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The Parent Trap: Where are they now – 24 YEARS later – as ‘villain’ Elaine Hendrix shares theory

The Parent Trap star Elaine Hendrix left film fans in a frenzy recently when she uploaded a TikTok video in which she justified her character Meredith’s actions and insisted that she didn’t deserve to be portrayed as the villain of the hit movie. 

More than two decades after she shot to fame while portraying the manipulative Meredith in the 1998 Disney flick, Hendrix, 51, shared some thoughts on the character’s role within the film, which also starred Lindsay Lohan in her breakout role as twins Hallie and Annie, as well as Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson as divorced couple Nick and Elizabeth. 

While the movie has become a classic for many in the 24 years since it was released, Hendrix breathed new life into the storyline when she posted a TikTok video about her character in order of its premiere anniversary.  

Using the popular ‘he’s a ten but..’ meme to explain why her character’s fiance, Nick Parker – played by Quaid – should also face criticism for his behavior, noting that he lied to Meredith about the fact that he had two daughters, not one, and hid all information about his ex-wife and second child from her. 

In the video, Hendrix opened up a bottle of wine as Adele’s Easy on Me played in the background. 

‘He’s a ten but he had twins he secretly separated at birth when he broke up with their mother and didn’t tell you about it until the twins discovered each other at camp and swapped places to try and get their parents back together,’ the text read.

Honoring The Parent Trap’s 24th anniversary, Hendrix took to TikTok to defend her character Meredith

She also argued that her character felt threatened when she ‘not so accidentally ran into all of them at the same hotel right before your wedding’ which is why she organized the bonding camping trip but had to put up with ‘little brats’ putting a ‘lizard on her head’ and pushing her ‘air mattress into the lake’ as she was sleeping.  

Fans took to the comments section to support her theory and some even declared that Meredith wasn’t the true villain of The Parent Trap. 

‘Growing up is realizing Meredith Blake was a victim of circumstance not a villain,’ one user wrote.

‘Justice for Meredith Blake she was a successful woman who fell for a hot wine dad who lied about his family & was still in love with his ex,’ another penned in all caps.

As Hendrix has everyone reevaluating the film, here’s what she and the rest of The Parent Trap cast have been up to 24 years after the film hit theaters.  

Lindsey Lohan crashed and burned after becoming a child star but is attempting to reinvigorate her career and her reputation

Lohan starred as twins Annie and Hallie in the film The Parent Trap at age 11

Lohan, pictured in 2022 at age 36, has returned back to acting

Lohan starred as twins Annie and Hallie in the film The Parent Trap at age 11 (pictured left) and in 2022 (pictured right) she declared she’d return to acting

Lohan, 36, was a beloved child star who first won over audiences while starring as twins Annie and Hallie in the 1998 hit movie The Parent Trap – a role that she secured at the tender age of 11.

During the 2020 Parent Trap reunion with Katie Couric, Lohan shared how much the groundbreaking role meant to her.

‘I was so young and it was just so fresh,’ said Lohan. ‘For me, my first movie audition, my first screen test. My first time in front of, you know, people like Nancy and Charles, and on a sound stage. So, I was just, like, a kid.’

The actress connected to her characters as her parents, Dina and Michael Lohan, were also in the process of getting divorced.

 ‘My parents were kind of separating at the time when this was all going on,’ she shared. ‘And it made it a lot easier for me to play these characters that were figuring it out.’

Lohan admitted that it was ‘heart wrenching’ how much she missed her castmates and how watching back some of the scenes ‘really tear me up.’ 

‘I didn’t feel like I was working. It just felt like a really incredible learning experience for me. And a lot of fun,’ she said of making the film.

She added: ‘How do you not want to only act for the rest of your life after doing a film like this, with such great actors . . . I mean, it’s beautiful, it’s timeless and it’s special. It’s just really special. And I just feel really blessed and really grateful to have been a part of it.’

