Chad Michael Murray recalls ‘terribly belting’ Britney Spears in ‘Freaky Friday’

Chad Michael Murray woke up a neighborhood while filming Freaky Friday‘s Britney Spears serenade

“They were none too pleased with our lights and me terribly belting Britney Spears at all hours of the night.”

Oh baby, baby: Chad Michael Murray recalled disrupting a neighborhood that was fast asleep while filming a memorable Freaky Friday scene.

In celebration of Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan‘s 2003 body swap comedy turning 20 this month, Murray looked back at his role as high schooler Jake, who finds himself falling for the mother (Curtis) of his crush Anna (Lohan), who is actually Anna in her mother’s body. In one memorable scene, Jake appears outside of Anna’s home to serenade his mother with a rendition of Britney Spears‘ “Baby One More Time.” According to the star, the sequence woke up unsuspecting residents.

“Mark [Waters, director] sent it to me the night before filming,” Murray recalled to Vulture in an interview published Monday (and conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike). “It wasn’t originally in the script.” The scene, Murray said, was inspired by John Cusack‘s boombox serenade in 1989’s Say Anything, and when he informed Waters that he was not a singer, “He said, ‘Even better!'” Murray recalled. “We shot it in a neighborhood where everyone was already asleep. I felt so bad for them. They were none too pleased with our lights and me terribly belting Britney Spears at all hours of the night.”

Chad Michael Murray in Freaky Friday

Chad Michael Murray and Lindsay Lohan in ‘Freaky Friday’

| Credit: Walt Disney/Everett

The song choice is a nod to a scene prior at a coffee shop, where Curtis, playing a teenage daughter stuck in her mother’s body, bumps into Murray’s Jake, a barista at the shop, and the two spend hours flirting and singing along to the pop song. The coffee shop scene was the first that Murray filmed — and he was admittedly nervous. “It was one of those opportunities of just getting into the industry and you’re going up against someone who’s been around,” he said. “It wasn’t uncomfortable flirting with Jamie; it was just nerve-racking to not screw it up. . . But Jamie was the best and was right there supporting me.”

The film, which also starred Mark Harmon, Ryan Malgarini, Rosalind Chao, and Lucille Soong, is a remake of the 1976 comedy, adapted from Mary Rodgers’ 1972 novel of the same name. Disney confirmed earlier this year that a sequel of the beloved 2003 version was in the works, with stars Curtis and Lohan expected to return. While promoting The Haunted Mansion this summer prior to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike and amidst the WGA strike, Curtis told EW that there’s “no question” that the sequel will happen, so long as writers “get paid correctly.”

“Stories require writers, and right now there are no writers because they’re all fighting for their lives, for their creative lives, for their emotional lives, and for their financial lives,” she said. “We’re in the middle of a contract dispute. And so, until those writers get paid correctly and protected by the producers that make billions off of them, we will not be able to tell you any more about the Freaky Friday sequel, except that it is happening.”

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