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Elaine Hendrix's "Parent Trap" character Meredith Blake has grown in popularity in recent years.
She thinks younger generations find it "appealing" that Meredith was "weaponizing her femininity."
"She knew she could use her youth and beauty to get what she wanted," Hendrix told Insider.
When Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix) chats with Annie Parker (Lindsay Lohan) in Nancy Meyers' 1998 comedy "The Parent Trap," her attempts at forming an alliance with her fiancé's skeptical 11-year-old quickly dissolve into a game of hardball.
"Being young and beautiful is not a crime, you know," the 26-year-old publicist says.
Perhaps Meredith was right all along, but to many, she was still the cold-hearted, gold-digging other woman standing between vineyard owner Nick Parker (Dennis Quaid) and gown designer Elizabeth James (Natasha Richardson).
In the 23 years that have passed since the film's premiere, Meredith has been revisited, reexamined, and repopularized. Her recent revival has come at the hands of social media-savvy "youngsters," as Hendrix called them during an interview with Insider.
"She was weaponizing her femininity," the actress explained of Meredith. "She knew she could use her youth and beauty to get what she wanted."
Hendrix added: "Being unapologetic about that probably is appealing these days because this generation is all about owning who you are, whoever you are. Own it and be proud of it."
As for the now-50-year-old actress, she never considered Meredith to be the story's villain. "Finally, she's getting her due," Hendrix said.
Meredith would be 'perfect' for the social media age
Some of Meredith's more memorable scenes (her poolside gaze from underneath her sunhat) and biting lines ("Ice woman and proud of it, babe") have taken on a new life online.
From TikTok style guides showing viewers how to recreate Meredith's custom-fitted looks to videos on the platform imitating her disastrous camping trip, the character's prominence has only grown over the years.
"People loved to hate her, and now people just love her," Hendrix said.
Those that watched "The Parent Trap" as children are also realizing that they're now the same age as Meredith. Many are taken aback by the empathy (and, in some cases, admiration) they feel when reconsidering the situation from her point of view.
And Hendrix imagines that Meredith would mesh well with her newfound fanbase. She said Meredith's snappy personality, unapologetic confidence, and sharp '90s style would have made her a shoo-in for social media stardom.
"I think she's perfect for that now, and I think she would have been perfect for it then," she said.
Hendrix plays into Meredith's renewed relevancy
The actress has been cast in a variety of roles since appearing in "The Parent Trap," but Meredith clearly left an impression.
Hendrix regularly makes references to the character on her own social media pages, ensuring that even if Meredith's engagement to Nick fell through, her influence will live on.
When fans write about Meredith, she'll often let the character do the talking by recycling her lines.
After a Twitter user said that "as kids we all used to hate her but now it's what we all aspire to be," Hendrix drew upon the fictional 26-year-old's tried-and-true mantra.
She wrote: "Being [less] young & [still] beautiful isn't a crime you know."
Read the original article on Insider