The Mean Girls star who turned her back on Family Guy

Mila Kunis owes a lot of her post-That 70s Show success to Lacey Chabert.

The Mean Girls cast.
The Fab Four All four of Mean Girls main stars. Image Paramount

Mean Girls is a movie that has not only garnered a cult following since its release in June 2004 but also helped launch the careers of several notable names.

It helped further cement Lindsay Lohan’s star status while showcasing the writing talent of Saturday Night Live alumni and future 30 Rock creator Tina Fey.

Amy Poehler and Lizzy Caplan also appeared while the “Plastics” clique produced two more future stars in Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried.

No one ever talks about Lacey Chabert though and, yet, that could have been so, so different.

Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls
Chabert is a Mean Girl But she was also a Family Guy. Image Paramount

One third of the “Plastics” alongside McAdams and Seyfried, Chabert could and probably should have been a household name by now.

A one-time Maxim cover girl, Chabert enjoyed a busy career in her younger years, having made her name alongside Matthew Fox and Neve Campbell on Party of Five, which ran for six years and a total of 142 episodes.

She also carved out a career in voice acting, where she is arguably best remembered for providing the voice to Eliza Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys.

Yet it was her voice work on another cartoon that many perhaps have overlooked – as Meg Griffin on Family Guy.

That’s right, before Mila Kunis arrived on the show, Chabert was the voice of the Meg, featuring in the show’s initial 13-episode run back in 1999.

When the show returned for a second series however, Chabert was gone with Kunis brought in in her place – so what happened?

Lacey Chabert poses for Maxim
Lacey Chabert poses for Maxim The original Meg Image Maxim - Stephan Wurth

Speaking to IGN a few years back, creator Seth MacFarlane explained that Chabert’s exit was “purely a contractual thing”.

“I think there was a mistake in her contract, and I guess she had not intended to be involved for, like, the full run of the show,” he said.

“It was nothing – there was no tension or anything. She wanted to go, and she was very cool about it.”

Chabert, meanwhile, told GameSpy that her premature exit was a result of her essentially having too busy a schedule to commit to the show in the long-term.

“I actually left the show of my own accord,” she explained.

“And only because I was in school and doing Party of Five at the time.

Chabert has gone on to enjoy a solid career though with regular credits in horror films like Thirst, Scarecrow and Black Christmas as well as in several Hallmark movies.

Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls
Lacey Chabert in Mean Girls What really happened on Family Guy though? Image Paramount

She also continues to provide voice work on a range of animated projects, with her past TV work and continuing endeavours giving her a net worth of $9 million according to The Richest.

There must be some small sense of “what if?” for Chabert though.

Granted, Kunis was already a star of sorts for her work on That 70s Show, but Family Guy certainly kept her in the spotlight.

Her work on the show would have undoubtedly played a part in MacFarlane’s decision to cast her in Ted – a film that helped cement her status as a major Hollywood star.

Whatever happens though, Chabert has already enjoyed a career most can only dream of with Party of Five and Mean Girls both pretty good highlights. The best could be yet to come.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.