9 actors who were almost cast in Gossip Girl

20 July 2021, 17:59 | Updated: 20 July 2021, 18:01

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Penn Badgley as Chuck?! Lily Collins as Jenny!? HUH!!!

The highly-anticipated Gossip Girl reboot has officially begun but we still can't stop thinking about the original series.

Gossip Girl, based on the Cecily von Ziegesar novel of the same name, ran from 2007 to 2012 and it changed the game forever. It introduced us to the lives of a group of privileged teens living in Manhattan's Upper East Side and gave us iconic moments, killer fashion lewks and a whole lot of drama.

It's hard to imagine Gossip Girl any other way but shockingly it could have been very different. Lots of actors and actresses that we know and love auditioned for roles on the show – and it will blow your mind. Here's what the Gossip Girl cast could have looked like…

READ MORE: Gossip Girl plan to bring back characters from the original in season 2

All the actors who were almost cast in Gossip Girl
All the actors who were almost cast in Gossip Girl. Picture: Dominique Charriau/WireImage, Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images, Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

1) Jennifer Lawrence

We all know Blake Lively was made to play Serena van der Woodsen, however, several other actresses actually auditioned for the gig. In 2017, ahead of Gossip Girl's 10th anniversary, the show creator Josh Schwartz admitted that Jennifer Lawrence actually auditioned for the role.

"We did not realize this at the time, but Jennifer Lawrence really wanted to play Serena and auditioned," Schwartz told Vulture. "This story came to us secondhand, but we were told she definitely auditioned and was bummed to not get it."

Jennifer Lawrence attends the Christian Dior Womenswear Spring/Summer 2020 show
Jennifer Lawrence attends the Christian Dior Womenswear Spring/Summer 2020 show. Picture: Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

2) Rumer Willis

In 2015, David Rapaport, a casting director for The CW, told BuzzFeed that Rumer Willis was in the running to play Serena. Rumer didn't actually know she was even in the running at the time, though, and it was one of the first roles she had ever auditioned for. She told People: "That's so crazy – it's pretty cool. You know, it was actually totally news to me."

She added: "I felt like I did an awful audition back then. I was so young and it was, like, one of the first things I'd ever auditioned for."

Rumer Willis attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Rumer Willis attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

3) Ashley Olsen

We know Ashley Olsen for her iconic roles alongside her twin sister Mary-Kate, however, at one point she was pitched solo as a potential Blair, David Rapaport told Buzzfeed. As you know, Leighton Meester was eventually cast as Blair and she even dyed her then-blonde hair dark brown in the sink to show her dedication to the role.

Ashley Olsen attends Diane Von Furstenberg's Journey of A Dress Exhibition Opening Celebration
Ashley Olsen attends Diane Von Furstenberg's Journey of A Dress Exhibition Opening Celebration. Picture: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Diane Von Furstenberg

4) Lily Collins

We all lived for Lily Collins in Netflix's Emily In Paris, but did you know she did a screen test for the character Jenny Humphrey (played by Taylor Momsen)? "I wanted it so badly," Lily Collins told Glamour.

"I was about 17 or 18 years old at the time. I remember driving onto the [Warner Bros] lot [in Burbank] and going, 'Oh my God. This is surreal.' It was one of those OMG moments. Whether or not I got it, I knew I could say I screen tested on the lot and one day I want to work at one of these [studios]."

Lily Collins attends the Saint Laurent show
Lily Collins attends the Saint Laurent show. Picture: Dominique Charriau/WireImage

5) Mischa Barton

Mischa Barton rose to fame on The OC but she actually landed a part on Gossip Girl as Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) – and turned it down. Her rep told US Weekly: "She will not be on the show. She was approached, but her reps passed."

Mischa Barton attends the 2019 Don't Hide It Flaunt It Awards
Mischa Barton attends the 2019 Don't Hide It Flaunt It Awards. Picture: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

6) Greta Gerwig

We know Greta Gerwig as the writer and director behind Ladybird and Little Women, but she's also a talented actress. In fact, she was meant to play Chuck's girlfriend Eva Coupeau (played by Clémence Poésy). "I have had moments when I was starting out when I was auditioning for things like Gossip Girl," Gerwig told HuffPost Live.

"And they would look at me like, 'Why are you wearing overalls to this audition?' And I'd be like, 'They said she was from a farm!' and they would be like, 'Well, this is Gossip Girl.'"

Greta Gerwig attends a New York screening of "Never Rarely Sometimes Always"
Greta Gerwig attends a New York screening of "Never Rarely Sometimes Always". Picture: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

7) Penn Badgley

We all fell in love with Penn playing Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girl, however, believe it or not he actually auditioned to play Chuck Bass and he turned down playing Dan.

"The reason I turned it down initially was because I was just frustrated," he told Vulture in 2012. "I was frustrated and I was broke and I was depressed and I was like, 'I cannot do that again. I can't."

However, a word from Gossip Girl's co-creator Stephanie Savage changed his mind. "She said to me, 'I know you might not want to do this again, but just take a look at it,'" Penn explained. "And I actually was like, 'I appreciate so much that you thought of me. I just don't want to do this. Thank you for understanding that I wouldn't want to do this.'"

He added: "And then they couldn't find anybody for it, which is weird because a million people could play Dan Humphrey, and she came back around, I was about to get a job as a waiter, and I was like, 'Okay.'"

And as they say, the rest is history.

Penn Badgley attends the Build Series to discuss his show "You" at Build Studio
Penn Badgley attends the Build Series to discuss his show "You" at Build Studio. Picture: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

8) Alden Ehrenreich

Alden Ehrenreich actually auditioned for the role of Dan Humphrey but sadly producers thought he was too short to play him (he's 5 feet 9 inches, btw.) "Before Penn [Badgely] was involved, I desperately wanted Alden Ehrenreich to play Dan," Rapaport told Entertainment Weekly.

Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage
Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage. Picture: Steve Schofield/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

9) Ed Westwick

We all know Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass but he reportedly read for the role of Nate Archibald, which eventually went to Chace Crawford. Can you imagine?! Apparently, producers didn't believe Ed had the preppy look they were looking for.

Ed Westwick poses for a portrait at the 16th Annual Oscar-Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival
Ed Westwick poses for a portrait at the 16th Annual Oscar-Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival. Picture: Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for HollyShorts Studios LLC