After featuring in the movie, Lohan skyrocketed to fame, quickly racking up a slew of other high-profile credits, including Freaky Friday in 2003 and Mean Girls in 2004. 

'I was so young and it was just so fresh,' said Lohan of her groundbreaking role in The Parent Trap

Lohan called the experience of filming The Parent Trap 'a lot of fun'

‘I was so young and it was just so fresh,’ said Lohan of her groundbreaking role in The Parent Trap and called the experience ‘a lot of fun’

Lohan starred in the 2003 movie Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis

Lohan starred in the 2003 movie Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis

She starred in the hit 2004 film Mean Girls along with Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert

She starred in the hit 2004 film Mean Girls along with Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert

However, the pressures of the industry took a toll on Lohan. 

Lohan made headlines in 2007 when she was arrested for cocaine possession and drunk driving. She described the arrest as ‘totally irresponsible – a stupid mistake’ on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live and insisted it was her first time trying cocaine.

‘And from then on, the press were on me all the time,’ Lohan said. ‘It was the first time I’d taken drugs. I was out in a club with people I shouldn’t have been with, and took cocaine, and got in the car. It was so stupid.’

The actress initially claimed the first time she had tried cocaine was when she was 21 and was never much of a drinker – even though she claimed to have had her first hangover at age 17. 

She insisted that since that incident, she had only used the drug three or four times. During that same interview, she admitted she uses ‘pot’ and ‘Ecstasy’ as her drug of choice.

However, her father Michael claimed that was far from the truth and that she had been doing drugs at least since she was 18 years old, revealing a time he got a call about her overdosing.

‘Lindsay was filming in New Orleans and I got a call saying she had overdosed on cocaine. One of her assistants had given her the drug,’ he told The Sun. ‘I was so angry I got a gun from the house and planned to go to New Orleans to kill him.’

He also accused her of abusing Adderall and vodka at that point. 

It was then that the Mean Girls star got at least a little more candid about her history with drug use. 

During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the actress admitted that she had used cocaine closer to ten to 15 times.

‘I was terrified of being judged,’ she admitted, and additionally fessed up to being an ‘addict’ when it came to alcohol. 

Lohan was arrested in 2010

She was sentenced to prison once again in 2011 after violating her probation

 Lohan was arrested in 2010 (pictured left) and was sentenced to prison once again in 2011 after violating her probation (pictured right)

Since starting her recovery, the former child star returned to the screen, filming an upcoming Netflix movie, Falling For Christmas, with Chord Overstreet in 2021

Since starting her recovery, the former child star returned to the screen, filming an upcoming Netflix movie, Falling For Christmas, with Chord Overstreet in 2021

She also took part in a commercial for sneaker brand All Birds earlier this year

She also took part in a commercial for sneaker brand All Birds earlier this year  

In July 2022, it was revealed that the actress had secretly tied the knot with her boyfriend Bader Shammas, who she got engaged to in 2021

In July 2022, it was revealed that the actress had secretly tied the knot with her boyfriend Bader Shammas, who she got engaged to in 2021

‘That, in the past, was a gateway to other things for me,’ she said. ‘I tried cocaine with alcohol.’

‘I never felt good the next day,’ she said while explaining that she’d have the drug because it ‘allowed me to drink more. It was a party thing. People would have it, and I’d do it.’

Lohan had been in and out of rehab six times by that point. She also opened up about the jail time she did in 2010 for violating her probation and how she saw her own cry for help.

‘Having all the chaos around me that I was so comfortable with, I somewhere inside knew I wanted to go to jail,’ she said. ‘And I think that that was subconsciously being put out there just by my actions, or lack thereof.’ 

She fell of the radar for sometime but re-emerged as a business owner in 2019 and continues to identify as being in recovery. After opening a since-shuttered nightclub in Greece, the former child star got engaged to Bader Shammas in 2021 and announced that she plans on returning to acting.

