- Actor Elaine Hendrix joined TikTok in August 2021 and has since amassed over 850,000 followers.
- Viewers seem particularly passionate about her 1998 character Meredith from “The Parent Trap.”
- Hendrix told Insider she loves TikTok, and the unique way it lets her connect with fans.
Her popularity on the app is, at least in part, down to a character she played 24 years ago — Meredith Blake, the soon-to-be stepmother of twins Annie and Hallie, played by Lindsay Lohan, in the 1998 movie “The Parent Trap,”
This summer, Meredith had a moment on TikTok: her outfits in the movie were praised and widely recreated, and creators labeled the character, who was portrayed as the villain of the movie, “iconic” upon rewatching as adults. The TikTok hashtag #meredithblake has over 117 million views.
But far from shying away from Meredith’s resurfaced popularity, Hendrix joined in, posting various Meredith-themed videos. One in particular blew up, receiving over 8 million views, and leading people to completely rethink the plot of the movie.
Hendrix told Insider she’s still working on getting to grips with her newfound TikTok popularity, but she’s having fun with it and loves the way the app lets her engage with her fans.
Hendrix’s TikToks creating her 1990s characters often go viral
Hendrix has made a number of videos recreating her roles in “The Parent Trap,” capitalizing off of trends such as the “Locked Up” sound, where creators joke about being arrested, as well as her roles in “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion,” and her followers seem to love it.
On July 29, to mark 24 years since the release of “The Parent Trap,” Hendrix posted a video that showed her pouring a glass of wine while on-screen text described the events of the movie from Meredith’s perspective.
“He’s a 10 but he had twins he secretly separated at birth when he broke up with their mother and didn’t tell you about it until the twins discovered each other at camp and swapped places to try and get their parents back together,” the text read.
Her take on the character went viral — the video has since received almost 9 million views and it even prompted fans to question the original depiction of the character as a villain.
Hendrix told Insider she never expected the reaction she received from fans on TikTok, and certainly didn’t think she’d go viral, she just joined the video-sharing app for fun and decided to post a video reflecting the view she’s had since she took the part: that Meredith was unfairly maligned.
Hendrix previously told Insider she thinks the video resonated in part because people who grew up with the movie are now a similar age to the character. “The millennial generation were the ones who were like, ‘No, I think we’re going to rethink Meredith here. Because now that we are Meredith’s age, we want to be her.'”
Videos relating to “The Parent Trap” posted to Hendrix’s account have received nearly 50 million views in total, following a general trend for actors leaning into characters they played in previous decades on TikTok.
Alicia Silverstone has posted a number of throwback videos and recreations of her role as Cher in the 1996 movie “Clueless,” occasionally bringing in her previous co-stars like Stacey Dash, receiving millions of views. Earlier this year, the song “That’s Not My Name” by The Ting Tings trended as actors including Drew Barrymore, Will Smith, and Victoria Justice used it to reference characters they’ve played over the years.
As well as a general thirst for nostalgic content, Hendrix said that she thinks TikTokers love “The Parent Trap” because it speaks to so many universal things, such as divorce, sisterhood, and love.
“I think people gravitate towards that. Those themes of love and family, they’re relevant to everyone. Plus, Meredith and the movie itself are so stylish and beautiful, so who wouldn’t want to be her and live in that world?” she said.
Like many celebrities, Hendrix has found TikTok allows her to interact with fans in new ways
Hendrix’ first ever video posted in August 2021 featured her and her “Dynasty” co-star Sam Underwood doing a dance challenge.
The video reached nearly one million views, and she realized that videos about her characters really seemed to resonate with viewers, so she was more than happy to keep posting content that would delight her fans.
“I love interacting with my fans and I know they really love some of those characters that I’ve played so it’s great to be able to make videos that I know they’ll have fun with and enjoy,” she told Insider.
Hendrix also engages with TikTok as a user. She follows 125 people and told Insider her favorite videos are from comedic creators or those who discuss politics and provide social commentary.
“I love the diversity on Tiktok. Social media is kind of an equalizer, right?” she said. “You have people who wouldn’t otherwise have a platform — they have a platform.”
Hendrix is still getting to grips with TikTok, and is looking forward to continuing to post content
Hendrix told insider that she wishes she understood TikTok’s tools a little better so that she could get more creative with her videos.
In April, she uploaded a video where she lip-synced to an audio clip from “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion,” while using a scene from the movie as a greenscreen. She said she had to research how to create the effects and isn’t convinced she got it right.
“It still doesn’t sound like it comes through the app. There’s got to be a better way, so there’s still so much I’ve got to learn,” she said.
Despite some difficulties, Hendrix said she feels she’s “kind of found a groove” with her TikTok videos and has no plans to stop posting.
“What I learned that I enjoy most is trying to figure it out and figure out how to make them personal, make them have my own little spin,” she said.
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.