It's hard to imagine anybody besides Kristen Stewart playing Bella Swan in Twilight. Before Stewart was cast as Twilight's leading lady, however, a number of her contemporaries auditioned for the role. One of the other actresses who threw her hat in the ring all those years ago was Jamie Lynn Spears.
Fresh off a highly successful run as the titular star of Nickelodeon's Zoey 101, Spears auditioned for the role of Bella at the insistence of her manager. “They had to force me. Force me,” Spears told Nylon in a recent interview. “I remember just thinking like, ‘Y’all are insane. I’m not playing a vampire. That is so stupid. Why would I do that?’ But I went and read for that role. I remember sitting in this little room, and I think Lily Collins was there."
As fans of Zoey 101 will remember, shortly after the show wrapped Spears announced she was pregnant at just 16-years-old. Spears only discovered she was expecting after she auditioned for Twilight. "I felt so sick," Spears said of her audition. "Little did I know, I was pregnant.”
Though Spears didn't share how the rest of her audition went, she ultimately decided to take an extended break from her acting career to take care of her daughter Maddie. "I got me a little house. I put a big gate up around it, and I was like, ‘I'm going to stay here, raise my baby, and figure this out because this is real life. I've put myself in this situation, I'm not condoning it or saying it's right, but these are the cards that I have to play,’” she explained. “And I tried to do the best that I could. And yet, sure enough, everywhere I went in Mississippi for that whole nine months, there was always paparazzi on me everywhere I went. But I just knew that if I just stayed away from it long enough that I could give my child some sense of normalcy back in her life.”
Spears has since returned to the public and is even set to reunite with her Zoey 101 co-stars for a special virtual event. As of now, few details about the reunion are known. Spears and her co-stars shared the event will be called 'Follow Me (Zoey 101) See It First Experience' and revealed it will be a ticketed event. The ticket site describes the reunion as a "one-time only global livestream event." Should you choose to purchase one of the $20 tickets, you will be granted "an exclusive VIP premiere experience." This includes a "peek inside the time capsule where iconic worlds collide," according to the site. In addition to the cast of Zoey 101, Chantel Jeffries, JoJo Siwa, Dixie D'Amelio, Sofia Reyes and more celebrities will be participating in the live stream event.