Christopher Briney Lands in ‘Mean Girls’ Territory (2024)

Christopher Briney won the “Mean Girls” lottery.

While he was a student at Pace University, the actor showed up at the August Wilson Theatre with a few friends in hopes of snagging tickets to “Mean Girls,” the musical.

“My friends and I entered the lottery and I won — and then I gave up my tickets because they didn’t win,” says Briney, now 25. “I was like, they’ll enjoy it more than I will.”

His benevolence has been rewarded, and the “Mean Girls” goodwill has come back around. Briney stars in the new “Mean Girls” film, based on that musical adaptation of the original 2004 film. While the movie is also a musical, Briney portrays a non-singing role as Aaron Samuels, the film’s central love interest.

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“I was terrified for a while,” says Briney, seated on a plush chair inside a suite at the Park Lane Hotel and dressed in his latest press look. “I was concerned that they would ask me to [sing] later, but they never did, thankfully,” he adds. “Because I think they would have cut me out of the movie if they heard it.”

It was less than 24 hours since the film’s premiere, and Briney was still processing it all, still in the whirlwind of making press appearances around town. “I think I like it a lot. I think it’s really good,” he says, almost hesitating to preempt audience reaction.

“I have a lot of trouble watching myself and removing myself from the situation, and I was hoping this one would be easier because this movie is so not about Aaron,” he adds. “People have said kind things. You never really know until it’s thrown to the wolves. So we’ll find out soon — I hope people like it.”

Friendly and low-key, the actor is quick to ask about the people around him. He had a somewhat early start to the day — but what about you? For everyone in the room, it was business as usual.

Briney peers out the hotel window overlooking Central Park, marveling at the view from 46 floors up. Although he’s lived in New York for several years — first as a college student at Pace, and now as a full-time professional actor — he’s never seen the park from such an expansive perspective. “Never like this, no. When you see the whole thing, it’s weird.”

Christopher Briney Lands in ‘Mean Girls’ Territory (3)

It’s been a whirlwind few years for Briney, who’s been propelled into the public eye through his breakout role as the brooding Conrad in “The Summer I Turned Pretty.” The popular series brought not only quick fame, but linked him to fan affection for a beloved character. With “Mean Girls,” Briney takes on another love interest cemented in the pop culture lexicon.

Briney admits that, yes, he also is wary of remakes.

“Whenever I see a remake, which this is not — air quotes on a remake — I get nervous. I’m like, why are they remaking something that is so good? But I hope people will go in and be ready for this to live on its own,” he says.

Any nerves about stepping into Aaron’s shoes were calmed by the presence of writer and producer Tina Fey. “I don’t think they would have made it if she didn’t want to make it. I think Tina really felt like this was something she wanted to revisit in this way,” says Briney. “She’s smart. She’s a good writer. She’s a good person. So I trusted her.”

Like many who are Millennial-adjacent (as a Gen Z-er, he’s on the cusp), Briney’s seen the original “Mean Girls” film numerous times, and its various references are deeply ingrained. “I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen it,” he says. “It’s just always been around; things you don’t realize you’re quoting. And then I read the script, and I was like, ‘oh, right! That’s what this is from.’”

Christopher Briney Lands in ‘Mean Girls’ Territory (4)

Filming for the third season of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is still on the horizon — Briney doesn’t yet know when, but assumes they’ll be back on set later this year. The writing and acting strikes that began last summer and continued into the fall meant that Briney had an unexpected free summer to spend at home in New York.

“I hadn’t had the opportunity to spend a summer in New York in a while,” says Briney, who grew up in Connecticut. “So I’ve been sort of jonesing for one for a while,” he adds. “I got to travel a little bit, I got to spend time with my girlfriend and my friends, and I read a little bit. I got to relax.”

He also had more time to spend hitting the green, a newfound passion. Briney began golfing while in North Carolina shooting the second season of “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” “sort of by accident,” he says. “We were so god-awful, but something about it was really fun, and so we kept going back, and we started getting a little better — not much, but a little — to a point where I was like, ‘I kind of enjoy the pace of this sport,’” he adds. “Then I just went crazy this year, and I went golfing like every week.”

Earlier in the fall, he attended the Ryder Cup as a guest of Polo Ralph Lauren. Briney has been delving deeper into the fashion circuit this past year, attending parties for brands including Ralph Lauren, Tag Heuer, Burberry, Thom Browne (which he wore as a guest at WWD Honors), and making front-row appearances at shows for Prada and Louis Vuitton.

“I think exposure to [fashion] has really brought me into it more than anything else,” he says. “I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to fashion. I can’t dress myself — but I can appreciate it, and the opportunity to wear some beautiful things.”

Briney loops the fashion talk back to acting.

“Wearing something makes you feel so specific, and it’s similar with characters. Sometimes while doing editorial [shoots] I’m like, ‘who is this character wearing this? How do the clothes want to be worn right now?’” Later that night, Briney will don a Fendi suit for a post-screening question-and-answer session of the film.

This has been a week of getting to see his city in a new light. The next day — a Wednesday, the most memorable day of the week in the “Mean Girls” universe — Briney joined his costars, and Fey, at the top of the Empire State Building. They lit the tower pink.

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Christopher Briney Lands in ‘Mean Girls’ Territory (2024)


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