The Big Picture
- Will Ferrell made a cameo in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion back in 1997, but his scene was cut due to negative audience reactions.
- The original scene was meaner and involved Ferrell playing a waiter who called Romy on her cell phone to make her look successful.
- The scene was cut because it upset and humiliated the audience, and the film’s director didn’t expect audiences to love Romy and Michele as much as they did.
Back in 1997, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion was released and soon became a cult classic. The beloved film follows Romy White (Mira Sorvino) and Michele Weinberger (Lisa Kudrow) as they make the trek from Los Angeles back to Tucson for their ten-year high school reunion. The film features a stellar cast, with Janeane Garofalo playing the chain-smoking, incredibly negative Heather Mooney, Alan Cumming as nerd-turned-billionaire Sandy Frink, and even a very early in his career Justin Theroux. But interestingly, there was another now-famous star whose cameo ended up on the cutting room floor due to audience reactions.
Will Ferrell Had a Cameo in ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion’
Nowadays, having Will Ferrell in your movie provides some serious star power, but back in 1997, he was nowhere near the star he is today. Gaining success through Saturday Night Live, Ferrell was just starting to break onto the film scene. After a memorable turn as Mustafa in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, he was quickly ascending to A-list stardom when he was approached by David Mirkin to film a cameo for his movie. In a 2017 Facebook Live interview, Mirkin revealed that Ferrell flew out as a favor to him, and shot a cameo for Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion but it never made it into the film.
Why Was Will Ferrell’s Cameo Cut?
When Romy and Michele finally arrive at their school reunion, they come up with the genius idea to claim they invented post-it notes. As expected, it doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, and Heather Mooney busts Romy’s story upon overhearing it. But while that scene was hard enough to watch, as the A-group laughs her off, the original scene was actually much meaner to the character. When speaking about the giant block-like cell phones of the 90s, and the hilarious moment in which Romy shows off her own, David Mirkin revealed that it was actually a much longer scene originally.
“Right when Romy is found out that she didn’t invent Post-It notes and the girls are humiliating her about that, she gets a call from her cellphone that she set up with a waiter to try and prove she has a phone,” Mirkin said in the interview. Having a cell phone was a huge symbol of success back then, so if Romy was to receive a phone call she’d look super successful, which was her goal. He went on to explain the moment, and who he recruited. “That was Will Ferrell I got,” he revealed the bombshell cameo. “He was becoming a huge star, but he agreed to do this cameo for me. Flew out from Saturday Night Live. He was hilarious as this waiter who was calling her right at this moment. »
He continued on to say that the moment was so upsetting to the test audience that he ended up cutting it altogether. « It was so upsetting and humiliating for the audience to watch Romy get completely destroyed. The audience couldn’t recover from it. We had about five minutes of people still sniffling.” Mirkin hadn’t expected audiences to fall for the ditzy friends as hard as they did. But their lovable cluelessness was so endearing that they instantly won all of our hearts, and so, to save Romy a little bit of embarrassment and give the audience a breather, the scene was cut down. Though, it’s still hard to watch her get absolutely crushed, it clearly could have been a lot worse.
However, Romy and Michele do get their moment to shine, and it’s without lying and pretending to be people they’re not. They get their redemption when they finally stop caring what other people think and re-enter that reunion in their classic pink and blue ensembles. It’s a moment to remember, and a perfect ending to the film. And yes, it most definitely makes up for the humiliation that preceded it. Despite Will Ferrell’s star power, and the many years since the film’s release, his deleted scene has never been released, meaning we’ll just have to use our imaginations. Still, the fact that Will Ferrell almost appeared in Romy and Michele is such a bizarre yet brilliant tidbit on its own, it’s cool just knowing about it. Maybe for the 30-year reunion?