Entertainment TV Nina Dobrev Almost Starred in a 'Gossip Girl' Spin-Off as a Young Lily Rhodes Brittany Snow ultimately played young Lily Rhodes in the Gossip Girl backdoor episode, as Nina Dobrev "didn't look like Kelly Rutherford," according to casting director David Rapaport By Glenn Garner Glenn Garner Instagram Twitter Glenn Garner is a Writer/Reporter who works heavily with PEOPLE's Movies and TV verticals. Since graduating from Northern Arizona University with a dual major in journalism and photography, he got his professional start at OUT Magazine, The Advocate and Teen Vogue, and he's since consistently kept his finger on the pulse of the LGBTQ community. His first book The Guncle Guide was released in 2020 and was featured on Katie Couric's list of 100 recommended books of the year. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 3, 2022 07:44 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; GIOVANNI RUFINO/THE CW Nina Dobrev almost became part of the Gossip Girl universe with her very own spin-off. The Vampire Diaries star, 33, was passed over for the role of a teenage Lily Rhodes (a.k.a. Lily van der Woodsen/Bass/Humphrey) in a potential spin-off entitled Valley Girls "just because she didn't look like Kelly Rutherford," the show's casting director David Rapaport told Dobrev's pal and GG alum Jessica Szohr on Wednesday's episode of her XOXO podcast. "You know who did the best read for that? I'll tell you, because I think you're friends with Nina Dobrev," Rapaport said. "That was one of the best auditions I had ever seen, and for that role specifically." Gossip Girl Almost Cut Kristen Bell's Voiceover from the Original Series: 'Most Critical Casting' He even saw Dakota Johnson and Rooney Mara for the part, but Rapaport vouched for Dobrev, telling the network: " 'She is a super star, [but] she does not look like Kelly Rutherford...' because she was supposed to be a young Kelly Rutherford. 'So I don't know how we would cast her, but she needs to be on your radar and you guys need to find something for her.' " Michael Desmond/THE CW "I just remember thinking, 'I am going to think about this girl in a couple of years and be like, 'Oh god, I missed that opportunity.' She was so incredible!" Rapaport added. Although Valley Girls never happened, Brittany Snow was ultimately cast in the role for a backdoor episode of Gossip Girl, which aired toward the end of season 2 in 2009. She played a young Lily Rhodes, who runs away to 1980s Los Angeles to live with her rebellious older sister Carol (Krysten Ritter), after getting kicked out of boarding school. RELATED VIDEO: Nina Dobrev Reveals She and BFF Julianne Hough are 'Going to Rub Shoulders' with Oprah Present-day Lily, the mother to Blake Lively's Serena van der Woodsen, was portrayed on Gossip Girl by Rutherford, 53. Sheila Kelley played the grown-up version of her now-estranged sister Carol in several episodes. Dobrev had a pretty decent fallback, landing the lead role in The Vampire Diaries, which ran for eight seasons on the CW from 2009 to 2017.