Lizzie McGuire was almost played by Lindsay Lohan.
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1) A writer for Lizzie McGuire revealed in a Tumblr interview that they almost added a gay couple to the series, but decided against it. This would have been a first for the Disney Channel in the early 2000s.
2) Lindsay Lohan was also considered for the role of Lizzie.
3) Ethan Craft was initially written as the school’s bully, but once Clayton Snyder was cast in the role, the creative team decided he should be Lizzie’s crush instead.
4) Hilary Duff completely bombed her first audition. She said she didn’t even want to audition for the show and did a “terrible job.” Producers told her she needed to focus and try harder. They invited her back for a second chance, and she did much better.
5) After Lizzie McGuire ended its run on the Disney Channel, the show was supposed to have a spinoff on ABC that followed Lizzie through high school. There was ALSO a planned sequel to the beloved Lizzie McGuire Movie.
6) Both projects were scrapped after negotiations between Hilary and Disney grew tense. There were major disputes about Hilary’s pay.
7) Hilary’s mom, Susan, did a lot of negotiating on her daughter’s behalf — and one source claimed she was “a handful to deal with.” But Susan has countered that the fallout was Disney’s fault, noting, “They weren’t giving Hilary the respect she deserved.”
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8) Susan has accused Disney of leaking negative things about Hilary and her parents to the press after their negotiations turned sour: “In my wildest dreams, I cannot imagine adults beating up on a 15-year-old kid in the papers like they have.”
9) After the show’s cancelation, producers created a spinoff that focused on Miranda’s little sister, Stevie. Selena Gomez was cast in the starring role, but the show never made it to air.
10) Do you remember Hilary’s ~iconic~ single, “I Can’t Wait”? That’s actually a COVER. The original song is by Australian singer Brooke McClymont.
11) Lalaine, who played Miranda, mysteriously disappeared from the show’s final episodes (she was on a “family vacation”) and was notably absent from the movie. In real life, she had left the series to focus on a solo music career.
12) Lalaine went through a tough time after the show ended — she referred to that era as her “dark days.” She was eventually arrested for drug possession — but fortunately, she says she’s “in a completely different place now.”
13) Miley Cyrus said the pressure of always having to look good on Hannah Montana gave her body dysmorphia.
14) Though she was only 13 when the show premiered, Miley claimed that producers had her drink coffee to stay energized on set: “Every morning, I was getting coffee jammed down my throat to wake me up.”
15) She also claimed that she was seriously underpaid at first because she had no idea how the TV industry worked: “I was probably the least paid person on my cast because I didn’t know any better.”
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16) Billy Ray Cyrus blamed the series for causing drama within the Cyrus clan, even going so far as to say to GQ, “I’ll tell you right now — the damn show destroyed my family.”
17) And when asked if he wished he’d never done the show, he said, “I’d take it back in a second … I’d erase it all in a second if I could.”
18) Mitchel Musso (aka Oliver) actually has pierced ears IRL, but they were covered up on the show by his long, shaggy haircut (pictured above).
19) Miley caused a minor controversy on her Best of Both Worlds tour when video footage proved that she was using a body double in her place for a part of the show. Her publicist eventually confirmed that a body double was being used, but only for a brief moment while Miley did a wardrobe change.
20) Pop singer JoJo was offered the role of Hannah Montana and turned it down. She wrote on her Myspace, “I am more concerned with being a legitimate artist — not one created for the captive tween audience from a television show.”
21) Producers almost ended the series by revealing that it was all a fantasy in the mind of a young Miley Stewart, playing with her doll. They even filmed this ending (screenshot above), but decided not to use it.
22) Jason Earles played a teenager on the show, but in real life he was 29 when the series premiered. He’s only 16 years younger than Billy Ray, who played his dad. Also, he’s 40 now!
23) In the series finale, Miley hugs Lily and says, “I love you.” She responds, “I know.” Emily Osment later revealed that she ad-libbed this so that she would have the last line of the show.
24) Hannah Montana was originally conceived as a spinoff of That’s So Raven. Disney produced an episode of That’s So Raven where Cory meets a young actress who just wants to experience life as a normal kid. The episode was a test pilot for a show called Better Days, which was later rewritten as Hannah Montana.
25) That’s So Raven takes place at the same high school as Saved by the Bell. Both are called Bayside High, and both used the same set.
26) While filming the show, Raven was sharing an apartment with Lindsay Lohan. Raven says her famous roomie was busy and never came home — but she did leave her shoes everywhere.