So far, she has filmed Falling For Christmas with Chord Overstreet – set for release later this year – and some commercials for companies like Planet Fitness and All Birds.

Plus, in July 2022, it was revealed that she and Shammas secretly tied the knot. 

Dennis Quaid continued to be a movie star in the 00s – but his salacious marriage has dominated headlines in recent years 

Quaid played Lohan's father in The Parent Trap at age 44

Quaid has continued to act as pictured in 2019

Quaid played Lohan’s father in The Parent Trap (pictured left) at age 44 and the star continues to act to this day (pictured right in 2019)

Quaid, 68, already had a name by the time he landed The Parent Trap due to his work in Breaking Away (1979) and The Right Stuff (1983).

The Parent Trap was a more light-hearted gig compared his previous work. At age 44, he played Nick, the father of twins who were separated at birth and want to bring their family back together. Even though he’s engaged to Meredith he finds his feelings for his ex-wife, Elizabeth. 

During the Parent Trap reunion, Quaid praised the film and note why he felt it ended up being such a big hit.

‘When it comes down to it, this movie just had some sort of stardust, that was just sprinkled on it, just happened in the ether,’ Quaid explained. 

Not long after, he worked on some of his biggest projects including Frequency (2000), Far From Heaven (2002) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004).

Quaid described The Parent Trap as a 'movie just had some sort of stardust, that was just sprinkled on it'

Quaid described The Parent Trap as a ‘movie just had some sort of stardust, that was just sprinkled on it’

Quaid starred in the 2000 film Frequency

He also starred in Far From Heaven in 2003

Quiad went on to star in films like the 2000 film Frequency (pictured left) and 2003’s Far From Heaven (pictured right) 

Quaid made headlines when he tied the knot with Laura Savoie while he was 66 years old and she was 27 years old, both pictured in 2022

Quaid made headlines when he tied the knot with Laura Savoie while he was 66 years old and she was 27 years old, both pictured in 2022 

The actor even went on to receive an Emmy nomination for playing Bill Clinton in the 2010 miniseries The Special Relationship.  

His love life also made it in to limelight. He not only made headlines for his tumultuous marriage with Meg Ryan but also his recent controversial marriage to Laura Savoie.

He got engaged to the PhD student when he was 65 years old and she was 26 years old and the two tied the knot a year later.

He still acts to this day. He’s currently starring on the show The Rookie and recently filmed the biopic Regan.

During an interview with Broadway World, he described playing the late former president as ‘probably the biggest acting challenge of my life.’ 

He also has tapped back into his musical side and announced that he would tour solo with his music in April 2022. 

Elaine Hendrix has been saying Meredith wasn’t the villain for years – while making a name for herself on the small screen in Dynasty

Hendrix as Meredith in the 1998 hit The Parent Trap at age 26

In 2020, she spoke out for the first time about Meredith not being a villain

Hendrix played Meredith in The Parent Trap (1998) at age 26 and started defending her character as a victim rather than a villain in 2020 (pictured right)

Hendrix, 51, had just started to make a name for herself in Hollywood when she landed Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and then The Parent Trap a year later at age 26.

 ‘I was still new in Hollywood. At that time, I think I was living in this one-bedroom apartment in West Hollywood and Romy and Michele had just come out,’ the actress told Us Weekly of the time.

She added: ‘I was just navigating Hollywood. Not knowing anything. I was driving a Honda Civic and just kind of living my best life trying to figure all this out.’

She was initially asked to join the Mortal Kombat series – both the original and the sequel – but had other conflicts. Fortunately, this allowed for her to be free to join The Parent Trap which ultimately built her legacy.  

‘Anytime you book a gig, much less starring role, in a big studio movie — I was 26 years old; that felt like such an accomplishment. I had Meredith’s same drive and ambition,’ she told Vulture of landing the role.

Speaking of Meredith, Hendrix’s viral TikTok isn’t the first time she has defended her The Parent Trap character.

