If you were a teen or preteen in the first decade of the 2000s, you might fondly remember seeing a little movie or reading a little book called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Oh, you’ve heard of it? Good.
In the era of nostalgia and so much bad news, nothing gives me more joy than knowing that even 13 years later, the sisterhood is still going as strong as ever.
What might look a little bit like publicity from the outside is real, honest to goodness friendship between the four ladies. The sisterhood, made up of America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, Amber Tamblyn, and Blake Lively, is as real as it gets and they give us all the feels.
Amber once told Entertainment Weekly about their 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.”
From sweet social media posts to weddings to baby showers to reminiscing about the hilarious things about filming the movie in the first place, the last 13 years have given us nothing but proof that the foursome is the real deal of sisterhood.
Read on to find out the 17 best secrets of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
17 They Are Actually Real-Life Best Friends
There is a belief that if a friendship lasts past the 7-year mark then it will likely outlast anything. If that’s true, then Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn are going to be our role models for life. Even though the four women had never met before the filming of the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants they became fast and forever friends that have been known to still have the occasional sleepover and meet up to hang out any time two or more of them are in the same city.
Sisterhood secret 17 is not so secret because they love to share it on social media: they are still the best of friends! On June 22, 2016, Blake Lively posted an adorable throwback photo of the foursome on a plane (see above) with the caption
“'Not just my friends, but my sisters, my mentors, my inspiration-- Artists, poets, activists, women. We can and do empower each other. 'When women support each other, we accomplish amazing things. Celebrate the women who #LeanInTogether with you.”
This is not only amazing for Lively promoting gender equality but also she shows us that just like in the books and movies, they consider themselves sisters! In the eleven years between the filming of the first movie of the two and the posting of the Instagram caption, it looks like nothing has changed for these four incredible ladies, proving friendships can really last forever!
16 There's A Second Generation Of The Sisterhood
This one has to be my absolute favorite. Sisterhood secret number 16 is that there is a second generation of the sisterhood.
Amber Tamblyn has gushed before about the sisterhood’s adorable children and the fact that they have play dates. She even admitted that her baby girl, Marlow, has her own tiny pair of jeggings to honor the original pants.
In addition to Marlow, Blake and husband Ryan Reynolds have two daughters, James, and Ines, Alexis and husband Vincent Kartheiser have a son, and on New Years Day 2018 America announced along with an adorable Instagram of her sisters all holding her belly that she and husband Ryan Piers Williams are expecting their first little bundle of joy. And of course, all of her sisters are over the moon excited for her.
This isn’t the only adorable baby Instagram the sisterhood has given us. When Amber announced she was pregnant, Blake was so excited that she commemorated the moment with an Instagram captioned, “So proud of my dear friend, and new mama to be.” In 2014, America posted an adorable photo of Amber and baby Marlow with the caption, “#thefutureissisterhood”. And there’s definitely that cute photo of Amber and America “practicing” birthing with a feathered and glittery decoration from a baby shower.
Here’s to sisterhood generation number two.
15 Most Of The Stars Had To Get Special Training For The Movie
When producers look for actors in films, they often look for the best actor rather than for special talents. An actress can be taught how to ride a horse or play a sport well enough, but an expert cannot always be taught to act. Sisterhood secret 7 is that most of the stars had to get training before filming could begin.
America Ferrera told all about it in an interview with the online movie review site GrouchoReviews.com. The actress prefers basketball in real life but had to learn to play tennis for the movie. She said of the experience, “You know, I didn't start playing tennis 'til I had to train for this, and I loved it—I really enjoyed it 'cause it's like basketball—it's so physically intense, but then you have to, you have to be there. You have to be there mentally, too.
Ferrera wasn’t the only star that had to learn a new skill. Alexis Bledel had to be taught how to ride a Vespa. Both Bledel and Ferrera’s lessons pale in comparison to Blake Lively’s mandatory two months of soccer training in LA and Canada.
And not a sister, but as a bonus fact, Michael Radey, the actor who portrays Kostas, had four days to learn to speak with a Greek accent. Yikes!
14 America Ferrera Almost Didn't Do The Film
Once again life imitates art in the slightly scary 15th sisterhood secret: America Ferrera almost did not do the film! Ferrera told Entertainment Weekly, “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.”
In another interview with GrouchoReviews.com, she elaborated she did not even know about the books before she was given the script.
“I was like, ‘Oh right-- not so much… and then my mom read it-actually my mom read it first because she’ll just, like, pick up a script that’s sitting around and read it. And she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, you have to read this script.’ She’s like ‘It’s so beautiful,’ and I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ So I did..."
