"I was so young," Willis told PEOPLE of her casting experience with the hit CW series

By Aurelie Corinthios
October 08, 2015 08:25 PM
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Gabriela Cadena; Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Rumer Willis was surprised to hear that she was initially pitched to play Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl.

“That’s so crazy – it’s pretty cool,” Willis told PEOPLE on Thursday at the Clinique cotton candy food truck event celebrating their new editorial platform, The Wink.

The CW’s casting director David Rapaport told BuzzFeed this week that the network actually recommended Willis to play the socialite on the hit series at first, though Blake Lively ended up being selected for the role.

“You know, it was actually totally news to me,” Willis, 27, said of Rapaport’s revelation. “I felt like I did an awful audition back then. I was so young and it was, like, one of the first things I’d ever auditioned for.”

“My sisters and I were huge fans of the books – huge, huge fans so I remember we were just so excited when they said they were doing a TV show,” she added.

However, Willis thinks that Lively and her costar Leighton Meester were the perfect duo as van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf, queens of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

“Blake and Leighton did an incredible job,” Willis said.

Willis was later cast in a different CW teen drama with a role on the fourth season of 90210.

She then went on to win season 20 of Dancing with the Stars with her partner Val Chmerkovskiy and is currently headlining Chicago on Broadway as Roxie Hart.

“It’s definitely crazy,” Willis said of the experience. “I feel like Broadway, more than anything, is a total lifestyle shift. It’s really a bubble because you have basically, like no social life and you have to really protect your voice. Basically when you do have a day off it’s not even technically a day off, it’s just really about resting and making sure that you protect your voice so you can do the same show eight times a week.”

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