Jessica Simpson Almost Nabbed the Lead Role in 'Coyote Ugly'

by Sophie Schillaci 2:27 PM PST, November 13, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Coyote Ugly could have turned out very differently.

The film turned 15 in August and now, director David McNally is revealing that Jessica Simpson, then fresh off her 1999 debut album Sweet Kisses, was considered a "contender" for the lead role of Violet.

PHOTOS: Here's What the Cast of 'Coyote Ugly' Looks Like 15 Years Later

"We did our due diligence and saw everybody," McNally told The Hollywood Reporter, noting that Jewel was also up for the part. (Previous reports have suggested that Britney Spears was also in the running.)

It would be another five years before Simpson would make her big-screen debut in The Dukes of Hazzard.

The Coyote Ugly role ended up going to Piper Perabo, who was a relative unknown at the time. "Towards the end of the process, Piper walked in," McNally said. "She was actually from New Jersey and seemed to get it."

Another recent revelation about the film includes the 11th hour addition of LeAnn Rimes to the roster. THR reports that Perabo had initially recorded all of the film's music, but was later informed that her voice would be dubbed over by Rimes.

"[McNally] said, 'We're going to dub the songs,' and I was like, 'Uh, OK.' What can I say? I'm 21. What am I going to say, no?" Perabo said, calling the news "disappointing."

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Rimes' version of "Can't Fight the Moonlight" went on to reach No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the film's soundtrack has been certified four times platinum.

Now, try to wrap your brain around a Simpson-sung version of the same tune.

Tune in tonight for ET's exclusive interview with Rimes, discussing her brand new holiday album.

ET was on the film's set with Perabo and co-star Maria Bello -- both of whom took the whole dancing on the bar with water thing very seriously. See the flashback in the video below!