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Disney Channel / Disney+
Culture > Entertainment

Wait, Hannah Montana Was Almost Played By Who?!

Chances are, if you were born in the early 2000s, you spent your nights and early mornings before school watching some of Disney Channel’s most iconic shows. Most notably, Disney Channel was known for the release of Hannah Montana, which had plenty of us singing “The Best of Both Worlds” at the top of our lungs. However, can you imagine if the role of everyone’s favorite childhood popstar was played by anyone other than the child star turned rock princess, Miley Cyrus?

Well, as it turns out, that’s more likely than you might think. As revealed in a TikTok by Lisa London, the casting director who chose Miley for the role, there was actually two other girls that had the potential to play Miley Stewart — who, by the way, was originally going to be named Chloe Stewart, according to London. London made a video in response to a fan’s claim that singer Belinda (who had been on Disney Channel before, in The Cheetah Girls 2) was almost cast as Hannah Montana. She debunked the fan’s claim, but did share the names of the other girls who were in the running — and you are probably already familiar with their work.

Daniella Monet 

As it turns out, this 33-year-old actress was in the running to don the blonde wig and play Hannah. However, that wouldn’t have been Daniella Monet’s first role on television. Monet began her acting career in 1997 when she played young Corey in the episode of Pacific Angel, “Avenging Angel.” Prior to auditioning for the role of Chloe Stewart, she also played a main role in the 2004 sitcom, Listen Up!, which followed a sports show host, Tony Kleinman, who also frequently talks his family, where she played the 14-year-old, know-it-all, smart-mouthed, soccer playing daughter. Despite not getting cast in Hannah Montana, Monet did end up returning to the Disney Channel screen in 2008 when she played Dana in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episode, “Benchwarmers.” 

Monet ended up not needing the role of Hannah to make it big in kids’ television, however: She got her breakout role in 2010 when she was cast as Trina Vega in the Nickelodeon show Victorious. She played Tori’s annoying and talentless older sister, who would do pretty much anything to get in the spotlight. Her acting roles following the show’s end in 2013 consisted mainly of other Nickelodeon shows and movies like the Fred movies and TV show, where she played the role of Bertha after Jennette McCurdy quit the role, as well as Tootie in the live-action Fairly Odd Parents movies. She also appeared in her Victorious co-star Ariana Grande’s music video for “Thank U, Next” as a cheerleader. 

Taylor Momsen 

Unlike Monet, Taylor Momsen had quite the resume before auditioning for the role of Chloe Stewart. Her career in entertainment began when her parents signed her up to model with Ford when she was two years old. She was also in the 1997 national commercial for Shake ’n Bake at three years old. She captured everyone’s hearts in 2000 when she played Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Some other of her well-known roles leading up to her Hannah audition include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, as well as Alexandra, the President’s Daughter in Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams. 

Momsen also had quite the career after being turned down for Hannah Montana. When it comes to acting, she’s known most for playing Jenny Humphrey in the Gossip Girl series for the first four seasons. After Gossip Girl, Momsen announced that she had quit acting and decided to put all of her energy into her music. She’s the lead vocalist of rock band The Pretty Reckless. Along with their two well-known songs, “Make Me Wanna Die” and “Heaven Knows,” they also have four albums, Light Me Up, Going to Tell, Who You Selling For and Death by Rock and Roll. This summer, Momsen and The Pretty Reckless toured their Death by Rock and Roll album

It doesn’t seem like she’s losing sleep over having lost out on the role of Hannah Montana, either. In 2010, Momsen told Starpulse in an interview that she didn’t know if the show would’ve gone as well if she was cast and that she was fortunate that she could be herself. Cyrus herself later said that her role on Hannah Montana put a ton of expectations on her, so Momsen might have dodged a bullet. 

If you’re anything like me, your mind is absolutely blown that actresses from shows that were such a large part of your teen years could’ve played an even bigger role in your childhood. Now, the next time you rewatch Victorious or Gossip Girl, I challenge you to imagine them as everyone’s favorite secret identity popstar and singing all the bops we got on Hannah Montana. 

Born and raised in Arizona, Kayleigh Shaw is a Her Campus National Writer. She mainly writes for the Culture section, primarily focused on the latest entertainment news, but will occasionally write about life and career, giving advice to a wide array of readers. Outside of Her Campus, Kayleigh was also a part of Rod Pulido’s Street Team for his debut novel, Chasing Pacquiao and completed social media challenges to promote the book. She also hopes to one day write for Screen Rant and Comic Book Resources. where she will continue to use her love of all things pop culture to her advantage. She also graduated from Glendale Community College in May 2022 with an Associate's Degree in English. When Kayleigh's not working on journalism pieces, she can be found writing poems and short stories, reading, watching TikToks, listening to their favorite podcasts, listening and dancing to Sabrina Carpenter and Taylor Swift, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu (while crying over fictional characters and relationships.) She would live in a library and avoid the rest of the world if she could. She also drinks coffee like a Gilmore and often goes down rabbit holes researching their hyper fixations.