin Sorbo said to CNS News, “I think being a conservative in Hollywood and being a Christian in Hollywood, you get attacked.” Chabert starred in Christian Mingle that same year, which only received three “rotten” ratings overall from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Is it feasible that Chabert’s public declaration of her religious views is a contributing factor in her lack of success in Hollywood?

“My faith has always been, you know, the center of my life, and I have no shame about saying that,” Chabert stated during a behind-the-scenes interview for Christian Mingle.

In addition, she gave an explanation for her attraction to the movie character, adding, “I think it’s beautiful that she comes to a point where her faith is something that’s very personal and alive for her, and I think it’s a nice message.”

Chabert also made a suggestion that she wouldn’t entertain some film parts because of how a character’s faith is portrayed in the work.

Lacey Chabert’s films haven’t made much money

A-list celebrities Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson made $46 million and $25 million in 2016, respectively, according to Forbes. They are profitable due of the success of their films.

Sadly for Chabert, except from Mean Girls and a few other hits, her films fall short. It could be that casting directors are hesitant to take a chance on an actor who hasn’t been in a big-budget film in over a decade.

Although Chabert’s estimated net worth of $4 million is nothing to laugh at for the average person, it is significantly less spectacular when compared to some of her peers.

The film Daddy Day Care, a poorly received 2003 slapstick comedy about parenting starring Eddie Murphy, was actually Chabert’s biggest undertaking.

That movie made over $104 million domestically, according to The Numbers, but does anyone connect Chabert with it? Most likely not.

After Mean Girls became popular a year later and made over $86 million domestically in 2004, Chabert’s success has cooled down. In contrast, Lawrence’s 2015 box office success with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 was over $281 million.

What happened to Lacey Chabert at Family Guy?

Working with Chabert might not be the simplest for an actress. She was the first choice to play Meg Gryphon in the hugely popular Family Guy TV series, but Mila Kunis took her place because of contractual difficulties, according to The Huffington Post.

Though the actress and the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, have both provided more polite answers, there are rumours that Chabert had a falling out with the programme.

Chabert stated to GameSpy (via The Huffington Post): “I actually left the show of my own accord. And only because I was in school and doing Party of Five at the time. But I think the show is hilarious, and don’t have a grudge against [Kunis] at all. I think she’s a great actress.” No one could “even remember” why Chabert quit, MacFarlane admitted to IGN. “It was nothing–-there was no tension or anything.” He added, “[Kunis] was in a lot of ways, I thought, almost more right for the character.” 

All of it seems reasonable, but how does one explain this overt Family Guy episode clip? We’ll let your judge…

Lacey Chabert is a small town girl at heart

Despite having achieved success with Party of Five and Mean Girls, Lacey Chabert’s uncle, a Purvis, Miss. pastor, told the Clarion Ledger that “none of this movie stuff has gone to her head.” Chabert expressed similar feelings to the newspaper, stating that she makes an effort to see her “extended family” who still resides in Purvis, where she resided until the age of seven.

“Purvis is a place I’m extremely proud to be from. I appreciate the values that were instilled in me there,” she said, adding. “I love the people and appreciate the support they’ve shown me throughout the years.”

It makes sense to assume that Chabert would turn down jobs requiring a lot of travel in order to be near her family. Regarding those values she mentioned from her little town? That might have also influenced her job decisions.

She wants to branch out into other aspects of the biz

Although it is evident that Lacey Chabert is comfortable being in front of the camera, she has also formed career goals that will need her to spend an increasing amount of time away from the spotlight as she pursues them.

In an interview with the Clarion Ledger, Chabert revealed that in addition to serving as the Hallmark Channel’s unofficial face, she also works there behind the scenes.

Regarding her new position as executive producer, Chabert told the newspaper, “I’m more motivated than ever.” “There are so many stories I want to tell, and I’d like to get into different aspects of the business. My thing is, I love telling a story … And I remember being on the set of Party of Five and watching and absorbing everything that goes into making a show. And that’s what I’d like to focus on professionally at some point.”

Chabert appears to have accomplished this, as evidenced by her seven producer credits on Hallmark films between 2016 and 2020, according to her IMDb biography.

Not only that, but she also starred in each of those shows, along with an astounding seven more leading parts in Hallmark films that she isn’t producing. Did Hollywood bundle her up and send her to Hallmark?

On her own terms, Lacey Chabert is making it work

Despite spending years operating beneath the general public’s notice, Chabert appears to have blazed a very successful path for herself.

She’s been cast in several vocal roles, including Scooby Doo and The Wild Thornberrys! Menace of Mecha Mutt. Merely pursuing that path might potentially lead her back to the A-List, akin to Anna Kendrick in Trolls or Reese Witherspoon in Sing, or simply maintain her relevance by gaining a new following of younger people.

Chabert, though, might be starting to follow Jessica Alba’s lead and become a mompreneur. Chabert continuously promoted Tyson Meal Kits, which she endorses, while on her press tour in late 2018.

Examples of these are here and here. She also said to Good Housekeeping that the brand and Hallmark’s current style of photography—hint: fast—go hand in hand.

Speaking of Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe, which was released in 2018, Chabert said Good Housekeeping, “This movie — and most Hallmark movies, in fact — was shot in 15 days.”

She continued, saying, “Working and being a very hands-on mom is a challenge but I’m thankful to work at a place that makes it easier for me,” she added, before plugging — you guessed it — Tyson Meal Kits again, which she described as “quicker and stress free.”

Well, somebody is aware of where her bread is buttered these days, and it’s not the huge studio system in Hollywood.

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