27) Anneliese van der Pol originally didn’t get the part of Chelsea. Disney cast somebody else, but Raven intervened and told producers she’d much rather work with Anneliese than the girl they had picked.
28) Anneliese turned down the role of Kim on Kim Possible so she could do the show.
29) When Raven was initially cast, she wasn’t supposed to be the psychic — she was initially cast in the “Chelsea” role, as the best friend.
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30) Raven’s mom was written out of the series after Season 3 (she “went to law school”). At the time, there were rumors that T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh had left the series because she “grew tired of her role and didn’t think her character was going anywhere” — but she later revealed that she stepped away to care for her grandmother, who was dying of Alzheimer’s.
31) Raven once claimed in an interview that she had psychic powers in real life.
32) Before the show premiered, Disney had a strict 65-episode limit for all of its shows. But That’s So Raven grew so popular that Disney broke its own rule — it was their first-ever series to get 100 episodes.
33) Before getting cast on Even Stevens, Shia LaBeouf had a rough childhood. His family didn’t have much money, and he was arrested in grade school for stealing shoes.
34) Shia LaBeouf’s father was responsible for taking care of him on the set of the show, but he created a few serious issues during production. In one incident, he was accused of sexually harassing an actress. In another, he allegedly said some anti-gay remarks to a gay Disney executive.
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35) Shia would stay in a hotel with his father during filming, and was exposed to a lot of drug use. Shia later told Variety: “There were drugs everywhere — marijuana, cocaine, heroin. [My dad] gave me my first joint when I was probably 11 or 12.”
36) Shia emancipated himself from his parents at age 15.
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37) The actor who played Beans, Steven Anthony Lawrence, was spotted working as a Santa’s helper in 2015. He posed for pics with lots of fans!
38) Shia LaBeouf said it was “kind of embarrassing” working for the Disney Channel and that his friends made fun of him for it.
39) He says he never felt like he fit in with the other Disney Channel stars, noting: “[Disney] would invite the Hilary Duffs and Miley Cyruses to go to the Jonas Brothers concert, and I’d be there with my friends. But we were outsiders. It felt distant.”
40) He also claims that Disney pushed him to have a music career, but he resisted.
41) Remember Coach Tugnut (the dude above)? The actor who played him, Jim Wise, wrote most of the songs for the show’s famous musical episode. A Renaissance man!
42) BTW, that musical episode was Disney Channel’s first, and many people credit it for paving the way for High School Musical a few years later.
43) Joe Jonas auditioned for the role of Justin on Wizards of Waverly Place, but didn’t get it. Demi Lovato’s sister, Dallas, auditioned for a role and actually DID get it, but was cut from the pilot after filming.
44) David Henrie, who played Justin on Wizards of Waverly Place, also wrote two episodes of the show.
45) Despite playing siblings on the show, there have been some (unconfirmed) rumors that David and Selena Gomez dated.
46) Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus both participated in Disney’s mega-crossover, Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana, but the two never come face-to-face in the episode. Some sources claim that Disney had to do this because of the alleged feud between the pair.
47) But Selena has publicly denied any tension between the two, saying, “Obviously, she wouldn’t want to be doing what I’m doing, and I wouldn’t want to be doing what she’s doing. But I’m a fan of her music — I don’t know if she’d say that about me.”
48) On the show, Joe Jonas played a 16-year-old, but in real life he was 20. Disney made him shave every morning so that he would look younger.
49) Nick Jonas originally had an on-camera kiss with his love interest, Macy, but Disney cut it from the episode. The actor who played Macy, Nicole Anderson, thinks Disney cut it because it was “too steamy.”
50) Disney required the boys to undergo rigorous media training, and taught them how to change the subject in interviews if the topic got too risqué.
51) Dylan and Cole Sprouse quit their Suite Life franchise because they felt like the show was much better in the early days.
52) The twins didn’t end their relationship with Disney Channel on the best terms. Dylan claimed that Disney tried to steal their idea for a spinoff without paying them for it: “Cole and I turned to each other and we basically laughed in their faces and walked out. And that was the last meeting we had with Disney.”
53) Chris Brown filmed an episode of Suite Life, but Disney canned it after he was arrested for assaulting Rihanna.
54) Remember those British twins who played Zack and Cody’s girlfriends on Suite Life? Milly and Becky Rosso were discovered by one of the show’s producers when they attended a live taping of the show.
55) Just like Miley in Hannah Montana and Raven in That’s So Raven, Dylan and Cole almost used their real names on Suite Life. Producers decided to rename the characters Zack and Cody because it made for a better show title.