Chris Briney This Guy Mean Girls Letterman Jacket Hand Pushing Hair Back

It’s Not Christopher Briney’s Fault You’re, Like, in Love With Him

Sure, he's Aaron Samuels in the new 'Mean Girls' reboot. And, yes, he plays Conrad Fisher in 'The Summer I Turned Pretty.' And, OK, he thinks it's important to buy his girlfriend expensive flowers. Actually, maybe it is his fault...

Christopher Briney is just like any other 20-something trying to make it in the big city: He has roommates, rides the subway with noise-canceling headphones, and takes his clothes to a local laundromat. (A fan once stopped him while he was carrying his “big ass laundry bag.”) He arrives at the InStyle set in elevated athleisure and a backpack, with his signature dry humor and a tube of Aquaphor that he regularly reapplies. Like a true New Yorker, he makes small talk on the benefits of living in one borough (Brooklyn) over another (Manhattan) and overpriced grocery stores. The only teensy, tiny, minuscule difference between Briney and the 8.5 million other residents of New York City? He looks sexy with his hair pushed back.

Chris Briney This Guy Mean Girls Letterman Jacket Shorts Sitting on a Stool
Brunello Cucinelli jacket, Polo Ralph Lauren sweater vest, Museum of Peace & Quiet shirt, Hermes shorts, Falke socks, and Sebago shoes.

Colette Aboussouan

Yes, Briney is starring as the prototypical Y2K high school cool guy, Aaron Samuels, in the highly-anticipated movie adaptation of the musical adaptation of Mean Girls. The film version of the Broadway show (in theaters this Friday), created by mastermind of the original 2004 movie, Tina Fey, is poised to launch its stacked up-and-coming cast to superstardom, just as the first did for Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, and Amanda Seyfried. Leading the pack are singer and Sex Lives of College Girls alumna Renée Rapp and Emily in Paris’s Ashley Park (both of whom starred in the Broadway production), alongside Briney, who previously achieved heartthrob status as broody Conrad Fisher in Prime Video’s YA drama The Summer I Turned Pretty.

Fans hoping to see Briney belt out “Stupid With Love” in harmony with Angourie Rice’s Cady will be disappointed. “I don’t sing,” Briney says. In fact, he initially passed on the role when it included a musical aspect. It wasn’t until a revised script came across his metaphorical desk that he took the part. “I've seen plenty of social comments where people are like, ‘He's gonna fucking sing, I don't want to watch him sing,’ and that’s a fair point. Really, I can’t.”

Briney didn’t spend his childhood taking vocal lessons or attending theater camps, like many others in show business. He grew up in the dugout. “I was a pretty lucky kid. I had a good upbringing. I had good parents that took care of me and supported me in my endeavors,” he says, which for a long time was baseball. This despite, nay, because of the fact that his parents themselves were actors who met doing an opera workshop in the city before moving to the suburbs (Connecticut) to raise a family. “I was like, ‘I don't want to sing. I don't want to act. I don't want to dance. I want to play baseball.’”

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Briney focused on the sport as a kid and teen, playing centerfield and later pitching for his high school’s varsity team — until he took a mandatory acting class freshman year. “There was sort of no turning back from there,” he remembers. “That was well before I had any sort of foundation of what the work was, but I sort of started falling for it then. I like just doing it, being in a scene, working with other creatives. It's a fun atmosphere of communication [and] direction.”

Briney went on to study acting at Pace University in Manhattan. To make money, he worked at Staples and Trader Joe’s. (“That was the best thing,” he recalls. “All the people I worked with were really sweet.”) He sidestepped starving actor stereotypes, however, booking his first major gig about a year after graduating in 2020 — opposite Sir Ben Kingsley, nonetheless. Briney’s big break: the assistant of famous Spanish artist Salvador Dalí in the biopic Dalíland.

Chris Briney wearing a blazer and a sweater tied around waist
Valentino blazer, sweater, and jeans, YONY T-shirt, John Hardy necklace.

Colette Aboussouan

During filming in Liverpool, Briney auditioned via Zoom for a new series based on Jenny Han’s bestselling trilogy The Summer I Turned Pretty. Briney admits he hadn’t even heard of the novels, though he was familiar with Han’s work because of the massively successful To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movies. After a virtual chemistry read, Briney was cast as the tortured teen alongside Lola Tung (who plays leading lady Belly Conklin) and Gavin Casalegno (as Jeremiah Fisher). “When I found out [I was cast as Conrad], we had a table read for [Dalíland], and I was sitting next to Sir Ben Kingsley,” he recalls. “I was like, This is the coolest day of my life."

