Somehow over the years, Britney Spears’ name became synonymous with drama. But back in 2001, the only real friction that happened was on the set of her movie Crossroads. A fight scene between Spears, Zoe Saldana, and Taryn Manning is legendary among fans of the film. We’re taking a look back at that infamous “trailer trash” scene from the 2002 dramedy.
The cast of characters in the Britney Spears dramedy clashed
Three former friends reunite after graduation to head out on an impromptu road trip to California. During their journey, they bond — and run into trouble. Naturally, the movie sets up its characters to clash. While the longtime girlfriends share affection, they likewise experience friction.
Britney Spears’ character, Lucy Wagner, is an overachiever and the valedictorian at her school. “She’s very strong,” said Spears in the 2002 MTV documentary Making the Movie: Crossroads. “That’s why I wanted to play her.”
Taryn Manning similarly labeled her character, underprivileged pregnant teen Mimi, “tough.”
“Mimi’s a tough girl,” Manning told MTV. “She sees past the small town they’re living in, and she motivates all these girls to get up and go do something with our lives. She dreams of bigger and better things besides this small town.”
Most notably, Mimi clashes with “prom queen” Kit, played by Zoe Saldana. “Kit is a very southern girl, just very delicate and fragile,” Saldana told MTV.
Kit and Mimi memorably come to blows during a “middle of nowhere” scene. Lucy breaks up the physical fight, but not before they exchange heated words.
The film’s director called their fight scene ‘intense’
Director Tamra Davis commented on the scene in 2002. “Shooting the fighting scene with the girls, that was pretty intense,” she noted in Making The Movie. Davis added that it was important for the scene to be authentic. However, that meant shooting it would be risky.
“You didn’t want anybody to get hurt, and yet you wanted it to feel real,” explained Davis. “And so in a sense you kinda had to have the girls really start swinging at each other, so that got pretty intense.”
Manning said that she and Saldana were actually looking forward to shooting the brawl, which centers around the growing tension between the snooty southerner and the lower-income Mimi.
“It was great, cuz we’d become really good friends at this point, so we were like, really excited to film this scene,” Manning said. “It was a highly anticipated scene for her and I.”
“The car breaks down, and we don’t have any money, and we’re basically in the middle of nowhere,” continued Manning. “And she’s just looking in her mirror, and making sure she looks good, and she just starts making comments to me. By the time she calls me trailer trash, I was up in her face and saying ‘what?’ And then it just breaks out.”
Spears’ Lucy Wagner has to jump in to save the girls from an increasingly violent fracas. “It was a little weird at first, cuz they went for it, we were there and they just started going at it,” said Spears.
“She definitely had to break it up,” Manning said about Spears’ involvement in the scene.
Britney Spears and the lead cast members hugged after shooting the ‘Crossroads’ scene
Manning said they wanted to make a realistic fight scene. However, in the end, the actors wound up apologizing to one another. Moreover, she said they hugged after every take.
“We were just wondering how far we could push each other and really go there,” Manning said.
“Afterwards, it was so funny because they’re like ‘I’m sorry, did I hurt you, I’m so sorry,” said Spears of shooting the scene. “That was a funny scene.”
To sum up, Manning said the cast members were genuinely friends. “After every take we hugged, [and said] ‘sorry, sorry, sorry, I’m sorry,’” Manning laughed.
In short, Crossroads is about friendship — even when shooting volatile fight scenes between girlfriends.
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