13 TV Stars Who Wanted One Role But Were Cast In Another

Karen Neal / ©ABC / courtesy Everett Collection

The auditioning process can be stressful and frustrating for any actor and sometimes auditions don’t go as planned. When given a script, many actors and actresses are asked to audition for a specific role or connect with one that they are determined to get, but often times producers and creators have other ideas! While all of these popular TV stars definitely ended up getting a role in the show they were auditioning for, it certainly wasn’t the part they had in mind. Here are 13 TV stars who wanted one role but were cast in another:

13. Bethany Joy Lenz and James Lafferty- One Tree Hill

It is hard to imagine any of the One Tree Hill stars in any other role on the show because they played their parts so perfectly, but in the beginning Bethany Joy Lenz wasn’t just up for Haley. When she was brought in for the show, she was actually asked to audition for Brooke Davis and Haley James. Because she wanted the role of Haley more, the actress later admitted that she purposely didn’t put as much effort into her audition for Brooke to make producers see she would make a better Haley. As for casting the Scott brothers, Mark Schwahn immediately had Chad Michael Murray in mind, but not for Lucas. After seeing Murray as the “bad boy” in Gilmore Girls Schwahn thought Murray would make a great Nathan, but it was the actor who connected with Lucas more and proved it was the better role for him. James Lafferty later admitted that he actually first auditioned for Lucas before nabbing the role of Nathan. “I read the script while I was still in high school, and originally auditioned for the character of Lucas. But they had already chosen Chad Michael Murray.”

Source: CW

12. Ed Westwick – Gossip Girl

For six seasons Ed Westwick stole the show on Gossip Girl with his amazing portrayal of bad boy turned good guy Chuck Bass. While we can’t imagine anyone else in the role, it turns out that Chuck Bass wasn’t the character he was aiming for when he auditioned for the show. After reading the script, Westwick read for the role of Nate Archibald on tape, but things changed for the creators when he auditioned in person. “Ed Westwick came in and blew us away. He originally read for Nate, but Stephanie and I looked at each other and wrote, ‘Chuck?’ on a piece of paper. Once we cast him, he had to figure out his green card. We got several calls that he actually wasn’t going to get it in time,” co-creator Josh Schwartz said of finding their perfect Chuck Bass.

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11. Jensen Ackles – Supernatural

With its eleventh season back in 2015-2016, Supernatural became the longest-running American live-action fantasy TV series, and much of that is thanks to the fantastic casting and chemistry of Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester, but things could have been much different. When casting for the series began, Jensen Ackles read the script and went in to audition for Sam even though he had liked Dean better as a character and related to him more. While producers knew they liked Ackles, they also knew Sam wasn’t the right role for him so after Jared Padalecki was cast as Sam, they brought Ackles back in to read for Dean, and he of course landed the part.

Sergei Bachlakov © THE CW / courtesy everett collection

10. Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter – Girl Meets World

Even though Girl Meets World didn’t find the same success as its predecessor Boy Meets World, it still gained a lot of fans over its three seasons. The young talented cast were great in their roles, so many are surprised to learn that the two stars, Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter, originally auditioned for each other’s characters. In an interview, Blanchard, who starred as Riley Matthews, admitted that she initially auditioned for the role of Riley’s best friend Mya and when Sabrina auditioned, she did so for Riley. The pair actually stayed in the roles as they went through the auditioning process but when they got put together they realized that each other’s characters fit their personalities better, so they swapped.

Ron Tom/©Disney Channel/courtesy Everett Collection

9. Hank Azaria – Friends

Creating the perfect cast for Friends was paramount in the show’s success, and many well known stars auditioned for all the roles before the final six were cast, including Hank Azaria. The popular actor really wanted to land the role of Joey Tribbiani and was very passionate about the part. “That’s the only job I ever auditioned for twice. I thought it was so good — they had rejected me once — I said, ‘I’m going back, I’m gonna do it again, I’m gonna try it again,” he explained. While his second audition didn’t go any better than the first, he did end up with the very memorable guest role of David through five episodes of Friends.