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The popular series follows coming-of-age high schooler Belly, whose family vacations with her mom’s best friend and her two sons every summer in the fictional beachtown of Cousins. Like any good YA series, there is no shortage of drama or messy love triangles — especially between Belly and brothers Jeremiah and Conrad. “It's all unreal expectations. It's all ridiculous. You're not going to go to Stanford,” he says with a laugh. “You're not going to go to a beach town every summer and fall in love with your mom's friend's fucking whatever. It's not going to happen. It's stupid. That's not how life works.”

Despite his realistic summation of young love, Briney is a romantic himself. He maintains that if had to spend $1,000 he would buy fancy flowers for his girlfriend because “she deserves them” (more on that below), lists Notting Hill and About Time as his favorite rom-coms, and wants to bring back the allure and simplicity of early 2000s cinema (“They really don’t [make them like they used to],” he says. “It was different. Netflix, you gotta step it up, bro. I’m just sayin’.”)

LEFT: Chris Briney lean on hand. RIGHT: Chris Briney looking up at camera from floor.
Left: K.NGSLEY T-shirt, DSquared2 jeans, John Hardy dog tag necklace and Briney's own necklace. Right: Miu Miu polo and briefs, Dior Men shirt, and Hermes shorts.

Colette Aboussouan

But, rebooting a pop culture phenomenon — one that has birthed countless memes and quotes (I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom; You can't sit with us; You go, Glen Coco, etc.) — comes with copious amounts of pressure and responsibility.

“It's really terrifying,” Briney says of remaking a fixture of the zeitgeist. “People have such strong opinions. And they should; people should have opinions. I respect and appreciate opinions, but it's hard when you try really hard on something to just be cool, to let it go.”

Chris Briney in a white sweater, shirt and shorts. Sitting on the ground
Prada sweater, shirt, and shorts, Falke socks, and Churchs shoes.

Colette Aboussouan

Briney feels confident that Fey and the rest of the cast and crew created something fresh and modern while keeping the “same heart” as the original. The film takes elements from both the 2004 film (think: iconic one-liners) and the Broadway adaptation (think: cheeky choreography and dramatic lighting), then adds 2024 components, like superimposed social media feeds (featuring cameos from well-known influencers) and Gen-Z approved fashion. Most of the music is from the 2017 stage show, but the soundtrack also includes original songs, like Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion’s banger “It’s Not My Fault.” With the return of beloved characters, a surprising cameo, and an unexpected love story (no spoilers here), the film does its own thing and unapologetically leans into nostalgia for the early aughts.

“Nobody likes straight remakes,” Briney says. “It's not a direct adaptation either, which I appreciate. It keeps the same heart, but it exists on its own.” The project is in good hands with Fey (who also reprises her role as Mrs. Norbury) at the helm. “It's just one of her babies,” he assures the fandom. “I would like to think that this movie would not have been made if she was not a part of it. She cares a lot about this world. She cares about updating the story. She felt like there was a reason to make this movie, so I just trust her.”

Chris Briney in a white sweater, shirt and shorts.
Prada sweater, shirt, and shorts.

Colette Aboussouan

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When it comes to stepping into the shoes of Aaron Samuels, Briney puts his own spin on the character, originated by Jonathan Bennett. The actor was so determined to bring a unique approach that he avoided rewatching the first movie altogether. It wasn’t for lack of preparation — he just didn’t want to get stuck making the same choices as Bennett (no matter how brilliant). Based on the audience in my screening’s collective swoon during Briney’s first scene, it’s safe to say the fans approve.

“I'm going to trust my instincts, do the homework that I feel like I need to do, and just try to trust myself as an actor,” he says. “I was like, I can't be concerned about trying to recreate something. I can't be concerned about redoing what was done so well. I'm a different person. It's 20 years later.” 

Chris Briney Lying on the ground in shorts
Miu Miu polo and briefs, Dior Men shirt, Hermes shorts, Falke socks, and Churchs shoes.

