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Whatever happened to… Lalaine?

| Music Editor
Giulio Marcocchi | Abaca Press | MCT

Lalaine, who played Miranda in “Lizzie McGuire,” has lately fallen off the radar.

Who can forget the apogee of all Disney shows, “Lizzie McGuire”? You’d be hard pressed to find a girl above 17 these days who wasn’t guided through the horrors of middle school by the infamous trio of Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo. Lizzie and her crudely drawn cartoon doppelganger taught us all how to talk to the cute boy, deal with the mean girl in the hallways and wear platform flip-flops or butterfly clips with style. Quite simply, you weren’t hip if you weren’t enchanted with the flowing golden locks of Ethan Craft or practicing your own biting Kate Sanders’ insults (“What’s your email? [email protected]?”).

We all know from the unforgettable “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” (2003) that eventually the trio had to graduate (middle school) and move on but not before a class trip to Italy where Lizzie found fame in a shiny silver pantsuit and finally realized Gordo had been in love with her all along. Of course, Hilary Duff went off on a mostly successful film and music career, which included the “Cheaper by the Dozen” film series, a triple-platinum album (“Metamorphosis”) and marriage to an NHL player. But whatever happened to Lizzie McGuire’s crazy-haired partner in crime, Miranda Sanchez, played by the succinctly named Lalaine?

Miranda didn’t get to go to Rome with Lizzie and Gordo and ride around on Vespas with cute Italian pop stars. In fact, Lalaine Vergara-Paras passed on the Lizzie McGuire movie because she was already filming another Disney Channel Original Movie, titled “You Wish!” (anyone remember that one?). Lalaine then went on to shoot a pilot spin-off centered on Miranda’s little sister in 2005, but the episode never aired. She had a role in 2007’s “Her Best Move” but mostly kept busy pursuing a music career, releasing an independent album in 2003 before touring with Radio Disney and signing a deal with Warner Bros. Records. However, her album with the company never got released, and she sort of fell off the Hollywood radar. Then in 2007 came news of her arrest for possession of methamphetamine. The actress managed to keep the whole thing under wraps fairly well, pleading guilty and taking a meth-treatment program that would expunge her record. Who would’ve thought?

In terms of recent exposure, you may remember Lalaine’s 30-second cameo as “Gossipy Girl” in teen comedy “Easy A”. She also apparently played bass in a band called Vanity Theft from 2010-2011. Beyond that, she seems to have withdrawn from the public eye, relegated to the shadowy corners of Hollywood, forever remembered as being Lizzie McGuire’s BFF—patterned pants, crazy hairstyles and all.

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