"I read it and I was so amazed at what I found. It’s just this story about really beautiful characters and an honest portrayal of being young. And it wasn’t cheesy and sappy, and it wasn’t any of those things.”
A big shout out to Mama Ferrera! Thanks for getting your girl on board to read the script and do the film. We cannot imagine the iconic role of Carmen being played by anyone else. To you, we are truly grateful!
13 They've Attended Each Other's Weddings
As teenage girls, we dream of the day that we will marry the love of our life and have our best friends there with us to make the day perfect. Nothing could be sweeter than lifelong friends attending your wedding and celebrating your happiness! Sisterhood secret number 6 is that anytime a sister of the traveling pants is getting married, she can count on the rest of the sisterhood to show up.
In June 2011, America Ferrera celebrated her marriage to her former student film co-star, Ryan Piers Williams, and Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn all showed up to support her.
When Blake got married to her former Green Lantern co-star, Ryan Reynolds, in September 2012, guess who was on the guest list. That’s right. Her sisters.
When Amber married comedian David Cross the very next month, you can bet the sisterhood was united once again to celebrate, husbands in tow, at the Autumn themed wedding.
While Alexis’ June 2014 wedding to Mad Men co-star Vincent Kartheiser was completely top secret, including the guest list, I would not hesitate one second to say that the rest of the sisterhood was most likely there. After all, “Pants equals love. Love your pals. Love yourself.”
12 Blake Lively Actually Planned All Of Their Bachelorette Parties
On the topic of weddings, we would be remiss to not talk about the bachelorette parties. Sisterhood secret number 5 is that Blake Lively planned all of the sisterhood’s bachelorette parties.
Amber Tamblyn’s bachelorette party actually came as a surprise in the form of a kidnapping by her sisters. Tamblyn said in an interview the ladies had with Entertainment Weekly, “Blake talked me into coming up to her and Ryan’s house. We all had drinks and Blake’s like, ”You can’t drive home.” The next morning there was a car service and Ryan was like, ”I’ll watch Ollie” — our dog. And Blake basically took me to the airport. She blindfolded me. And I felt all these hands pulling me out of the car. I’m like, ”Okay, I’m going to be beheaded. I know what happens.” And it was America and Alexis — they had all surprised me and put this whole trip together to New Orleans.”
Lively mentioned later on that she actually never got a bachelorette party. She doesn’t blame the ladies because in an effort to keep the wedding a secret from the press, she told all her guests, including her sisters, that they would be attending a birthday party Everyone showed up to find that she and Reynolds would be getting married that day. Surprise!
11 They've Discussed The Possibility Of Another Film
Hardcore fans of the books and movies were all very disappointed when the four-book series was not completely brought to the big screen. The movie adaptations ended with the 2008 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. But fans everywhere can now rejoice with sisterhood secret number 14: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 3 could be happening soon.
Amber Tamblyn, who has since moved from the front of the camera to behind it directing the 2016 film, Paint It Black, has been very vocal about the idea. In an October 2017 interview with Refinery 29 in response to a question about a third film, Tamblyn said called it “a very good possibility.” She went on to say,
“I can't say anything else other than we've been working on something for a while, and there's hope. Our business is weird, and making films is hard, and I'm very hopeful for it.”
As recently as April 2018 the film was mentioned again with Lively telling Entertainment Weekly that she thought it would happen followed shortly by Tamblyn warning on Twitter of her news “not being enough to break the internet but certainly could crack it…” and then reporting that there is a script in existence.
All of the women's hinting leads us to believe that the third installment would skip in time and follow Brashares 2011 conclusion of the series, Sisterhood Everlasting which picks up 10 years after the end of the 4th book Forever in Blue.
I don’t know about you, but eeeek!!!
10 The Cliff Diving Scene Really Happened And The Producers Wrote It Into The Script
If you’re a hardcore fan of the sisterhood book series, you might have noticed that the iconic cliff jumping scene didn’t actually appear in the books. Sisterhood secret number 11 is the cliff jumping scene from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 was not originally in the script, but was added after a real-life friendship moment.
During filming in Santorini, Greece, Amber, Blake, and America were walking around exploring when they came upon a group of teenage guys cliff jumping. The boys came up out of the water and were starstruck. They explained to the three ladies that they loved the first movie and were so inspired by it that they decided to travel together this summer, which was what brought them to Santorini in the first place. They begged the girls to try cliff jumping with them and after some convincing, especially for Ferrera, they decided to give it a go.
