Hannah Montana’s casting director reveals who Miley Cyrus beat out for the role

August 20, 2022

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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.

HANNAH MONTANA, Miley Cyrus, (Season 1), 2006-, © Disney Channel / Courtesy: Everett Collection

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.


HANNAH MONTANA – ‘You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Zit Is All About You’ – Hannah Montana will appear in her first major poster campaign, but when Miley takes a look, she discovers that a zit is on her has been added Face. Miley tries to hide her horror because Lilly has been feeling very embarrassed since losing her contacts and being stuck wearing glasses – and vows not to enter any future skateboarding competition. Rico tricks Jackson into serving as a magician’s assistant in order to get a raise, in “Hannah Montana,” which airs FRIDAY, AUGUST 12 (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET) on the Disney Channel. (DISNEY CHANNEL/BYRON COHEN) MILEY CYRUS; UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 15: Actress Daniella Monet visits Hallmark Channel’s ‘Home & Family’ at Universal Studios Hollywood on January 15, 2020 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images); LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 22, 2022 Taylor Momsen poses in the iHeartRadio Music Awards – Press Room at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on March 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic)

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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