She praised the people who had already began to broaden their horizons and see Meredith as an ‘inspiration’ during her 2020 Vulture interview. 

Hendrix's first role was in Romy and Michele which lead to her booking The Parent Trap

Hendrix’s first role was in Romy and Michele which lead to her booking The Parent Trap

Hendirx stayed in touch with her The Parent Trap co-star Lisa Ann Walters and they're besties to this day

Hendirx stayed in touch with her The Parent Trap co-star Lisa Ann Walters and they’re besties to this day

Hendrix currently stars on Dynasty

Hendrix currently stars on Dynasty

‘I absolutely am shocked but love that present day there’s scores of gals, a whole generation now, that don’t see Meredith as a villain. They see her as an aspiration,’ she shared.

This is the way Hendrix has felt about the character ever since she first landed the role. 

‘With every character that an actor plays, we have to justify our behaviors, she explained. ‘So, you know, Elaine Hendrix, the actress, knew that Meredith Blake was the villain, but as far as Meredith Blake goes … she just was doing what she needed to get what she wanted in life.’ 

‘She saw nothing wrong with any of this. There is definitely a part of me that feels happy for Meredith Blake that she’s been vindicated,’ she added. 

After The Parent Trap, Hendrix went on to book some a number of TV gigs, her biggest being the 2015 series Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and Dynasty – which is still currently running. 

Even though The Parent Trap was over 20 years ago, she has managed to stay in touch with some of her co-stars including Lisa Ann Walter, Simon Kunz and Maggie Wheeler.  

In fact, the Internet recently lost its mind after she wished Walter a happy birthday. 

 ‘Happy Birthday to my ride or die. My life sister. My bestie. The one who always has my back and with whom I’m growing old,’ she wrote on Instagram of Walter.

‘I sure as heck am glad you were born. What I’m the world would I have done if you hadn’t been? I shudder to think. I love you. Happy Birthday.’

Natasha Richardson tragically died nine years after The Parent Trap’s release following a horrific skiing accident 

Richardson attended the Parent Trap premiere in 1998 at age 35

She tragically passed in 2009 at age 45 due to a brain injury

Richardson played Elizabeth in 1998 film The Parent Trap (pictured left) and is remembered by her co-stars dearly after she passed away in 2009 (pictured right) due to a brain injury at age 45

Natasha Richardson’s role in The Parent Trap was one of the many legacies she left behind after tragically passing away in 2009.

Richardson died at the young age of 45 after falling during a ski trip and sustaining a brain injury that ended up being fatal.

At age 35, she played Elizabeth, the doting mother of the twins who, thanks to their help, ends up reconnecting with and falling in love with their father again. 

During the Parent Trap reunion, he co-stars gushed about how lovely it was to work with the late actress. 

‘Natasha had such an elegance and grace, and she was so maternal to me,’ Lohan said of her on-screen mom.

In The Parent Trap, she played Elizabeth, the doting mother of the twins who, thanks to their help, ends up reconnecting with and falling in love with their father again

In The Parent Trap, she played Elizabeth, the doting mother of the twins who, thanks to their help, ends up reconnecting with and falling in love with their father again

Richardson starred in Maid in Manhattan in 2002

She also starred in Asylum in 2005

Richardson starred in Maid in Manhattan in 2002 (pictured left) and Asylum in 2005 (pictured right)

Richardson was revered for being 'elegant' on set and praising her husband Liam Neeson, pictured above in 2008

Richardson was revered for being ‘elegant’ on set and praising her husband Liam Neeson, pictured above in 2008

‘Somebody so giving and so glad to be there and transmitted that joy of being able to do what we do. And it just made everything that much better,’ Quaid said of his on-screen love interest. 

Hendrix, who wasn’t present for the reunion, also doted on the late star during an interview with Us Weekly, sharing how much the actress praised her husband, Liam Neeson, and their kids.

