For an entire generation of viewers, Hannah Montana was something of a cultural touchstone, with the live-action Disney Channel series becoming an absolute hit. The series, which aired from 2006 to 2011, helped turn series star Miley Cyrus into a household name, and spawned successful concert tours, tie-in movies, and so much more. A recent viral TikTok tried to shed light on how Cyrus was cast in the role, claiming that Cheetah Girls 2 alum Belinda Peregrín was in the final running to play the role. Lisa London, who served as Hannah Montana's original casting director, recently replied to the video to debunk the theory — and to reveal two notable names who actually were in contention. As London revealed in the video, which you can check out below, Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen, as well as Victorious and Zoey 101 alum Daniella Monet, were the two runners-up to Cyrus in the final auditions.
"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 3 for the role of Hannah. These were the final three actresses that auditioned at the network test out of over 1,200 girls. And this was when her name was originally Chloe Stewart before they changed it to Miley Stewart."
In recent years, especially following the revivals of series like That's So Raven and Punky Brewster, the question has been about whether or not Hannah Montana could be revived. While Cyrus' father, Billy Ray Cyrus, has teased the possibility of a prequel around his character, Cyrus herself has shut down the idea of her directly returning.
"[I] probably [wouldn't do a Hannah Montana reboot]," Cyrus told People in 2017. "It's a lot of time to be spent with my dad. You know, my dad was my dad on the show. I have enough dad time."
"That was really hard every day from, like, [ages] 11 to 18," Cyrus added. "I didn't get a school escape like most people. I went to work with my dad. And then I started driving my dad toward the end, when I could start driving. And then my grandma went with me every day. It was a lot of time with dad and grandma."
What do you think of these new behind-the-scenes details about Hannah Montana's casting? Would you have wanted to see Momsen or Monet in the role? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!