The Famous in Love takeover has commenced! Earlier this week, the Freeform television show, led by Bella Thorne, hit the network for the first time, and we are OB-sessed after watching the first episode. (Of course, you could easily binge-watch the TV series in its entirety, as every episode is available for streaming, but we’re planning on tuning in after Pretty Little Liars each week.)
So, when we caught up with the cast at the Freeform Upfronts in NYC this week, we simply had to know the secrets behind its amazing cast. And, boy, did we ever learn some secrets. One of the main three guys wasn’t even the originator of his role — another actor shot the pilot in his place! To learn all about that, and more, you know what you have to do:
Bella Thorne never auditioned.
The Famous in Love television series is Bella's brainchild — like, she's actually the one who brought the Rebecca Serle book to co-creator I. Marlene King's attention.
So, BT didn't even have to go to a tryout for her role as leading lady Paige Townsen (no D at the end). Marlene confirmed it to Teen. "No, she did not audition," she said. Bella was made for this role.
Carter Jenkins' first audition with Bella mimics their Famous in Love characters'.
"I had actually previously met Bella Thorne in a similar setting as our characters meet [on Famous in Love]," he told Teen Vogue.
"On the show, we meet in an audition for a movie that my character, Rainer, is starring in," he explained. "[Bella and I] also met in an audition, in a test for a scene where we're supposed to kiss."
Life imitating art? Or art imitating life?
Another guy was OG cast as Jake.
"It's a long story, so get ready," Charlie began to tell us. "Basically, in September 2015, I sent in a self-tape. Three months later, they brought me in and they had me read for Rainer, and then they had me read for Jake again... and then it ended up being me against one other guy for Jake, and they ended up giving the role to him!"
That guy was Jesse Henderson. Here he is pictured with Bella at the first Famous in Love table read.
"They shot the pilot," Charlie continued. "Seven months later, [they] decided that he wasn't right for it — so they did a full recasting, sent out 1,500 guys to audition... and then one day, I was having an audition out at Paramount Studios, and I was getting lunch down the street, and my buddy is standing out front reading lines. And I'm like, 'Hey, man, what are you auditioning for?' And he says, 'Famous in Love for Jake.' And I'm like, 'What, they're recasting? That's crazy.'"
Photo: Instagram (@bellathorne)
"I had all my people ask if I could get in on it," Charlie explained. "They say, 'It's not possible, they're not gonna see you.'"
But it wasn't over. "A month later, they say, 'Hey, come in tomorrow for an audition with Bella, they want you to chem read with Bella,'" he said. "I show up, there's 20 guys there. They say, 'Okay, next day, we're gonna test you, sign paperwork.' And so, I sign paperwork the next day, and then the next day, they said, 'Alright, come tomorrow, you're going to chem read with Carter.' And it was just me and one other guy."
"I book it that night, the next day I'm on set for a 10-episode shoot," he concluded. "It was insane."
Georgie Flores forgot all about the project... until she was cast!
After the actress' audition to play Cassie, Famous in Love was out of sight and out of mind for Georgie. That is, until two months later when the bigwigs over at Freeform called up Georgie's agent.
"That's what I've trained myself to do," she explained to Teen Vogue about forgetting the tryout. "I never want something too much, because there are so many auditions."
Keith Powers actually auditioned for all three leading men.
"The audition process was very funny," Keith laughed. "I went out for, like, all three roles — like, I went out for Jake, Rainer and Jordan."
Everything worked out in his favor. "I'm so glad I got Jordan because he's so different from who I am," he told us. "I think if I would've got Rainer, I would've felt already like Rainer, like, I kinda relate to Rainer more than I could with Jordan — and I like to be with characters I can't relate to. Like, I like to be a character who's so different from who I am."
Originally, Niki Koss didn't try out to play Alexis.
"I actually auditioned for Georgie's part, Cassandra, and then got called back for Alexis," Niki admitted to Teen.
But that doesn't mean she wasn't always a fan of the part she eventually snagged. "I remember reading the script and seeing Alexis' character, and just falling in love with her, and wishing I was going out for that part," she confessed. "Like, they're all great characters, but I just felt a connection, so I was thrilled."
It was love at first sight for Pepi Sonuga — she needed to play Tangey.
"As soon as I read the breakdown for Tangey, I was like, 'This is the role I was born to play all my life. I gotta get this,'" the beauty told us. "So, yeah, I went in for Tangey, and that was it; she was the one."
Why? "First of all, she's a popstar," she explained. "I was like, 'Oh, wait, she's gonna have cool clothes and makeup.'"
Umm... what happened to Mark Valley?
Like Jesse Henderson, the Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce actor was on site for the first table read. And, since the guy's not on the Famous in Love IMDb, we're guessing he met the same fate as Jesse.
Photo: Instagram (@bellathorne)