‘I just remember in real life, thinking how elegant Natasha was and how she literally would swoon when she talked about Liam Neeson and when she talked about her children,’ she shared.

Her son, Micheál, has only backed that up and over time, has proven how much his mom meant to him. While speaking with People, he shared that re-watches The Parent Trap when he misses his mother. 

‘I just see her so much as that person,’ he revealed. ‘I’m so lucky too, because she’s passed away, I can still watch her and see how she worked and also it’s a great thing to have.’ 

On top of The Parent Trap, she starred in Maid in Manhattan (2002), Asylum (2005) and Wild Child (2008) before she passed.

Lisa Ann Walter still gets recognized her The Parent Trap character on the set of Abbott Elementary

Walter played Lohan's nanny Chessy in The Parent Trap at age 35

She continues to act in 2022 at age 59

Walter played Lohan’s nanny Chessy in The Parent Trap (pictured left) at age 35 and continues to act in 2022 (pictured right) at age 59

Lisa Ann Walter landed the role of Chessy in the Parent Trap, one of her biggest roles at age 35. Her character was Lohan’s character’s nanny and was revered as a fan favorite.

The actress, 59 took her preparation for the role very seriously. During an interview with TODAY, the actress explained what she did to her appearance in order to land the role.

 ‘I went in for the first read and they said, “don’t dress up’ and ‘dress down and don’t be fancy.” So I wore what I thought was dressed down,’ she explained. However, it didn’t seem to be enough.

‘The second time I went in they were like “No seriously, dress down,”‘ she shared so she really delivered for the second audition. 

She not only wore ‘no makeup’ and ‘put her hair in a pony’ but she also ‘wore her son’s pants’ and ‘tried to look as goofy as possible.’

Walter said that 'shooting was not easy' since Lohan played twins and they had to film everything twice

Walter said that ‘shooting was not easy’ since Lohan played twins and they had to film everything twice

Since The Parent Trap, the actress went on to star in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty

Since The Parent Trap, the actress went on to star in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty

Walter claims that she and her co-star Hendrix became 'best friends' by 'creating their own fun' behind the scenes while filming The Parent Trap

Walter claims that she and her co-star Hendrix became ‘best friends’ by ‘creating their own fun’ behind the scenes while filming The Parent Trap

Walter says kids still recognize her as Chessy while filming Abbott Elementary in 2002

Walter says kids still recognize her as Chessy while filming Abbott Elementary in 2002

When discussing the process of filming The Parent Trap, she surprisingly said the most fun part was in between scenes rather than being on camera. 

‘Shooting was not easy because the technology of shooting both sides [of Lohan playing the twins] was so new. Now CGI has grown so it’s not so painstaking,’ she explained, adding that what they were doing was ‘groundbreaking’ at the time.

However, with the boredom blossomed a beautiful friendship with her co-star Elaine, who played Meredith. 

‘We did everything twice. So part of the reason Elaine and I became best friends on that set is we spent a lot of time creating fun for ourselves back in the trailers while we waited for setups to happen,’ she added.

Since The Parent Trap, the actress went on to star in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty. She also landed TV gigs like GLOW and most recently, Abbott Elementary.

Funnily enough, the kids in Abbott Elementary recognize her for her the Parent Trap role decades later. 

‘On set the little kids that we have are six, seven years old. They’ll hear me talk. I mean, I think I look similar, but with dark hair, and I’m not blonde anymore,’ she told Us Weekly.

“But the kids recognize my voice and then they’ll go, ‘You were the nanny! And Quinta [Brunson] will just sit there and go, ‘That is an entire baby that just recognized you from a movie that was shot 24 years ago.’”

