Two women wearing the same outfit.

@christaallen/TikTok Sony Pictures

’13 Going on 30′ actor creates a TikTok sequel for her 30th birthday

She's now the one going back and forth with her 13-year-old self.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 11, 2021   Updated on Nov 11, 2021, 1:55 pm CST

Christa Allen has more than three dozen acting credits to her name, but she’s probably best known for her first role: Portraying the 13-year-old version of the character Jennifer Garner would embody as an adult in the rom-com 13 Going on 30. But as the 13 Going on 30 actor turns 30 herself, she turned to the modern classic—and TikTok—to process it all.

Tapping into people’s nostalgic love for the film, Allen went viral last year on Halloween for going as Garner’s version of Jenna in that bright-colored dress in a TikTok set to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” On Nov. 11, Allen’s actual 30th birthday, that Halloween costume is getting a second life on Twitter as people not only celebrated her birthday but also remarked on the uncanny resemblance between Allen and Garner.

Over the past few days on TikTok, Allen’s been ramping up the 13 Going on 30 love with a series of videos that tap into the heart of the film.

It’s not necessarily a 1:1 recreation of one of Allen’s scenes like two stars of The Parent Trap recently did on TikTok. Instead, Allen steps into the older Jenna role as she’s visited by her 13-year-old self (played by Lana Fleischli).

The five-part series, titled “Vienna,” is a tongue-in-cheek way to offer a more modern feminist critique of some of the film’s themes and how limiting ideas about what women can achieve (the latter, they agree, was probably written by a dude).

“Lots of people didn’t make a movie telling a bunch of young girls that their only two choices in life are to be wildly successful and alone or to get married, have kids, and decorate some cheesy house,” Fleischli says when Allen points out that turning 30 isn’t all that unique.

In the caption of one video, Allen calls the series “a 13 going on 30 sequel.” But it’s also a way for Allen, using an imagined version of her younger self, to offer advice to set her—as well as many of the viewers who may have been closer to young Jenna’s age when the film came out—up for the next decade.

“I know it’s hard to believe in yourself when everyone around you is telling you that you’re doing it wrong, but you have a built-in guide, a little voice telling you what to do,” Fleischli assures a conflicted Allen. “It’s OK to make mistakes, that’s just part of the journey.”

The final video in the series is set to drop some time Thursday.

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*First Published: Nov 11, 2021, 1:51 pm CST