There are so many reasons to love Tina Fey — her hilarity, her talent, her realness, her amaaaazing friendship with Amy Poehler — but one of the major ones is, of course, that she wrote the screenplay for one of our fave movies, Mean Girls. But where did she get the inspiration? In an interview with Net-a-Porter’s The Edit, Tina was awesomely real once again and admitted that she *was* Regina George back in high school.

“I was [a mean girl], I admit it openly,” she said. “That was a disease that had to be conquered.”

As she grew older, she realized why she had resorted to being the mean girl: as a “coping mechanism.” “It’s a bad coping mechanism, but when you feel less than. . . in your mind it’s a way of leveling the playing field,” she said. “Though of course it’s not. Saying something terrible about someone else does not actually level the playing field.”

Three decades later, Tina can’t help but still feel anxious about high school dynamics sometimes. “If I meet a girl of 14 or 15 today who is that kind of girl, I am secretly, in my body, afraid,” she said. “Even though I’m 45.”

However, Tina also used another coping mechanism, the one that ended up getting her wildly famous: comedy. “[I hit] age 13 and realiz[ed], ‘OK, I’m not going to glide by on looks. I’m a normal-looking person, but that’s not going to be where my bread is buttered,'” she told The Edit. “The desire to be funny — because you are never actually quite sure if you really are funny — is a coping mechanism, another way of ingratiating yourself.”

Now, Tina sometimes struggles with a totally new mean girl: The Internet. After all, as a comedy writer, it can be difficult to deal with harsh, unconstructive criticism. But she’s found a way to deal with that, too. “Steer clear of the Internet and you’ll live forever,” she told the magazine. “. . . My new goal is not to explain jokes. . . There’s a real culture of demanding apologies, and I’m opting out of that.”

Tina has also learned another important thing — while you should steer clear of the mean girl, you shouldn’t be afraid of the cool girl. Why? Because in her opinion, the cool girl is her BFF, Amy Poehler. “I met Amy. . . in 1993, when we were both studying improvisation,” she said. “She was the cool girl. I remember counseling so many guys who were just immediately in love with her. . . Amy is very warm, a great person to have on your team in any capacity.”

We personally think they *both* are the cool girls, TBH. Read The Edit‘s full interview with Tina here.

(Image via Twitter.)