Legally Blonde could have had a queer ending, and fans are absolutely losing their minds.
The 2001 film inspired a generation of girls and gays to become lawyers and to unapologetically wear pink in professional environments – but in a different universe, it could have revolutionised queer representation on screen.
In a New York Times discussion marking the 20th anniversary of Legally Blonde, Jessica Cauffiel – who played Margot in the film – dished the details on a queer ending that didn’t make the cut.
Cauffiel was joined by Legally Blonde screenwriters Karen McCullah and Kristen Smith alongside Jennifer Coolidge and other cast members to reflect on the film’s legacy two decades on.
In the wide-ranging discussion, the film’s creators and cast revealed that they struggled to find the perfect ending for Legally Blonde.
Legally Blonde was supposed to end with Elle and Vivian ‘holding hands’
“The first ending was Elle and Vivian in Hawaii in beach chairs drinking margaritas and holding hands,” Cauffiel said.
“The insinuation was either they were best friends or they had gotten together romantically.”
It might sound like the perfect ending, but Cauffiel’s memory might not be totally accurate. Both screenwriters said they never wrote that ending, so they’re not entirely sure where the idea came from.
But she apparently didn’t pluck it from nowhere. Alanna Ubach, who played Serena in Legally Blonde, also remembers the queer ending being on the table.
Needless to say, Twitter has gone into overdrive at the revelation.
Screenwriters struggled to find the right ending for Legally Blonde
Legally Blonde cycled through a number of endings before settling on its iconic, feminist conclusion.
McCullah revealed that they “originally cut to a year later”, showing Elle and Vivian as “good friends”.
“Vivian’s now blonde. They had started the Blonde Legal Defense Club and were handing out fliers in the quad”.
Before long, that ending was scrapped and was replaced with a scene with Elle and Emmet kissing. The film was screened two or three times, but audiences weren’t warming to the romantic final scene.
“They thought it wasn’t a story about [Elle] getting a boyfriend, which was really cool to have people say that,” Smith said.
The screenwriters converged in the theatre lobby after the last test screening and decided to end the film with Elle graduating from Harvard Law School.
The change meant that they had to do reshoots in England, where Reese Witherspoon was filming The Importance of Being Earnest, but it was all worth it to give Legally Blonde the right ending.