How Nancy Meyers discovered Lindsay Lohan 20 years ago

It’s been 20 years since Lindsay Lohan was introduced to the world in Nancy Meyers’ directorial debut “The Parent Trap” — and finding the film’s star wasn’t easy.

“When you’re making a movie that stars an 11-year-old and there’s not an existing 11-year-old movie star, you have to find somebody [new],” Meyers told an audience during the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday. “I think I saw almost 500 girls and I didn’t feel we had her.”

Producers narrowed down the pool to 40 to 50 girls — including Lohan, who sent in a homemade tape — and Meyers spent a weekend further shrinking the group to just six young actresses.

“We flew them all to [Los Angeles] and we screen tested them and she just popped,” Meyers said. “I wasn’t so sure from the audition tape that she’d be the one, but as soon as I looked at the footage in the screening room, it was just obvious. She was just talented, adorable, natural and fun.”

Meyers also revealed Lohan was so convincing at playing twins that during the first preview of the movie, Michael Eisner, the head of Disney at the time, walked up to her and said, “How lucky were you to find those two girls.”

“The Parent Trap,” a remake of the 1961 film starring Hayley Mills as sisters separated at birth and reunited at summer camp, was released in 1998.

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