20 The Parent Trap (1998) Movie Facts You Haven't Read Before

Behind the scenes facts about The Parent Trap (1998) which was co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers.  It is a remake of the 1961 film of the same name. The 1998 version of The Parent Trap stars Lindsay Lohan in the role of the transatlantic twins, Hallie Parker and Annie James. The Parent Trap movie facts include why the twins are named Hallie and Annie, which members of Lohan's family made cameo appearances and the deleted scenes audiences missed out on. 

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One of the most iconic films of our childhoods is The Parent Trap from 1998 co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers. It is a remake of the 1961 film of the same name starring Hayley Mills as the twins and Maureen O’Hara as the Mum. Both films are based off Erich Kästner's 1949 novel Lottie and Lisa (Das Doppelte Lottchen). The 1998 version of The Parent Trap starrs Lindsay Lohan in the role of the transatlantic twins, Hallie Parker and Annie James. Dennis Quaid was the plaid wearing, Californian Grape growing Dad, Nicholas Parker. Elizabeth James, the famous British Wedding Dress Designer, was played by Natasha Richardson. The twins find out that they are in fact long separated siblings when they meet at a Summer Camp in Maine. The pair then decide to switch to get to know the other parent before hatching a plan to bring them both together again.

At the box office, The Parent Trap grossed $92.1 million against a $15 million budget. It received both positive reviews from critics and audiences with Lindsay Lohan’s performance earning particular praise. It took eight months, three weeks and two days to shoot and was Nancy Meyer's debut as a director.

1. An Acting Double Was Used In The Twin Scenes

While Lindsay Lohan played both twins Hallie and Annie, she also had an acting double in the twin scenes. Erin Mackey played Lohan’s double and has since gone on to play Glinda in the Chicago, Los Angeles, Broadway and Second National Tour of Wicked. For her split screen scenes, Lindsay Lohan wore an earpiece which would play back the dialogue of the other sister.

2. Lindsay Lohan’s Brother Starred In The Parent Trap

Lindsay Lohan‘s brother Michael Junior also appeared in the film  The Parent Trap. He is the lost boy who shows up at the girls' Summer Camp. Lindsay's siblings regularly appear as extras in her movies.

3. Actually, All Of Lindsay Lohan’s Family Starred in The Parent Trap

When Hallie arrives in London and meets Martin at the airport and the two begin their greeting, you can see Lindsay Lohan's Mother holding her brother Dakota Lohan, and beside her is Michael Lohan and sister Aliana Lohan. If you watch closely, Aliana can be seen turning around to see Lindsay, then her Mother turns to look as well.

4. The Twins Are Named After Nancy Meyer’s Daughters 

The twins in this version of  The Parent Trap are named after the daughters of director Nancy Meyers' and producer Charles Shyer, Annie Meyers-Shyer and Hallie Meyers-Shyer, both of whom have small parts in the film. Hallie plays a girl at camp at the beginning who asks where the Navajo bunk is and Annie plays the towel girl at the hotel who brings Elizabeth a first aid kit. Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s character is actually named Lindsay!

5. How Old was Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap?

Lindsay Lohan was just 12 years old when she starred in The Parent Trap. She started her career as a child model at the age of three appearing in advertisements for Calvin Klein Kids and Abercrombie as well as Pizza Hut and Wendy’s. At the age of 10 she played Alexandra Fowler in the television soap opera Another World and remained in her role for a year before leaving to star in  The Parent Trap in 1998. She pretended to be ill to skip school and for her first audition for The Parent Trap. Director Nancy Meyers picked Lohan to play the dual role in the film and phoned the Lohan household herself, to let the young actress know that she had got the part.

When the film was finally released, film critic Kenneth Turan Called her “the soul of this film as much as Hayley Mills was in the original… She is more adept than her predecessor at creating 2 distinct personalities.” 

6. Natasha Richardson Has A Family Connection To The Parent Trap

Director Tony Richardson (Natasha's Father) lived on the exact same street that Natasha's character Elizabeth James lived on in The Parent Trap. In the hotel, Annie tells her Mum that her dad is marrying Meredith aka ‘Cruella de Vil’. Natasha Richardson's sister, Joely Richardson played Anita in the live action 101 Dalmatians in 1996.

7. The Parent Trap Isn’t The Only Swapping Film Lindsay Lohan Has Made

Since the Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan has starred in a few other films that include a swapping storyline including Freaky Friday (2003) where her character swaps bodies with their Mum. Then again in Just My Luck (2006), her character swaps fortunes with a man.

8. Every Actor Under The Sun Was Considered For The Role Of Nicholas Parker!

David Hasselhoff, Richard Gere, Jeff Bridges, Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze and Pierce Brosnan,Bill Murray, Harrison Ford, Jeff Daniels, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kevin Costner, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, Bill Paxton, Michael Keaton, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and Robin Williams were all considered for the role of Nick Parker!

9. Meredith Blake Was Named After an Agatha Christie Character

The name Meredith Blake was chosen as a reference to a male character in "Five Little Pigs" one of the stories written by Agatha Christie. An adaptation of that story was produced for the Television series Poirot in 1989.

10. Parker Knoll Is A Real Company

Nick Parker's vineyard in California is called Parker Knoll. This is actually the name of a famous British furniture company, another link between the UK and the USA. The Vineyard was filmed on location in Rutherford, California at the Stalin Family Vineyard.