Source: Vulture

8. Miley Cyrus – Hannah Montana

It is hard to imagine a time before Miley Cyrus was one of the most talked about stars in Hollywood, and that is because she found fame young as the star of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, but when the idea for the show came up, she wasn’t going for the lead at all. As the show was being developed, Cyrus auditioned for the “best friend” role of Lilly Truscott, and it was the producers who immediately knew she should be the star. Miley was given the role and the character’s name was changed from Chloe Stewart to Miley Stewart and Emily Osment was cast as Lilly Truscott.

Photo by Snap Stills / Rex Features

7. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter – Buffy

Sarah Michelle Gellar has become a pop culture icon because of her portrayal of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the television series from 1997-2003, but when she was first cast in the series, she wasn’t in the lead role. When she auditioned for the series Gellar was actually offered the role of Cordelia Chase and Charisma Carpenter went after the role of Buffy, but after producers saw Carpenter audition they realized they had made a mistake. As a result they asked Gellar to come back and audition for Buffy and at the same time asked Carpenter to be Cordelia instead, meaning the show could have looked very different.

Source: Movieplayer

6. Alona Tal – Veronica Mars

Finding the right lead is the key to any series and when it came to finding the right Veronica Mars for his series, Rob Thomas had a difficult decision to make. Before casting Kristen Bell, Thomas really wanted Alona Tal in the role and even though she didn’t get the lead he did cast her in the recurring role of Meg Manning for the series.

5. Chris Colfer – Glee

For fans of Glee, they know that the series would not be the same without Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel, so it might be surprising to learn that when Colfer auditioned it wasn’t for Kurt; in fact there wasn’t even a Kurt character yet. “I was auditioning for the part of Artie, the kid in the wheelchair, and I didn’t get it, obviously. So that was it. So they invented a character for me. They created Kurt specifically,” Colfer explained of his breakout role.

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4. Jason Dohring and Teddy Dunn – Veronica Mars

Alona Tal wasn’t the only Veronica Mars star to get a different role than the one she auditioned for! When getting the series into production, Jason Dohring auditioned for the role of Duncan Kane and Teddy Dunn auditioned for the role of Logan Echolls. As fans of the series are well aware, Dohring went on to become Logan and Dunn became Duncan for the series and that was because after Dohring’s audition they realized he would make the perfect Logan because he gave the character an “evil but fun” feel. Not to mention at the time the character of Logan was only supposed to be in the pilot episode, but Dohring impressed them so much they wrote him in to more until he became one of the stars.

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3. The Vampire Diaries

Everyone found their perfect fit on The Vampire Diaries, but it is rather surprising how many stars of the show actually auditioned for different roles than the ones they were cast for. One of the main casting changes fans could have seen was that Paul Wesley actually first auditioned for the role of Damon Salvatore. After Ian Somerhalder was cast in the role, Wesley re-read and got the part of Stefan instead. Similarly, Zach Roerig had his mind set on the character of Stefan Salvatore when he went into auditions for the show, but was cast instead as Matt Donovan. There was also a lot of interest for the role of Elena, and Torrey DeVitto who was actually married to Paul Wesley from 2011-2013, auditioned for the part, but lost out to Nina Dobrev. Luckily she was kept in mind and two years later producers cast her as Dr. Meredith Fell.

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2. Isaiah Washington – Grey’s Anatomy

A lot of Grey’s Anatomy popularity was thanks to Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka Dr. McDreamy, but the show could have looked a lot different if someone else had gotten the role first. When Isaiah Washington auditioned for the show, he read for the role of Shepherd and was close to getting it because originally Shonda Rhimes wanted an interracial couple as the main couple on the show. In the end, it was Pompeo who wanted Dempsey as Shepherd because she didn’t want the show to get too close to her own personal life as she is in a real-life interracial relationship with husband Chris Ivery. Rhimes still really liked Washington though, and he was instead cast as Dr. Preston Burke.

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1. Pretty Little Liars

Much like The Vampire Diaries, many of Pretty Little Liars’ stars actually read for roles different than the ones they ended up with. In the beginning, Lucy Hale auditioned for the role of Hanna but was given the role of Aria; Shay Mitchell read for the role of Spencer but was cast as Emily; Janel Parrish also auditioned for the role of Spencer but was instead given the part of Mona; and Keegan Allen had his sights set on the role of Wren but ended up being cast as Toby.

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