Kat Graham’s role in The Parent Trap led to a successful acting career

Graham got her big break after playing Jackie in The Parent Trap at nine years old

She continues to act to this day, pictured in 2022, at age 32

Graham got her big break after playing Jackie in The Parent Trap (pictured left) at nine years old and continues to act to this day, pictured in 2022 (pictured right) at age 32

The Parent Trap served as Kat Graham’s first-ever Hollywood role. At just nine years old, Graham played Jackie – one of Annie’s closest camp friends.

The role holds a very special place in Graham’s heart and at age 32, she remembers it well even though she was just nine years old at the time.  

‘I was in it and it was like, the first film I did, and I went with my mom to the set and I remember Lindsay very, very well, and Hallie and all the kids there… I remember a lot more of that even more than even the things over the past 10 years,’ she told ET in 2020. 

“And I also remember etiquette. I remember being on set and really observing what being on set was like and how, you know, what made people happy and what made people sad. You know, what was frustrating, what went easy.’ 

She landed her biggest role as Bonnie Bennett in The CW series The Vampire Diaries in 2009 and continued to play the role until the show ended in 2017

She landed her biggest role as Bonnie Bennett in The CW series The Vampire Diaries in 2009 and continued to play the role until the show ended in 2017

One of her biggest on screen credits includes the 2020 film Cut Throat City

One of her biggest on screen credits includes the 2020 film Cut Throat City

To this day, Graham says she has vivid memories of filming The Parent Trap

To this day, Graham says she has vivid memories of filming The Parent Trap

 ‘As a kid, you know, you forget, and sometimes people underestimate what a kid pays attention to. When I was a kid, I paid attention to a lot. And that experience in a lot of ways shaped who I wanted to be.’

She also recalled how she and Lohan grew closer while having to return for reshoots. 

‘She introduced me to Hanson’s ‘MMMBop’ … and also … Sugar Ray,’ she shared. ‘She introduced me to a whole new age of music and I went down that rabbit hole for a minute. … I definitely remember her introducing me to some really cute pop.’

Graham’s career continued to blossom after The Parent Trap. She landed her biggest role as Bonnie Bennett in The CW series The Vampire Diaries in 2009 and continued to play the role until the show ended in 2017.

Since then, she has returned to the big screen in films like All Eyez on Me (2017), How It Ends (2018) and Cut Throat City (2020). 

Hallie Meyers-Shyer followed in her director mom’s footsteps after The Parent Trap

Meyers-Shyer played Annie's friend Lindsay in The Parent Trap at age 11

Myers-Shyer now has a directing credit under her name, pictured in 2018

Meyers-Shyer played Annie’s friend Lindsay in The Parent Trap (pictured left) at age 11 and has gone on to act more and direct (pictured 2018)

Hallie Meyers-Shyer, 35, played a very important role in The Parent Trap. Not only did she play one of Annie’s closest friends, Lindsay, at age 11, but the film was also dedicated to her.

The Parent Trap’s director, Nancy Meyers, is Meyers-Shyer’s real-life mother. Plus, the film’s writer, Charles Shyer, is her father. So it’s safe to say The Parent Trap was truly a family affair.

After The Parent Trap, she continued to act in What Women Want (2000) and The Affair of the Necklace (2001). 

The Parent Trap's director, Nancy Meyers, is Meyers-Shyer's real-life mother, both pictured in 1998

The Parent Trap’s director, Nancy Meyers, is Meyers-Shyer’s real-life mother, both pictured in 1998

She followed in her mother's footsteps directing, writing and producing the 2017 film Home Again

She followed in her mother’s footsteps directing, writing and producing the 2017 film Home Again

Nowadays, she's enjoying life with her husband Ophir Tanz

Nowadays, she’s enjoying life with her husband Ophir Tanz

Prior to that, she had been in Father of the Bride (1991) and I Love Trouble (1994).

The actress then began to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She directed, wrote and produced the 2017 film Home Again which starred Reese Witherspoon.

Nowadays, she’s enjoying life with her husband Ophir Tanz and their son Julien Benedict, who was born in April 2021. 



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