Aly & AJ Turned Down Lead Roles on 'Hannah Montana'

Aly & AJ Turned Down Lead Roles on 'Hannah Montana'

by Justine Fisher

Though Miley Cyrus served us the best of both worlds as Hannah Montana in 2009, we’re finding out in 2022 that she might have Aly & AJ to thank for scoring the iconic role.

The sister pop-duo revealed on Twitter today that they almost played a double life. They shared that Gary Marsh, the former head of Disney Channel, originally offered the leading role in Hannah Montana to Aly. He then offered AJ the part of Montana’s best friend, Lily Truscott (eventually played by Emily Osment).

For the part she was offered at age 16, Aly explained back in August 2021, on the podcast Between Cut and Action, why she was sure of her decision to turn it down. Aly said that not only did she not want to do a singing show or play two people, but she also thought it would be “insanely confusing” for fans to see her star as a solo singer on the show while being a part of a pop duo in real-life. She added that she was growing out of Disney and looking towards MTV instead.

Though Aly knew immediately that the role wasn’t for her, former actress Taylor Momsen, who now fronts the band The Pretty Reckless, and Daniella Monet, who went on to star as Trina Vega in Victorious, were the final contenders alongside Cyrus to play Hannah Montana.

The casting director, Lisa London, exposed these alternate universes for the series a few days ago in response to a claim that Spanish-Mexican singer Belinda almost received the role. London shared a picture of the list with the finalists' names on TikTok.

With such earth-shattering news, we’ll keep our eyes open for any other early 2000s icons who almost played the teenager-turned-pop star.

Photo by Sansho Scott / BFA