Sweet niblets, Hannah Montana almost looked totally different! The show’s casting director, Lisa London, took to TikTok and revealed which actresses almost nabbed the coveted Disney Channel role before it went to Miley Cyrus.
After a viral TikTok claimed that actress and singer Belinda was in the running for the lead on Hannah Montana, Lisa stepped in and set the record straight.
“I’m actually the original casting director on Hannah Montana, and I discovered Miley Cyrus,” Lisa shared in the video, which was posted on Wednesday, August 17. “I wanted to let everyone know that Belinda — who is lovely by the way — was never in the top three for the role of Hannah.”
She then cut to a photo of a piece of paper dated May 6, 2005, which revealed that Miley, Taylor Momsen and Daniella Monet were in the running for the lead role — who was called Chloe at the time.
“These were the final three actresses that auditioned at the network test out of over 1200 girls,” Lisa explained. “This was when her name was originally Chloe Stewart before they changed it to Miley Stewart.”
Daniella — who eventually went on to play Trina Vega in Nickelodeon’s Victorious — took to the comments section and wrote, “Love you Lisa.” As fans know, Taylor also found success elsewhere. She was eventually cast as Jenny Humphrey on the CW’s Gossip Girl.
Miley, for her part, played the roles of Miley Stewart and Hannah Montana on Disney Channel for four seasons from 2006 to 2011.
“Since the first time I slid those blonde bangs over my forehead in the best attempt to conceal my identity, then slipped into a puke-pink terrycloth robe with a bedazzled ‘HM’ over the [heart]. I didn’t know then … that is where you would live forever,” Miley wrote in a heartfelt letter when celebrating the show’s 15th anniversary in March 2021. “Not just in [my heart], but [in the hearts of] millions of people around the world. Although you are considered to be an ‘alter ego,’ in reality there was a time in my life when you held more of my identity in your glove than I did in my bare hands.”
These aren’t the only celebs who were considered for the show. Over the years, “Leave (Get Out)” songstress JoJo — whose real name is Joanna Levesque — has revealed that she was also considered for the series.
“No regrets. No regrets at all,” the songstress revealed in an interview from 2008. “Yeah, they [Disney] offered me the role … [But] it’s not really what I see for myself.”