There are jeans to make your thighs look skinnier. There are jeans to make your butt look firmer. But there’s only one pair of jeans with the magical ability to unite four young actresses in friendship, both on screen and off. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, directed by Ken Kwapis and based on Ann Brashares’ beloved books, arrived in theaters in June 2005, starring four mostly unknown actresses: America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn, and Alexis Bledel (Tamblyn and Bledel brought the most star power at the time thanks to their respective roles on CBS’ Joan of Arcadia and The WB’s Gilmore Girls). Sisterhood was a coming-of-age story about unlikely best friends — sarcastic Tibby (Tamblyn), tomboyish Bridget (Lively), romantic Lena (Bledel), and tough Carmen (Ferrera) — who discover a pair of jeans that somehow fits each of them perfectly. The sleeper hit charmed audiences enough to yield a 2008 sequel and propelled its actresses into even bigger roles — Ferrera and Lively went on to star on TV hits Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl — but Sisterhood’s greatest legacy might just be the real-life friendship the four actresses formed.
At EW’s Reunions shoot in New York, the women were clearly thrilled to be with one another, as evidenced by their loose, giggly rapport; at one point they broke into an impromptu square-dance routine when the photographer asked them to change it up. Says Tamblyn of the friendship, ”I think it’s the wildest thing I have ever come across in my 20 years of acting. There’s not a damn thing false about it.” EW talked to the foursome about their bond, their memories of filming, and some wild bachelorette parties.
America Ferrera Carmen
I got the script and said there’s no way I’m reading a script called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It sounds way too cheesy, and it sat on my desk for a whole school year. Finally my agent was like, ”Please just read it.” And then of course I read it and was, like, laughing and sobbing.
Alexis Bledel Lena
I had a similar reaction. Then you read it, and the characters were so well crafted and they seemed like such real people that I think we all ended up giving it a second look because of that.
Amber Tamblyn Tibby
[America and I] were the first ones cast, I believe. I remember it like it was yesterday, truly, meeting America for the first time. I met her at the auditions for Blake’s role. I came in and there was a greenroom and there was this table where we were just waiting, and we met and talked and got to know each other and were like, ”Okay, we’re doing this movie together.”
Bledel I remember Blake’s audition because we read with her. She was very honest and raw. Her character goes through so much, so she had to do a very difficult audition. She just knocked it out of the park, and we were like, ”Please hire her.”
Tamblyn I remember Olivia Wilde auditioned. And Blake just had this quality about her that was really incredible.
Blake Lively Bridget
I got to that audition and they gave me the lines right there, and it was 10 pages. It was the scene where I opened up for the first time about my mom committing suicide. So it was very shocking to have that be the audition scene. I did it, and it went really well.