It’s time to play another game of “What could have been?” on the casting couch. David Rapaport, the casting director for the CW, is the one who has been shepherding all of those Neutrogena-rich faces to your television for years, and he spoke with BuzzFeed about some of your favorite shows — including Gossip Girl, Arrow, and The Flash. For instance, casting the greatest show of our time came during the height of O.C. mania, and co-creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage told Rapaport that they were looking for “the next Mischa Barton and Adam Brody.” Originally the network pitched Ashley Olsen and Rumer Willis for Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, but Rapaport was firm on Blake Lively. “Blake Lively was literally the only person I could think of for Serena,” said Rapaport, breathlessly (we imagine). The network’s first note was that Lively looked “a sunny California girl” so they double-backed and straightened her hair, and she got the part.
As for your queen bee, Rapaport said that Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) came off as “colder” than Lively, which is what drew him to her for the role. The same went for Chuck Bass, played by Ed Westwick. “It’s funny because on a network like the CW, where beauty does come first a lot,” said Rapaport, “Ed Westwick wasn’t as traditionally handsome as Chace Crawford, but I found him much sexier and darker and edgier.” Duh.
Here are some other odds and ends from the CW universe:
- Kellan Lutz was originally supposed to be a series regular on the 90210 reboot, but got tied up with that vampire movie.
- Melissa Benoist, who suits up as Supergirl in the upcoming CBS show, read for Thea Queen on Arrow (a part that went to Willa Holland).
- Robbie Amell, who played Stephen Jameson on The Tomorrow People and then Ronnie Raymond on The Flash, first read for Oliver Queen on Arrow, but read “too young.”
- As for the role on The Flash that went to Grant Gustin, Smash’s Jeremy Jordan also read for the part (he has since been cast in Supergirl) as did Andy Mientus, who played the Pied Piper on the show.
- For the part of Iris West (played by Candice Patton) on The Flash, they originally tested Scream Queens’ Keke Palmer, and Ciara Renee, whom they eventually cast as Kendra Saunders in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.