As far as Legally Blonde fans are concerned, there is only one Vivian Kensington: the pearl-loving, beret-wearing college student who forms an unlikely friendship with Elle Woods. In the 2001 film, Vivian was played by Selma Blair, who brought the “frigid b—h” to life with her argyle sweaters and Harry Winston engagement ring.
But there was a time in Legally Blonde‘s run when Blair wasn’t Vivian. “I was the last person cast, and I remember Chloe Sevigny passed,” Blair tells EW, jokingly adding, “Her fingers are much too elegant; they needed someone with a bony little finger.”
Blair recalls being in New York filming Down to You with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles when she got a call to meet Legally Blonde director Robert Luketic. “I went on tape, and I remember he said I needed to have my face fall more,” she says with a laugh. “He wanted Vivian to have that shift.”
Landing the role meant reuniting with Reese Witherspoon, with whom she’d worked on 1999’s Cruel Intentions. “I was very nervous on my first day of shooting,” Blair remembers. “I was still starstruck with Reese, even though I knew her and we were friends.” As for that first day of shooting, Blair’s first scene as Vivian was her formal introduction to Elle at Harvard, when Warner reveals that he’s engaged to someone new.
And there’s one other thing she remembers about that scene: “They waxed my forehead,” Blair says. “My forehead is very exotic, for lack of a better word. It looks like a map of Texas upside down. They were like, ‘We’ll do more of an East Coast hairline,’ as in not ethnic, I think. So they waxed it round, and the rest of the movie my hair is growing in and they’re having to put makeup on my forehead.”