Colette Aboussouan

Briney’s near-overnight fame and leading roles in TSITP and Mean Girls has come with many industry perks, like brand partnerships (American Eagle and Tommy Hilfiger) and front-row seats at runway shows (Dior, Prada, and Louis Vuitton). Other luxury fashion houses, including Thom Browne, Balmain, and Burberry, have jumped at the opportunity to dress him. Briney admits that his off-duty style is different from his red carpet and Fashion Week wardrobe. Even after expertly posing in Miu Miu, Hermés, and Valentino on the set of this shoot, Briney, boy-next-door that he is, slipped back into his street clothes. 

Chris Briney Standing Inside a Stool Reading a Book Wearing a Blazer
Valentino blazer, sweater, jeans, and sneakers, YONY T-shirt, John Hardy necklace.

Colette Aboussouan

Whether he’s going for high-fashion or high-function, Briney humbly credits his stylist Daniela Viviana Romero with curating his new and improved wardrobe (she picked out the polished loungewear). Since coming into the spotlight there are “some things in my closet that weren't there before,” he says. “Doing shoots and going to shows has certainly just given me more to look at. It's helped me form more opinions. There [are] a lot of cool designers out there these days.”

Of course, being a certified fashion It boy and leading man admittedly comes with its own set of “baggage” (he didn’t elaborate), but Briney is just grateful to have work (“a blessing”). His newfound dreamboat status hasn’t changed him, his ordinary New York City lifestyle, or his self-deprecating humor. He actually feels insecure wearing his hair pushed back — “I get so self-conscious about my forehead sometimes” — and he doesn’t think of himself as a heartthrob. “That's ridiculous,” he answers when I ask. “I consider myself a stupid fucking idiot. I have that written on my mirror.”

Chris Briney Polaroid Sports

Chris Briney

What’s the last thing you do before you fall asleep?

If I’m alone, the last thing I do before I fall asleep is watch a Youtube video, play a video game, or watch a golf video.

Favorite villain?

If you count Michael Corleone [from The Godfather] as a villain, then I’d say him. I like when there’s a villain that you can’t help sort of rooting for — when the morality becomes how bad can they be before you stop rooting for them. I guess he’s more of an anti-hero than a villain, but I'm sticking with it.

Describe a memorable dream. 

I had this recurring dream as a kid where I was in one of the big battles in Lord of the Rings and I was swinging around with Legolas fighting the marauders on the oliphaunts, and it would always end with one of the oliphaunts stepping on me and I would wake up right before I got squished.

Chris Briney Polaroid NYC

Chris Briney

First album you ever owned?

The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden. I wasn’t really into them, but that was the first album I remember buying as a kid.

If you were required to spend $1,000 today, what would you buy and why?

I would buy my girlfriend really expensive and fancy flowers, because I think she deserves them, and you can never have too many flowers. Everybody should buy the people they love more flowers.

If you ran for office, what would your slogan be?

My slogan would be ‘Vote for Chris’

Chris Briney Polaroid Girlfriend Kiss

Chris Briney

Name one place you’ve never been but have always wanted to go.

I really want to go to Spain. I’ve never been, and my girlfriend and I talk about spending some time in Barcelona a lot. I’d love to just spend a month, like two weeks in a city or a small town by the water. Stay off the grid, enjoy a different culture a little bit.

Is there an outfit you regret wearing? 

I think that we all wear embarrassing outfits at some point and that’s part of living, so I wouldn’t say I regret wearing any of it. It’s the journey! 

Chris Briney Polaroid Waterbottle camera

Chris Briney

Favorite joke? Tell it!

It’s more of a physical joke but I like checking my watch when I'm not wearing one. It’s a lot less funny written down, but I like the bit.

Favorite Hollywood Chris?

Maybe Chris Pine? I’ve always had a soft spot for him for some reason, I’ve always thought he was really good in everything I’ve seen him in. [Editor’s note: We would’ve answered Christopher Briney.]


  • Photographer:
  • Colette Aboussouan

  • Cinematographer:
  • Phil Nolan

  • Stylist:
  • Kevin Huynh

  • Grooming:
  • Erin Anderson for Exclusive Artists using Smashbox Cosmetics

  • AC:
  • Danielle Edmond

  • Special Thanks:
  • Polaroid

  • Booking:
  • Talent Connect

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