The ladies loved it so much they jumped several more times and then approached the director with the idea of adding a scene where the four girls come upon a local cliff diving and try it themselves. She loved the idea and decided to add it in, and the rest is history.
9 America Ferrera And Alexis Bledel Volunteer Together
We would all be wrong to assume that the sisterhood is just pretty faces and acting talent. These ladies have substance. Sisterhood secret number 8 is that Alexis Bledel and America Ferrera volunteer together! They truly are part-time actresses and full-time role models.
The two women have joined the ONE Organization. ONE describes themselves as “a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than nine million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.” The ladies might have a strong connection to the organization as they work not only towards ending poverty but focusing on the fact that the gender gap is so severe in parts of the world suffering from extreme poverty.
Their sisterhood is inclusive; they want to help build up not just each other, but women all over the world.
The photo above shows the ladies reading to a group of children in their school in Honduras. This volunteer reading was a part of the trip they took with the organization to Honduras to learn about non-profits work to diminish the effects of poverty, particularly in the lives of women.
Sisterhood for a better world? I’m here for it.
8 They're So Close Because They're All So Different
Sisterhood secret number 16 could not be any cuter! The four ladies feel that what makes their friendship so strong is their differences. Just like in the books the four women have very different personalities, interests, and life experiences.
In a recent MTV News interview, Amber Tamblyn said, "The four of us are so vastly different that [it] kind of brings us together, in a weird way, because we learn so much from each other.” She went on to say of their unique bond,
“That’s what makes really good friendships, when you have key principles that connect you, but then at the same time, you have somebody that can teach you.”
What is so endearing about this is that it could easily be a quote from Tamblyn’s character, Tibby, straight out of the books or films. They're in real life fierce female friendship mirrors that of their characters and could not be any cuter if Ann Brashares wrote it herself.
Tamblyn went on to elaborate in the interview that their friend group is just like the ones we belong too. She said that sometimes she might be closer to Blake or America or Alexis, but they can always count on each other.
I’m not crying. You’re crying.
7 They Felt Strong Connections To Their Characters
The more we learn about the cast of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants the more it seems like this film was preordained by some celestial entities who wanted women to have a realistic movie about female friendship that we can actually relate to. I feel this is strongly proven by sisterhood secret number 13: the ladies really felt a strong connection to their characters.
In a 2008 interview leading up to the release of the second film, the ladies talked to CNN about why they believed the first film was so successful. When asked why they thought the movie was so original Amber Tamblyn said of herself and her cast mates,
“I think that the most obvious thing -- and something that America said before -- is the fact that it feels like we sort of become our characters. We just fall right into them because we are such close friends in real life, all of us. I think that just adds a special chemistry and aspect to the film itself.”
If this were any other film we might be suspicious and consider this just a publicity comment, but these women have shown us plenty of evidence they are real-life besties in the 13 years since the release of the first film. I am inclined to believe them.
6 They Believe Their Movie Is So Appealing Because It Is So Real
Get out the tissues for sisterhood secret number 12: Alexis, Blake, America, and Amber all agree that the movie is so successful because it is so real. In a world where so many representations of women and girls fall short, the story of Lena, Bridget, Carmen, and Tibby feels so real they could be girls you went to high school with.
Ferrera said of the film in an interview with CNN, “What I really love about this movie and why I would have run out to see this film even if I wasn't in it ... is that I feel as a young woman I'm always constantly craving my stories to be told, you know? When I was younger and movies like Now and Then came out, which was the story about four best friends… You know, you want to see your story represented out there in the big world of entertainment and so I think it's exciting for young women to get to see things like Hannah Montana. ... "
Not that you can't enjoy all types of films, but it is special for young women to see a real portrayal of how hard it is to grow up and how special friendships can be.”
The other three women agree wholeheartedly with Lively adding, “And also, you know, a lot of movies that appeal to a younger audience that have females in them, normally women are pitted against one another. But these are four girls loving each other and supporting each other and the friendship is really the most important thing…”
5 They Still Hang Out When They Are In The Same City
As mentioned earlier in the article, the four stars had never met before the first movie, but it hasn’t stopped them from becoming so close that, sisterhood secret 10, they try to see each other whenever it is possible.
The four women are extremely busy and do not get to see each other as much as they would like; they are actors, directors, wives, moms, activists, and all-around role models and definitely keep busy schedules that reflect that.
That’s what makes the 2008 Good Morning America interview with Blake Lively so precious. In her interview, she said of their friendship, “From the first film, we got along so well that we all try to get together whenever we’re in the same city.”
