Blake Lively’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Role Almost Went to Olivia Wilde & Mischa Barton

Olivia Wilde, Mischa Barton, Kaley Cuoco and more actresses were up for Blake Lively’s Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants role before she was cast, according to a producer of the 2005 film.

By Leah Degrazia Feb 07, 2024 11:30 PMTags
Watch: "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" Turns 15: E! News Rewind

Blake Lively almost never got to wear the magic pants. 

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants producer Debra Martin Chase recently detailed the casting process behind the 2005 movie, revealing that Blake's part of Bridget Vreeland nearly went to someone else.

"We were gonna cast Mischa Barton in the Blake Lively role," she shared on the Feb. 7 episode of the Hollywood Gold podcast, noting that Smallville's Kristin Kreuk was also considered to play Alexis Bledel's Lena Kaligaris character.

Mischa, however, was pretty busy filming the popular TV series The O.C., which ran from 2003 to 2007. And after production on Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was pushed back in favor of Hilary Duff's iconic 2004 rom-com A Cinderella Story, the crew had to recast many of the roles due to scheduling issues.

"We started all over," Debra explained, sharing that Kaley Cuoco and Alexa [PenaVega] were considered, while [Olivia Wilde] was on "the shortlist."

As she noted, "We saw everybody."

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Cast's Best BFF Moments

Following a long search for a young actress with "innocence" and "skills," Debra finally narrowed down the options to three people.

"We brought in Olivia Wilde, Missy Peregrym and Blake for the final audition," she remembered. "It was Blake's role." 

Photo by James Devaney/GC Images

And the team had a hard time nailing down Alexis for her role, too. 

"We went to Alexis early on for Lena but she passed," Debra divulged. "She was still doing Gilmore Girls. She was tired, and she passed, and then we kept looking."

Diyah Pera/Alcon/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Luckily, Alexis eventually agreed, rounding out the cast with Blake, America Ferrara and Amber Tamblyn

And proving that friendship never dies, the quartet are still close these days, with the foursome even reuniting back in December to watch America take part in the SAG-AFTRA Foundation panel event for Barbie.

"Those are three women who I met when I was 16 years old," Blake told People in December 2020, "and I've been lucky to call them my friends and mentors ever since."

Keep reading for more stars' iconic audition stories. 

Lea Michele

Michele almost didn't make it to her Glee audition! "I got into a massive car crash outside of the Fox lot—completely totaling my car," she recounted. "When I get into the room for my audition, I literally was still pulling pieces of glass out of my hair. They're like, 'Are you okay?' I'm like, 'I'm fine!'"

The Breaking Bad actor went method for one of his early auditions and it did not go well.

 "I was auditioning for a movie at Paramount. I was said [the character] was a cocky, self-centered, egotistical brat. I remember wearing cowboy boots and jeans, an open loose shirt," he said. "The story took place in Texas or something, so I thought, 'I'm going to go in there and be just this guy.' I walked in like this and he stands up, holds out his hand and I go, psh. I sat down, kicked my boots up onto his desk and just kind of looked at him. He sat down, looked at my boots and said, 'Get your boots off of my desk.' And I went, 'Oh s--t.' Then I went psh. I just scoffed at him again...he goes, 'GET YOUR BOOTS OFF MY DESK.'"

Felicity Huffman

"I was going in for the ingenue, and I put on my dress, and I realized that I just wasn't quite chesty enough. So I took toilet paper, and I stuffed my bra," Huffman said. "Then I went in and did a terrible audition, for a movie, with the director and the fancy people in the room, and it just laid there like a dead fish and I was like, ‘Well, thank you so much.' And I leaned down to get my bag and somehow, the arm of toilet paper—it was God's joke— came and went out of my dress like that. So I had to pick up my ego and my toilet paper and walk out of the room."

Chris Evans

The Captain America star once had a very awkward audition with Ben Affleck. "I went in [for Gone Baby Gone] and shook his hand, and the first thing I said was, 'Hey, how ya doing? Am I gonna be okay where I parked?' And he said, 'Where'd you park?' And I said, 'At one of the meters.' And he said, 'Did you put money in it?' And I said, 'Yeah.' And he said, 'I think you'll be all right.' From that moment, I just wanted to get the f--k out of the room."

