One second he’s Zack Siler — class president, stand-out athlete, all-around bad-ass mamba-jahamba — the next a hacky sack champ? Not quite.
Freddie Prinze Jr. played the high school student in 1999’s She’s All That. The romantic comedy had several memorable scenes, including when his character tried to impress awkward outcast Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook) with his hacky sack skills. It turns out, however, that a world champion hacky sacker did most of the routine.
“That’s not me hacky sacking. I suck at hacky sack. I can’t do it!” Prinze Jr., 44, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “Only the first three kicks are mine. I think the furthest I got in the sequence was four and that’s a reach. It was probably, it was probably three. And they asked me if I knew how to do it. I was like, ‘No, I can’t. I can’t hacky sack. You have to get a double.’”
The Star Wars Rebels actor was told that the professional looked “just like” him, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. “I meet this guy, he’s like 6-foot-6. I’m 6-foot-1. I’m tall, but I’m not that tall. I’m like, ‘Yo what? This guy’s all legs, man. I’m all waist. Like, what are you talking about?’ And they go, ‘We’ll just use it for the close-ups,’” he explains. “So, he goes in and he kills it. The guy’s amazing. And they limited what he could do. He could have done way more sick tricks than what they had him do. They just wanted a simpler, more creepy, inward kind of performance than like an outward sort of extroverted performance. Right? ‘Cause the guy is supposed to be nervous. So, they don’t just use him and his feet on close-ups. If you watch the scene again, you’ll see a couple of cuts where I just grow exponentially upwards and become this giant in pants that don’t fit. They didn’t make corduroys for guys that tall in the ’90s.”
Prinze Jr.’s Zack would go on to scheme even more in order to turn Laney into their school’s prom queen, which started as a bet with his friends. He got the men’s soccer team to clean her house and asked his sister Mackenzie (Anna Paquin) to give her a makeover before heading to a party, which became the film’s defining scene. (Cue “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer.)
The film also starred Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Taylor Vaughan), Matthew Lillard (Brock Hudson), the late Paul Walker (Dean Sampson) and Kieran Culkin (Simon Boggs). Sarah Michelle Gellar, who went on to marry Prinze Jr. in 2002, also made a quick appearance in a cafeteria scene.
“I think it was just one of those things where we were shooting on the same school that Buffy [the Vampire Slayer] shot at, and we were both there on the same day. And so, they said, ‘Hey, do you want to jump in this scene real quick?’” Prinze Jr. explains of Gellar’s cameo. “And she’d known Kieran Culkin since he was a little baby. She used to walk him to school. And there was a solo scene with him, where he’s offering her pepper, and she was like, ‘Nah.’”
She’s All That has continued to be a cult favorite more than two decades later. Back in 2016, Prinze Jr. and Cook, 40, made headlines when they reunited over coffee and shared a selfie on social media.
“Working with Freddie is just a dream. He’s just one of the most kind-hearted people you could ever want to meet. He’s such a giving actor,” Cook exclusively told Us in January 2018. When asked who still has the hackey sack, she teased: “I don’t know! But he better not let it drop if Freddie has it!”
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