America, Blake, Alexis, and Amber rang in the New Year together in 2016 and then celebrated the 4th of July that same year.
They have mentioned in interviews that they still have sleepovers and Blake spilled in an interview that one time she actually woke up Amber at 7 AM one morning to try a new cupcake recipe she got up and made on a whim.
The ladies like to joke that they are so close that their husbands have made their own “brotherhood” to go along with it.
4 Sisters That Protest Together Stay Together
We already touched on the fact that the women are more than qualified to be role models, but sisterhood secret number 4 is that they stood with women across the country and played a big part in the January 2017 women’s march.
Amber Tamblyn, an outspoken activist, showed up in her planned parenthood hat at not one, but two different marches.
In the morning she attended the Washington D.C. march with sister America Ferrera and in the evening she attended the New York City one with Blake Lively.
At the Washington D.C. speech, America, a known women’s rights activist and proud Latina, delivered a powerful six-minute speech beginning with,
"As a woman and as a proud first-generation American born to Honduran immigrants, it’s been a heartrending to time to be both an immigrant and a woman in this country. Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack and the platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. WE are America. And, we are here to stay.”
These remarkable women once again prove that with sisters, anything is possible.
3 They Celebrate Each Other's Victories
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As if America, Blake, Amber, and Alexis could not be any cuter, sisterhood secret number 3 is that to this day they still come out to support each other whenever possible. Whether that be family milestones or career celebrations, the sisterhood shows up in a big way.
When Amber released a book of poetry called Bang Ditto, Alexis and America were there at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City ready to support and celebrate.
Since Amber is an established writer, when Blake started her own lifestyle website, Preserve, in 2014 Amber pitched in as a writer. Her author’s bio even gave an adorable nod to Blake’s adoration of cupcakes and their friendship. The website is sadly no more, but the love between the sisters stays with us still.
In 2017, Amber branched out from just writing to directing and all of her sisters were there to support the release of her film, Paint it Black. Amber told People Magazine a sweet anecdote about her sister’s support that evening, “ Even tonight, [Blake] explained to me how to steam this shirt over text. This shirt was all wrinkled and I was like, ‘I’m screwed! I don’t know what I’m going to do with this shirt.’ And she was like, ‘Put it in the bathroom for 20 minutes and turn the shower on. Are you good with your jewelry? What shoes are you going to wear?’ ”
They sound just like my sisters.
2 Sisters Fight
As all sisters do, Amber and America fight. And by fight, I mean secret number 2 is that in 2016 Amber Tamblyn and America Ferrera appeared on an episode of Spike’s always hilarious Lip Sync Battle.
I mean this totally makes sense for the fun-loving sisters who Entertainment Weekly reported that at a “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.”
I’m sorry to admit but even as wonderful as America’s rendition of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine’s "Conga" was, it paled in comparison to watching Amber dance provocatively around in a full costume to "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd.
America’s performance may have had talented dancers, but Amber’s was complete with the trademark blonde wig and tan.
She came out onto the stage accompanied by two secret service agents and signs plastered with Ferrera’s face.
As slightly disturbing as the performance was it definitely reminded me of being silly with my friends. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should totally go check it out on Youtube.
1 Alexis Bledel Won A Break Dancing Contest While They Filmed The First Movie
When you think of Alexis Bledel, what do you think of? Do you think of shy Lena in the sisterhood films or does bookish Rory of Gilmore Girls come to mind? What about sheltered Winnie in Tuck Everlasting? If that’s what you think of, sisterhood secret number 9 will shock you: Alexis Bledel won a breakdancing contest while filming the first installment of the movie series.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tamblyn spilled, “I remember specifically taking Alexis and forcing her to come to this club with me in Vancouver... I made her enter a break-dancing competition. Not even a joke. And she did it! It was the cutest thing ever; she was like a tiny turtle that was upside down in her shell and she was spinning around. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I love you. I love you, you’re amazing.’ She won a T-shirt.”
To which, Bledel teased back, “I really wanted to win that T-shirt. Amber loves telling that story because she was so shocked that I did that. I’m fairly shy and reserved.”
I don’t know about you, but I really wish there was some footage of petite little Alexis spinning around on the floor. She earned that tee shirt.
References: Refinery29.com, popsugar.com, Bustle.com, USWeekly.com. CNN.com, people.com, wmagazine.com, hollywoodreporter.com, moviefone.com, twitter.com, instagram.com, dailymail.com, Youtube.com, people.com, filmreviewonline.com, ew.com, amazon.com, justjared.com, instagram.com, MTVnews.com entertainmentweekly.com, grouchoreviews.com, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,