Rumer Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, began her acting career at just 6 years old when she starred in the 1995 film Now and Then. After her real breakout role in the 2009 film Sorority Row, she starred in hit TV shows like Pretty Little Liars and blockbuster movies like Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.
The actress also made headlines when she won season 20 of Dancing with the Stars with Valentin Chmerkovskiy as her professional dance partner. She also garnered attention on Broadway when it was announced in 2015 that she would be making her Broadway debut as Roxie in Chicago’s Playbill.
But Willis could have had her break in the industry two years earlier than her. She was considered for a very iconic role in the hit early 2000s television series Gossip Girl, which first aired in September 2007. did not go well, the part was given to someone else.
Rumer Willis was set to play Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl
While today we can’t imagine “Gossip Girl” without Blake Lively as Upper East Side it girl Serena van der Woodsen, according to Us Weekly, Rumer Willis was almost cast. In fact, Ashley Olsen was in talks to star alongside Willis as Serena’s best enemy and the queen of intrigue, Blair Waldorf, but the role was ultimately handed to Leighton Meester.
Willis was shocked and flattered to hear The CW Network thought of her to play Serena, but she also admitted she didn’t nail her audition perfectly. “I felt like I did an awful audition at the time,” Willis told People in 2015. “I was so young and it was kind of like one of the first things I ever auditioned for.” Willis added, that she and her sisters are fans of the books, so they’re excited that a TV show is in the works. Ultimately, however, Willis didn’t have any hard feelings about not getting the part. “Blake and Leighton did an incredible job,” she enthused.
Casting director David Rapport made it clear that Blake Lively was always the front-runner for Serena van der Woodsen. While the network had its doubts, thinking Lively was too “California” for a New York girl, and eventually got Willis to portray the blonde beauty as a brunette best friend alongside Olsen, Rapport felt Lively was the best choice .
It was a battle between the network and the casting director
David Rapport also mentioned that while he liked Rumer Willis and was curious about Ashley Olsen’s portrayal of Blair Waldorf, he thought those casting decisions were about the business of television rather than talent, per BuzzFeed. He believed that the “lesser-known” actors “captured the essence of the show” and made it successful. However, Willis was later cast on another iconic CW show — 90210 — as Gia, who, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was a “punky, sweet lesbian who’s not afraid to speak her mind.”
The actor then guest-starred on other popular television shows such as Pretty Little Liars and 9-1-1. According to the Daily Mail, Willis has returned to the film industry as she is expected to star in ‘My Divorce Party’. The film is currently in post-production, according to IMDb.
Lately, the actress and singer has been helping her father Bruce Willis as he battles aphasia and is “walking away” from his acting career. She posted a cute throwback photo to Instagram on Father’s Day and captioned it: “Daddio. What a privilege to be your daughter every day. I love you so much. You’re the coolest cat in town.”