Alden Ehrenreich, Penn Badgley

Ken Ishii/Getty Images/James Devaney/WireImage

In an alternate universe, Han Solo was the Gossip Girl. 

In a new interview with EW, casting director David Rapaport opened up about casting some of the biggest roles of his career, including the leads of Gossip Girl. And while it's hard to imagine anyone besides Penn Badgley playing Dan now, Rapaport originally had someone else in mind. 

"Before Penn was involved, I desperately wanted Alden Ehrenreich to play Dan," Rapaport told the magazine. 

Ehrenreich, then having only guested on Supernatural and CSI, even came in to read for the part, but producers decided the actor was too short to play love interest to Blake Lively. (Lively is 5'10". Ehrenreich is listed as either 5'9" or 5'8" on the internet, and Badgley is apparently 5'9", or 5'8.5".) 

Ehrenreich went on to eventually be cast as Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Badgley played Dan for six seasons. Later on, when Rapaport was casting You, he could think of only one person for the role. 

"I didn't think he would do it," Rapaport said of Badgley. "But once we got the idea in our heads, it all made sense. I can't imagine anybody else playing that character." 

Lively as Serena van der Woodsen was also the only person Rapaport could imagine. 

"I did not have another choice," Rapaport said, having seen Lively in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. "I knew in my heart there was no one else."

Rapaport also dished on casting the CW's slate of superhero shows. Stephen Amell was the first actor who read for the part of Arrow's Oliver Queen, and Grant Gustin was the first actor who read for The Flash's Barry Allen. Melissa Benoist was cast as Supergirl's Kara Danvers when producers said they wanted a Jennifer Lawrence-type. 

"There's a quality about Jennifer Lawrence, an openness, a goofiness. She's relatable," Rapaport said. "I got to know Melissa, and she seemed to encapsulate all these qualities they were looking for." 

For Supergirl's transgender superhero Dreamer, played by Nicole Maines, the team had to work a little harder to find the right trans actress. 

"She's from Maine, so she took a little bit of digging to find," he said. "But this was such a great opportunity to tell an amazing story, and Nicole is a great actress and an outspoken activist. She's such a hero to me."


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When casting Riverdale, Rapaport says he initially passed on KJ Apa when he seemed unprepared in his first audition. When they didn't find Archie in the first round of auditions, Apa returned. 

"He came back in and his read blew me away," Rapaport said. "Sometimes people have bad days and you miss something."

Camila Mendes was cast right out of college, and it was Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse who defined for Rapaport "what the tone of the show might be, which was teen noir." 

Ehrenreich was hardly the first actor to miss out on an iconic TV role. See below for a whole bunch more! 

Alden Ehrenreich, Penn Badgley

Ken Ishii/Getty Images/James Devaney/WireImage

Patrick Dempsey, Grey's Anatomy, Rob Lowe

Randy Holmes/ABC; Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Moyer, True Blood

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images, HBO

Jessica Chastain, Anna Paquin, True Blood

Gary Gershoff/WireImage, HBO

Jennifer Lawrence, Lindsay Pulsipher


Tiffani Thiessen, Jennifer Aniston

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic, Warner Bros. Television

Katherine Langford, Lili Reinhart, Riverdale

Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Katherine Heigl, Michelle Williams, Dawsons Creek

Getty Images

Selma Blair, Katie Holmes, Dawsons Creek

Getty Images

Lisa Edelstein, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City

Getty Images/HBO

Ashley Olsen, Blake Lively

Getty Images

Rumer Willis, Leighton Meester

Getty Images

Keke Palmer, Candace Patton

Getty Images; The CW

Iwan Rheon, Kit Harington, Game of Thrones


Zach Levi, Chris Pratt

NBC, Getty Images

Katie Holmes, Taylor Schilling

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images, Netflix

Cobie Smulders, Evangeline Lilly, Comic-Con

Getty Images

Helen Hunt, Ashley Judd, Julianna Margulies


Nancy McKeon, Courteney Cox. Friends

NBC; Larry Busacca/Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Lisa Whelchel, Jennifer Aniston, Friends

NBC; Larry Busacca/Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Katie Holmes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

WB; Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Edie Falco, The Sopranos, Lorraine Bracco

HBO, Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington


Elizabeth McGovern, Gillian Anderson, Downton Abbey

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Chris Rock, Jason Alexander, Danny Devito

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Variety, Sony Pictures Television, AP Photo/John Stillwell, Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Friends

NBC;Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Nina Dobrev, Vampire Diaries, Ashlee Simpson

CW; Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images

The Office, Jenna Fisher, Mary Lynn Rajskub, TV Roles That Might Have Been

NBC, Getty Images

Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, The Sopranos

HBO, Getty Images

Sabrina Le Beauf, Whitney Houston, The Cosby Show

NBC; Ron Galella/WireImage

Sarah Jessica Parkers, Sex and the City, Dana Delany


Eric Stoltz, Michael Chiklis, The Shield

FX, Getty Images

Craig T. Nelson, Ed O'Neill, Modern Family

ABC, Getty Images

Jason Alexander, Paul Schaffer, Seinfeld

NBC; Jim Spellman/WireImage

Bryan Cranston, John Cusack, Matthew Broderick, Breaking Bad

AMC; Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage; Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Cynthia Nixon, Sandra Bernhard, Sex and the City

HBO; Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Tom Selleck, David Hasselhoff, Baywatch

NBC, Getty Images

Jon Hamm, Thomas Jane, Mad Men

Jaimie Trueblood/AMC; Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Ryan Reynolds, Nicholas Brendon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

WB, Getty Images

Rosie O'Donnell, Megan Mullally, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Seinfeld

NBC, Getty Images

Josh Radnor, Scott Foley, How I Met Your Mother

CBS; Frank Micelotta/FOX

John Hawkes, David Morrisey, The Walking Dead

AMC, Getty Images

Nicollette Sheridan, Debra Messing, Will & Grace

NBC, Getty Images

Patrick Dempsey, Isaiah Washington, Grey's Anatomy

ABC; Paul Morigi/WireImage

Laura Graham, Maura Tierney, Parenthood, Role Recast

NBC; Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Matthew Fox, Michael Keaton, Lost

ABC; Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

The Office, Adam Scott, John Krasinski, TV Roles That Might Have Been

NBC, Getty Images

Matthew Perry, Jon Cryer, Friends

NBC; Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

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