Beyoncé and Aaliyah Auditioned for the Same Role in the Early 2000s Cult Classic ‘Josie and the Pussycats’
Josie and the Pussycats is a star-studded masterpiece that has been making many of us laugh since its release in 2001. The film stars several big-names actors and features appearances by a handful of well-known celebrities. However, there were a few superstars who were close to joining the project but tragically didn’t make the final cut — and one of those A-listers just so happened to be the Queen Bey herself, Beyoncé.
What is ‘Josie and the Pussycats’ about?
Directed by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (the duo also behind 1998 teen classic Can’t Hardly Wait), and based on the 1960s Archie comic characters, Josie and the Pussycats was a masterpiece that was way ahead of its time.
The film is centered around titular character Josie who, along with her two best friends and bandmates Melody Valentine and Valerie Brown, lands a record deal and skyrockets to ultimate superstardom.
But despite their success, the band soon realizes their music is being used to control the minds of America’s youth through subliminal messages. Not wanting to be pawns in their record label’s scheme, Josie and the Pussycats set out to put a stop to their managers brainwashing their fans, even if it means losing out on their fame and fortune.
Josie and the Pussycats was released in April 2001 and was initially a commercial and critical failure. However, in recent years, the film has become a cult classic due to its enduring influence among kids, teens, and young adults who have applauded its all-around theme of girl power and sisterhood.
Several big-name celebrities went out for the lead roles in the film
Though Josie and the Pussycats was the picture-perfect film in fans’ eyes, there’s one thing it could have had that would have made it even more iconic: an appearance by Beyoncé.
It turns out that when the film’s directors began searching for their three main stars in 2000, they looked at some of the biggest names of the time to star as their female leads.
SIngers Beyoncé, Aaliyah, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes all auditioned for the role of Val while actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Zooey Deschanel went out for the part of Josie.
“The fact that Beyoncé, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Aaliyah came in to audition was crazy,” Elfont said during a 2017 interview with Billboard. “I think it was 2000. We read Left Eye twice. She really wanted to play the part. Beyoncé was really quiet and shy. Who knew?”
In the end, the role of Josie went to actor Rachael Leigh Cook who was hot off the success of She’s All That.
“Rachael had a quality where you felt like there was just more going on; she’s kind of a shy person naturally, but I think that balance is what drew us to her,” Elfont said. “It felt like there was a real person behind who was going to be this rock star,”
As for the characters Melody and Val, the directors ended up going with actors Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson, who they believed were the best fits for the parts.
Bey may not have landed the part of Josie or any of her Pussycats, but things still turned out more than ok for her in the long run!