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See Meredith Blake From "The Parent Trap" Now at 51

Elaine Hendrix played the iconic villain (or is she?) in the 1998 comedy.

Depending on who you ask, Elaine Hendrix either played one of the most horrible villains or one of the most misunderstood female characters of the 1990s: Meredith Blake in the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap. She is one of the biggest obstacles to separated twins Hallie and Annie (Lindsay Lohan) getting their divorced parents back together, since the prim, money-hungry, and blissfully childless woman is dating their dad, Nick (Dennis Quaid). It's been over two decades since the siblings waged war against Meredith, and Hendrix has seen her iconic character have a resurgence on TikTok as younger generations revisit the movie. Here's what the 51-year-old has said about working on the now-classic family comedy and what she's been up to since.

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She doesn't think Meredith was the bad guy.

Elaine Hendrix in 1998
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Much like with the optimal width of a pair of jeans or the correct amount of emoji to use in a single text, whether or not Meredith Blake was the villain in The Parent Trap has become a point of contention between older millennials and Gen Z-ers on TikTok. It all started earlier this year when Hendrix posted a video participating in a popular meme. In her TikTok, she's all made up and pouring herself a glass of wine, and the caption says, "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." Taking to the comments, many fans responded in Meredith's favor, while others couldn't believe that anyone would try to rewrite her as a victim. She was going to "ship those brats off to Switzerland," after all, right?

But this debate has been raging for longer than that. "I absolutely am shocked but love that present day there's scores of gals, a whole generation now, that don't see Meredith as a villain," Hendrix told Vulture in 2020. "They see her as an aspiration. With every character that an actor plays, we have to justify our behaviors. So, you know, Elaine Hendrix, the actress, knew that Meredith Blake was the villain, but as far as Meredith Blake goes … she just was doing what she needed to get what she wanted in life. She saw nothing wrong with any of this. There is definitely a part of me that feels happy for Meredith Blake that she's been vindicated."

She's best friends with Chessy in real life.

Elaine Hendrix and Lisa Ann Walter in 2011
Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Throughout the movie, Meredith faces off with the Parkers' housekeeper, Chessy, but co-star Lisa Ann Walter and Hendrix became friends on set and have remained close over the years. Hendrix told Vulture, "We were in Napa [filming the movie] for—I was there for a month and a half or so. We were at the hotel. I think, one of our first nights, we bonded over talking nonstop while eating a Marie Callender's pie." She added that it wasn't difficult for either of them to be at each other's throats when the cameras were rolling.

"Lisa is a consummate pro. I'm a consummate pro. Whatever is needed for the shot. Now we make it a joke. I stay with her all the time, and I'll make bell noises, and she'll be like, 'You rang?'" Hendrix said.

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She's still busy as an actor.

Elaine Hendrix in 2019
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hendrix was working long before she was cast as the evil almost-stepmom in The Parent Trap. Her career kicked off in the early '90s. On TV, she's appeared in Married… with ChildrenFriendsJoan of ArcadiaER90210Anger Management, and Paradise Lost. Most recently, she played Alexis Carrington Colby in the revival of Dynasty. Hendrix's other film roles include Romy and Michelle's High School ReunionSuperstarGood IntentionsBeverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Swing State, and Adopt a Highway. She's also acted in the theater, including in a 2021 Arkansas production of Designing Women, a stage adaptation of the '80s sitcom.

She's passionate about animal rights.

Hendrix has never married and doesn't have any kids. She has a big heart for animals though, and her social media accounts exhibit her activism. A vegan, Hendrix is also the founder of an organization called The Pet Matchmaker, which has a mission to "to celebrate and inspire the rescue, foster and adoption of homeless pets everywhere." Of course, the actor has plenty of furry friends of her own, and she often shares photos and video of them on her Instagram.

Karen Fratti
Karen Fratti is an entertainment and culture writer. She went to Temple University, where she received a B.A. in English and has an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University. Read more
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