Why Blake Lively Almost Didn't Star In Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants

Blake Lively was almost passed over for her iconic role in "The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants" — which also stars Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Amber Tamblyn. If you remember, Lively played the role of Bridget Vreeland, one of four best friends who spend the film cycling through the same pair of magical pants that fits them all despite their physical differences. The movie, which was adapted from the beloved novel by Ann Brashares, also revolves around friendship, love, and growing pains — especially in Bridget's case. During the film, Bridget struggles to balance her thriving soccer career with her impulsive, self-destructive personality, which was fueled by her mother's untimely suicide. 

Lively's career-surging role almost went to another teen star. During an episode of "Hollywood Gold," Debra Martin Chase, the creative mind who produced "Traveling Pants" and its sequel, revealed that she had several other young stars in mind for the role, including Kaley Cuoco and Olivia Wilde. However, Lively won out in the end, partially because she exuded innocence like her virginal character. "We just never found anybody for Bridget," said Chase. "We went through everybody possible, and the key was that we understood ... she was supposed to be 15-16 years old. So, the truth of the matter is, most 15-16 year old, 17-18 even, beautiful, blond actresses in Hollywood, do not still have innocence." 

Although Lively hadn't ever acted before, the casting agents fell in love with her. "It was Blake's role," said Chase.

How Blake Lively celebrated landing the role

Blake Lively spent the late 2000s and early 2010s starring in "Gossip Girl." However, her first major role was actually in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."

During a 2005 interview with Movie Web, Lively recalled how she ended up landing the audition. "My whole family's been in the business," said Lively. "I've been so busy with high school and I'm in all the clubs there, I'm in all AP classes, I've been in cheer, choir, and class president so my past four years at high school have been very busy. I left prom last night to come here." Despite her packed schedule, her actor brother, Eric Lively, pulled a few strings for her. "But my brother knew how much I would love it and he called his agent who called me up one day because they were kind of pressured into it and they set me up on some auditions and after a very short amount of time I got this movie."

After landing her monumental role, Lively treated herself to a little bling. "It was when I got my first job, 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,' and it was like, what are you going to do for yourself that will be something that will last for your lifetime?" Lively shared with Entertainment Tonight during a Tiffany & Co. event in 2023. "I bought the ball bracelet," she continued. "I couldn't afford the one with the heart. I might have had a knockoff of that when I was in sixth grade, but we don't talk about that," she added.

Would Blake Lively return for a third film?

It's been nearly two decades since "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" hit theaters, and the resounding question that fans want to know is whether or not the quartet of friends will return for a third film. While the film hasn't officially been greenlit, Lively has always been optimistic about the possibility. "There's a strong chance there might be a third," Lively shared during "The Jess Cagle Interview" in 2016 (via Entertainment Weekly). "The four of us are still best friends. To be able to create something together again has always been a dream of ours." She continued, "But it would have to be something that really made sense. If you wait this long to do a third movie, it needs to honor the story and the legacy."

As of 2024, there have been few concrete updates about the film, although the entire cast has spoken about wanting to be included in a new installment. In the meantime, the cast has shown major love to each other offscreen. For example, the entire cast reunited to celebrate America Ferrera's participation in 2023's "Barbie." Lively also referenced "Traveling Pants" when honoring Ferrera on Instagram."I was so happy to celebrate my denim sister @americaferrera," wrote Lively. "She's the heart and soul of @barbiethemovie because she's the heart and soul of everything she's a part of. I've known her for 20 years. Since I was 16. I've watched her live, grow, soar, fall, make, break, push, fight, win, create, forge, disrupt, way make, lead, lead, lead ... Love your sisters. Love yourself."