The Hannah Montana The series made Miley Cyrus a household name, but the role could have been a turning point for two other actresses.
Rumors have swirled that singer Belinda, known for her performance in Cheetah Girls 2, nearly landed the role of the beloved character. However, the Disney Channel show’s original casting director Lisa London has now put them to rest, revealing who almost helmed the teen hit, which ran from 2006 to 2011.
In a video shared on TikTok, London clarified that the Spanish-Mexican singer was, in fact, not in the running. In place, Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen and Daniella Monet, who appeared on Nickelodeon Zoe 101 and Victorious, came close to snagging the plum gig.
Everett-Collection Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana
“I discovered Miley Cyrus,” London said. “I wanted everyone to know that Belinda, who is adorable by the way, was never in the top 3 for the role of Hannah.”
Pulling a visual aid as evidence, London shared a piece of paper containing a list of the three actresses vying for the role in 2005. The trio made it to the final round of those competing to play the high school student and undercover pop star, beating over a thousand girls who auditioned.
DISNEY CHANNEL/BYRON COHEN; Paul Archuleta/Getty; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic Miley Cyrus; Daniella Monet; Taylor Momsen
London also noted that the character was originally named Chloe rather than Miley Stewart before Cyrus was cast.
The series became a global phenomenon, spawning the 2009 film Hannah Montana: The Movie. In March, Cyrus celebrated the show’s 15th anniversary with a heartfelt letter to fans.
“It’s been a while — 15 years to be exact — since the first time I slicked those blonde bangs down my forehead in the best attempt to conceal my identity,” she wrote. “Then I put on a vomit pink terrycloth bathrobe and bedazzled HM on the [heart].”
Hannah Montana is currently streaming on Disney+.
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