Katie Couric Reunites Lindsay Lohan and 'Parent Trap' Cast for Film's Anniversary

Dennis Quaid, Elaine Hendrix, writer-director Nancy Meyers and more involved in the beloved 1998 remake reminisced about their favorite scenes, lines and memories.

Katie Couric on Monday reunited the cast of the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap in honor of the film's 22nd anniversary.

Lindsay Lohan (Hallie Parker/Annie James), Dennis Quaid (Nick Parker), Elaine Hendrix (Meredith Blake), Lisa Ann Walter (Chessy), Simon Kunz (Martin), writer-director Nancy Meyers and writer-producer Charles Shyer participated in a socially distanced gathering moderated by Couric on the news personality's Instagram channel. (The virtual event also served as a fundraiser for World Central Kitchen, an organization helping those in need amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.)

To celebrate more than two decades of The Parent Trap's legacy, the group opened up about their favorite scenes, lines and memories from making the beloved movie.

Quaid kicked off the conversation by recalling his initial meeting with a young Lohan. "I had such a blast doing this movie. The first thing I remember was meeting Lindsay at, I think it was some kind of a screen test. I remember thinking, 'Oh my God, that's one of the most talented people I've ever met, period. Forget that she's 11 years old,'" said the actor, who played Lohan's character's father. "And then I actually thought that there were two girls — I really did! — because your accent was so perfect."

Added Lohan, "I was so young, and it was just so fresh for me. It was my first movie audition. It was my first screen test, my first time in front of people like Nancy and Charles and on a soundstage."

Asked how Lohan became the apparent pick to play twins Hallie and Annie, Shyer explained, "We saw a lot of kids, and some of them became movie stars actually. But we narrowed it down to how many, Nancy? Like six girls that we tested? Was it that? I think Lindsay might have been the second or third girl up and she was testing with Dennis, and I would say within two or three minutes, we both knew she had the part. You couldn't beat her. She was just amazing."

Meyers said that Lohan had undeniable star power that immediately captivated her. "Putting aside how adorable she looked, she had that quality that just sort of leapt up at you and pulled you in," said the director. "And I think to be a movie star and to be the lead of a movie, you need to have that connection with the camera. That’s very present [in Lindsay's performance]."

Couric also asked Hendrix about portraying Meredith Blake, the gold-digging antagonist who nearly ruins Hallie and Annie's plan to get their parents — Quaid's Nick and the late Natasha Richardson's Elizabeth James — back together.

"Let's talk about this because, at the time, yes, she was a nightmare," said Hendrix, before pointing out her recent surge in popularity with millennial women. "But Meredith has really come around now. There's the whole generation who thinks Meredith is #goals. There was this online campaign and hashtag #JusticeforMeredithBlake. And I'm like, right on, yes! Meredith is getting her dues."

During the conversation, Lohan was also asked if she still remembers the choreography of the iconic handshake between Annie and her butler Martin. "I've been asked to do it and yeah, I do remember," said the actress with a laugh. "I think there's a little bit where I mess it up."

Later, Meyers spoke about the challenges of filming a movie with Lohan playing two characters and relying on special effects to make it look seamless. "It was really, really hard to do these kinds of shots. We had to match to one take. Normally in the editing room you can pick the take you want to use," said Meyers. "I had to pick the take on the spot to match to it, show it to [Lindsay] and say, 'Lindsay, this is what we're matching to.'"

She continued, "It was actually ultimately a fun experience and experiment. And it worked. Even if you look at it now, it looks pretty good."

Lohan also explained how she was able to transition between playing each character. "Once [Annie's] long hair was on, it felt very different for me. And I feel like — I don't know if this goes for all actors — but once you put a wig on someone, you feel different," she said. "You're stepping out of your comfort zone and you kind of become the other character. I feel like people almost treated me differently when I was Annie because Annie was so much nicer, and Hallie was kind of like me."

Asked to share their favorite scenes, Quaid said he had fun falling into the pool as Nick near the end of the movie, while Hendrix pointed to Meredith's ear-shattering screams when she awakened on an air mattress in the middle of a lake. Lohan brought up a more touching moment from the film: when Annie (while pretending to be Hallie) secretly meets Nick for the first time, telling him how much she missed her dad while being away at camp. The pair then reenacted the memorable driving scene, reading their lines over the video call.

"What a lovely and beautifully written moment. Funny but just heart wrenching because it's like missing that person in your life and then finally having that person," Lohan said of the scene. "Even in times that we live in in the world, you forget about how much you miss people until you're actually with them and you haven't seen them in a while. And I think those scenes really tear me up."

The group also paid tribute to Richardson, who died in 2009 at age 45 after a skiing accident. "Natasha had such an elegance and grace and she was so maternal to me," Lohan said of her onscreen mom. 

Hendrix remembered Richardson gushing about her sons and husband, Liam Neeson, behind the scenes. "She would come into the hair and makeup trailer and she would literally swoon over talking about Liam and her kids," she said. "She would call him, 'My Liam.' She truly seemed to have it all, which, to me, made what happened even more heartbreaking."

The conversation ended with each participant describing The Parent Trap's enduring impact. "It’s a good script. And it's funny and it's charming and it's warm and everybody can watch it. It's ageless," said Kunz, while Quaid remarked, "When it comes down to it, this movie just had some sort of stardust that was sprinkled on it."

Meyers said that the film's key advantage was the "spectacular" cast — especially its young leading lady. "Everybody in every part was right on. And also, LL, we discovered a big star, " she said. "We discovered somebody that everybody fell in love with."

Watch the full reunion video here.