11. Jenna Malone Turned Down The Role of Hallie/Annie Multiple Times

Over 1500 actors submitted an audition tape for the role of the Parker/James twins, Hallie and Annie. The Parent Trap director Nancy Myers said that she was looking for “a little Diane Keaton” to play the role. Other actors who were considered for the part were Scarlett Johansson, Mara Wilson, Michelle Trachtenberg and Jenna Malone. 

Jenna Malone turned down the role of the twins multiple times. To find the right person who would play Hallie and Annie, a search was conducted across Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto, and London and had open calls in New York and Los Angeles.

12. Camp Walden Was Modelled On A Real Camp in Denmark

Shooting for The Parent Trap began in July 1997 in London and later continued in Napa Valley, San Francisco, Lake Arrowhead and Los Angeles California in December. 

Camp Walden was filmed on location at an existing summer camp, Camp Seely in Crestline, California and was based on a for girls with the same name in Denmark, Maine. There isn’t an “Isolation Cabin” and the camp only runs seven weeks as opposed to eight.

The Stafford Hotel where Nick and Elizabeth meet to switch back their daughters is fictional however the exterior was shot at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California. The interior and pool scenes were filmed at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray, California. 

13. There Are Several Connections Between The 1998 and 1961 Films

• Marva Kulp Sr. and Marva Kulp Jr. are named after Nancy Kulp who played the camp counselor back in the 1961 film, Miss Grunecker.
• Both the original The Parent Trap and the remake are exactly 2 hours and 9 minutes long.
• Both versions feature product placement from Nabisco; Oreos in 1998, Fig Newtons in 1961.
• During the pool scene where Annie and Meredith meet, Meredith is on the phone with Reverend Mosby, who was a character in the 1961 film played by Leo G. Carroll.
• Joanna Barnes appears in both films playing Vicky Robinson in 196 and Vicki Blake 1998.
• The Stafford Hotel is named after a boy in the 1961 film that Susan talks to at a dance.
• There are bunk houses named Arapahoe in both films.
• Lohan can be heard singing "Let's Get Together" as she walks into the elevator at the Stafford Hotel. This song is from the 1961 original.
• By the time the 1998 version came out, all of the cast members that played adult family members in the original 1961 film had passed away except for Maureen O'Hara, who played the twins' mother. Sadly, she also outlived Natasha Richardson, who played the Mother in the remake.

14. The Film Ranked Number 2 At The Box Office Behind Saving Private Ryan

The film premiered in Los Angeles on the 20th of July 1998 and in its opening weekend grossed over $11 million in 2247 cinemas in the USA and Canada. It ranks second at the Box Office behind Saving Private Ryan. The Parent Trap was released in the UK on 11th December 1998. It was also available as a launch title on Disney+ in March 2020.

15. There Are Many Deleted Scenes In The Parent Trap Including…

A scene that slots between Hallie and Martin meeting at Heathrow Airport and Hallie meeting her Mother and Grandfather. Hallie is in a limo with Martin and they come across Buckingham Palace. She gets out and tries to get one of the guards to move. The guards then crowd around in formation as the Queen exits Buckingham Palace in a car. The window rolls down and Hallie speaks to the Queen, getting confused with 'Your Highness' or 'Your Majesty' or whether to curtsy. The Queen promises not to tell a soul and moves off. 

Director Nancy Meyers had a difficult time getting the correct uniforms, location and someone to play the Queen. Although amusing, the scene  was ultimately deleted due to pacing problems.

A deleted scene appears in the trailer showing Hallie standing outside in the Vineyard where she sees a shooting star and sings "Starlight, Starbright". Annie also appears standing outside her window.

There is an extended ending of The Parent Trap where Hallie says to Annie, "You guys are going to love living in California." Annie replies: "California? You guys are going to love living in London." Hallie says, "London?" Sammy is barking at a poodle nextdoor while Chessy and Martin kiss.

16. The Molasses Wouldn’t Behave

The scene in which Lindsay Lohan steps out barefoot into sticky molasses was shot around 10 times because the crew felt that it wasn’t sticking between her toes correctly!

17. Dennis Quaid Is More Like Nick Parker Than You Think…

Dennis Quaid plays the twin’s Father in The Parent Trap and in 2007 he actually became the father of two twin boys with his wife Kimberly. Also in the film, Quaid’s character Nick is engaged to 26 year old Meredith Blake. In real life, he married his fourth wife when she was 26 years old! As a result, his co-star Elaine Hendrix who played Blake in The Parent Trap tweeted "better watch out for those twins"!

18. Lindsay Lohan Is Allergic To Horses

Despite being involved in the horse-riding scene in which Nick Parker tries to tell Annie that he's engaged to Meredith, Lindsay Lohan is allergic to horses!

19. Elizabeth James Isn't A Usual Disney Mother

Something very different from Disney's usual classics, is that Natasha Richardson's character Elizabeth James gets drunk deliberately and smokes! Showing a Mother doing these things is not something usually shown in Walt Disney Pictures.

20. "Actually" Is Said A Total Of 23 Times

The word "actually" is both said and sung 23 times during The Parent Trap. The last time is in the last line of the film where the twins say, "We actually did it!"

The Parent Trap Movie - 20 The Parent Trap (1998) Movie Facts You Haven't Read Before

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