Rumor Mill

Is this why Reneé Rapp really left ‘The Sex Lives of College Girls’?

When announced last summer that she’d be leaving HBO Max’s The Sex Lives of College Girls after three seasons, fans were both devastated and confused. At the time, the Mean Girls star explained her departure as a pivot to focusing on music — a choice that’s since paid off, given the massive success of her debut album Snow Angel. But now, Rapp’s revealed another reason she may have left, and it doesn’t make College Girls (or the people behind it) look very good.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Rapp compared her previous work in the entertainment industry, including her time on College Girls, to her current experiences, like filming the Mean Girls movie and working on her music.

“The people in my life that I work with now care about me as a person,” Rapp said. “And I think that is a difference from things I’ve experienced in the past.”

The implication, of course, is that people Rapp worked with before didn’t care about her as a person. Specifically, they may not have seen her queerness as valid: Vanity Fair makes a point to mention that Rapp left College Girls “amid rumors that certain cast members had questioned her bisexuality.” The rumors the publication is referencing, though, aren’t as well known as their casual mention might have you believe.

Fans weren’t sure who on the College Girls set was apparently biphobic. Was it one of Rapp’s co-stars, like Pauline Chalamet? Showrunner Mindy Kaling? Or someone else entirely? And if these rumors were common knowledge, why doesn’t the internet remember who they’re about?

It’s most likely that those rumors come from an interview Rapp gave last March on the podcast Call Her Daddy. There, Rapp explained her conflict about playing a lesbian character while not being confident in her own sexuality.

“The first year doing College Girls was terrible,” Rapp said. “It was terrible. It sucked so bad, because at the time, I was in a heteronormative relationship. I hated going to work, because I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m good enough to be here.’”

“I was just in a panic constantly,” she continued. “I wasn’t [straight] but I was so freaked out by the idea of my sexuality not being finite or people laughing at me or me laughing at myself that I hated my first year of filming.”

Rapp then said some of her worst critics — the culprits of those rumors — came from within the queer community.

“I’m doing these scenes and I have gay men coming up to me and being like, ‘So, are you really gay? Like, do you just play gay?’ And I was like, ‘Ugh!’” Rapp said. “It really f**king pissed me off and made me just second guess everything about myself. I was beating myself up so much. It was so crazy.”

Luckily, Rapp’s since come into her own as a bonafide bisexual icon (her collab with Megan Thee Stallion is proof of that), and her star turn as Regina George in the new Mean Girls movie musical is “a new start,” she told Vanity Fair.

Rapp explained that her version of the iconic queen bee has a queer twist. “I’m a serial flirt. So I’m flirting with everybody, especially the girls, right?” she said. “I have a bitchy attitude, so I’m going to be bitchy. I also am very dry, so she’s going to be dry.”

And as far as anyone who’s hated on her or her sexuality? Rapp couldn’t care less. “I was told, ‘Boys aren’t going to want to be around you if you’re this emotional,’” she recalled. “And I’d be like, well, awesome. There’s a strong chance I won’t want to be around a boy, so go f*ck yourself.”

Mean Girls hits theaters this Friday, January 12.

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