“Hannah Montana” was a star-making role for Miley Cyrus, with the Disney Channel mega-hit propelling her onward to a wildly successful career in music.
However, there were other young actresses who were also up for the role, and the series’ original casting director is opening up about who nearly played the iconic TV character.
It all began with a TikTok video claiming that the role almost went to Spanish-Mexican singer Belinda, who made her Disney Channel debut in “The Cheetah Girls 2” (under her given name, Belinda Peregrín).
However, casting director Lisa London begged to differ, posting a TikTok clip of her own that begins with the original video.
After introducing herself, London dished out the truth.
“I’m actually the original casting director for ‘Hannah Montana’ and I discovered Miley Cyrus,” said London.
“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 showed the casting sheet for “the final three actresses that auditioned at the network test out of over 1,200 girls,” revealing those three to be Cyrus, Taylor Momsen (who would go on to star in “Gossip Girl”) and Daniella Monet, who would subsequently appear on Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101” and “Victorious”.
London had another nugget of trivia to share: the character’s name was originally Chloe Stewart before being changed to Miley Stewart when Cyrus snagged the role.