Barrett Wilbert Weed Compares Life With The Heathers to Life With The Plastics

Interview   Barrett Wilbert Weed Compares Life With The Heathers to Life With The Plastics
How does Heathers’ Veronica Sawyer stack up to Mean Girls’ Janis Sarkisian?
Barrett Wilbert Weed in <i>Heathers </i>(left) and <i>Mean Girls</i> (right)
Barrett Wilbert Weed in Heathers (left) and Mean Girls (right) Chad Batka/Joan Marcus

Barrett Wilbert Weed first broke out as part of the Broadway cast of Lysistrata Jones, a take on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata swapping ancient Greece for a university and losing the Peloponnesian War for the basketball team’s losing streak. But Weed's true star-making turn came when she originated the role of Veronica Sawyer in Heathers: The Musical, an adaptation of the 1988 satiric film about teen clique The Heathers and the girl who upends the social hierarchy. It was a role that earned her a Lucille Lortel nomination. Now, the roaring belter is back on Broadway in Tina Fey’s Mean Girls as Janis Sarkisian, the rebellious artist-type who befriends new girl Cady and decides to take down the reigning clique The Plastics at North Shore High. But don’t be fooled: Weed isn’t playing to type. “Janis and Veronica are complete opposites,” Weed tells Playbill. “Janis would not appreciate Veronica’s cowardly, sloppy approach. Janis also would never date such a pretty boy. She’s all about substance and honesty and NOT about gender or fragile masculinity.”

But the roles also differ in their demands. “Veronica is a marathon. It’s like being in a video game where the only goal is survival,” says Weed. “Janis is a series of sprints. There are so many times where I just run onstage and start singing. It’s also a really reactive role. She initiates all of the major action in the show, weirdly enough, but she still gets to be totally destroyed by the eventual outcome of her actions.”

We asked Weed to directly compare these two kindred characters by filling out this questionnaire as Veronica and Janis to help us get to know the girls who take down the Queen Bees:

Veronica Sawyer v. Janis Sarkisian
Veronica Sawyer v. Janis Sarkisian Graphic design by David Gewirtzman
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