Drew Barrymore

Barrymore recalled, "Oh my God, I won't say the movie, but they called me in on a Sunday with a casting assistant. They didn't think I was worthy enough of even reading with the casting director. They did it in the basement, and it was a scene where I have to do this oral thing with this guy's hand, and no one was there so I had to do it to myself. It was by far the most humiliating experience. I thought,'They think I'm such s--t that I'm here on a Sunday with the assistant, giving myself a finger in the mouth. This is a low point.'"

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

The Game of Thrones star had to act out a toilet scene where he pretended to have explosive diarrhea for his audition for the film The Other Woman.  "And the audition was on Skype," he told E! News in 2014. "That was funny!"

Jake Gyllenhaal

"I remember auditioning for The Lord of the Rings and going in and not being told that I needed a British accent," the actor told The Hollywood Reporter. "I really do remember Peter Jackson saying to me, 'You know that you have to do this in a British accent?' We heard back it was literally one of the worst auditions."

Emilia Clarke

The British brunette beauty ended her Game of Thrones audition by asking all of the HBO execs if there was anything else she could do, even "make them some tea or something." 

"[Co-creator and showrunner] David Benioff suggested I do a dance...and so I did," Clarke admitted. "I don't know how to do it, but I did the funky chicken. And I kind of morphed into the robot."

Carey Mulligan

For Inside Llewyn Davis, Mulligan almost sent in an audition tape of herself wasted. "I was so excited so I did the audition after a dinner where I had had a few drinks," the Brit beauty said. "My American accent is better after a few drinks and then I decided to eat something—it works for Brad Pitt, who eats all the time in films. It was a really drunk audition." Luckily, Mulligan came to her senses and never sent the video.

Lucy Hale

The Pretty Little Liars star auditioned for Dakota Johnson‘s role in Fifty Shades of Grey

"That audition was so uncomfortable!" she remembered. ""It's exactly what you thought it would be: a big monologue but very, very sexual…there were some things that I was so embarrassed to be reading out loud, but it's one of those things where you have to commit wholeheartedly or you're going to make a fool of yourself."

Shia LeBeouf

For Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, the actor once joked, "I sent him videotapes of me and my girlfriend having sex and that's how I got the job."

Ryan Reynolds

"I was never a great auditioner. But I had one where I had to sing, and I'm a nervous singer. I'm one of those people know when you're in the shower, and you're like, 'This is pretty good'? But once I get out into the real world, it's just like my voice turns into a hammer that hits everybody in the face," the Deadpool star told Variety. "So I did an audition where I had to sing, and it was pretty bad. It's one of those auditions that was so bad that I look back and I think, 'What if that tape surfaces at some point? That'll be the death of me.' Yeah. That was pretty awful."

Kit Harington

In an interview with W magazine, Harington recalled his audition for Game of Thrones: "I had a black eye. I'd been in a fight the night before...I'd went into McDonald's with this girl I had been dating, and it was late night and there was no seats. I asked this guy and this girl that he was with if we could sit at the same table as them. We sat down, and quite quickly he started being rude to the girl I was with, calling her names…He called her an ugly pig or something worse, and I said, 'No you can't, you can't call her that. Get up...He'd been sat down the entire time so when he got up he just kept going. I realized I had to, at that point, I had to throw the first punch or else I'd look like a complete wimp. And I got batted. So I went to the Jon Snow audition with a black eye, which I think that man who punched me in the face may have helped me get the job, so thank you!"

It's a good thing Affleck isn't a quitter because his breakout role in 1995's To Die For didn't come easy. 

"I read six times," Affleck recalled. "I auditioned for that movie over and over again for the casting director and then I finally met the director and I read for him once and he said, 'That was good. Okay, you can do it,' and I got the part like that and I was like, 'That was easy!'...Note to self: 'Don't read for casting directors, just get into the room with the director.'"

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