|“||You smell like a baby prostitute.||”|
Janis Ian is one of the main characters in Mean Girls. She is portrayed by Lizzy Caplan. In the Broadway musical (Mean Girls) she is portrayed by Barrett Wilbert Weed, and her last name was changed to Sarkisian.
Janis is the very first person Cady Heron meets after becoming a student at North Shore High School. Early in the movie, we find out that she doesn't really have a good reputation in school and that other students constantly make jokes regarding her appearance.
She's also a very close friend of Damian Leigh and the two have a pretty weird and funny relationship which can be seen in many memorable scenes throughout the movie. Janis claims that Damian is 'too gay to function' and it's only okay when she says it.
Some of what is known about Janis' past is that she is of Lebanese heritage, she comes from a two-parent family in suburbia, and has grown up in this town with the other students portrayed in the film (This knowledge later becomes paramount for new student Cady to whom Janis acts as a liaison for. )
Despite being Regina George's friend all the way through the eighth grade, by high school the two had fallen out. Janis took this opportunity to start expressing her set through style and the arts, which was something she was not allowed to do whilst under Regina's tyranny.
Soon after exiting the plastic's inner circle, Regina started spreading rumors that Janis was a lesbian, and not to be trusted. This sets up the reason for the revenge plot that Janis devised and recruited Cady to help her carry out.
At the beginning of the movie, Janis is considered to be a social outcast. She befriends Cady, and they skip class together along with Damien. After Cady sits with the Plastics at lunch instead, Janis tells her she should become friends with the group so they can laugh about the horrible things the Plastics get up to behind their backs. Unlike Cady, Janis knew from the start that Regina was mean, and a bully. After the Halloween dance when Cady leaves crying because Regina had gotten back together with Aaron, she thinks up a plan to destroy Regina. They plot together to ruin the things that bring her popularity, being her friendships, her relationship with Aaron, and her body.
While working on sabotaging Regina, it's revealed that she used to be friends with Janis until Regina began to believe Janis was a lesbian (and that she had a crush on her), and spread rumours about her because of it. Cady began spending more time with the Plastics, and by the time they succeed in bringing Regina down they hardly talk. She lies to Janis and Damien about going away with her parents the weekend of Janis' art show, so she can stay to host a small get-together at her house. However, this turns into a huge party that Damien and Janis happen to drive past on their way home. Cady accuses Janis of being in love with her, to which Janis is noticeably upset by. She then calls Cady cold, shiny, hard plastic, and throws Cady a picture of the three together before they drive away.
Once the Burn Book (in which Janis is called a "dyke") becomes public and the girls are brought into the gymnasium to work through what has been going on, Janis reveals to everyone what she and Cady have been doing to Regina in their trust fall exercise. At the end of her speech, she jokes that the reason she hates Regina so much is because of her "big, lesbian crush" on her. She lets herself fall off of the stage, where everyone catches her and begins chanting her name in support of calling out the bullies in their year.
At the Spring Fling, Janis and Damien arrive in matching purple tuxedos. She was a nominee for Spring Fling Queen but didn't win, however she is thrown a piece of the crown when it's broken. Janis forgives Cady when she apologises for how she's been acting. While dancing, Janis and Damien kiss briefly, to which they both find disgusting. Kevin then comes over to dance with Janis and they begin dating at the end of their junior year.
Janis has fair skin, which along with her black hair color and overall dark makeup, makes her look like a goth. Regina stated that Janis cut all of her hair during the eighth grade and ever since, people started to make fun of her - calling her a 'drug addict' or saying that she has a 'cool wig'.
Her style is a late 90's grunge look meets early emo, which would have blended well in any major city like Seattle or NYC but was instead considered strange. It is important to point out that the book which the movie is based on takes place at a time when the Kate Moss, Chanel Vamp, Alternative Music, and all things grunge, was sweeping the nation.
|Regina George✦Gretchen Wieners✦Janis Ian✦Karen Smith✦Cady Heron✦Damian Leigh|