Have you ever watched a TV show and noticed that a different actor or actress was suddenly playing the character that you knew and loved? Plenty of your favorite stars — like Rowan Blanchard in The Goldbergs, Jake T. Austin in The Fosters and even the dog Stan from Dog With a Blog — have been replaced by other stars over the years.
Not to mention, if you go back and rewatch the pilot episode of Pretty Little Liars, you may be in for a surprise when you discover that a bunch of the characters are played by totally different people. The characters of Toby Cavanaugh, Ian Thomas, Mrs. DiLaurentis and Jason DiLaurentis were all portrayed by other actors before Keegan Allen, Ryan Merriman, Andrea Parker and Drew Van Acker joined the cast.
Another major star shakeup was when Ross Butler decided to pass on the Reggie Mantle torch in Riverdale to Charles Melton. The actor decided to continue playing Zach Dempsey on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why instead of continuing his role on the CW series.
“Before season 2 was confirmed for [13 Reasons Why], I had to make the decision of whether I wanted to focus on one character or split two characters and have a smaller role on both shows,” Ross explained to Vulture in May 2018. “Reggie’s a great character, but it’s a different tone. I connected with Zach on a much more real level where I didn’t have to create so much of a character for him. Reggie’s more outspoken, like that jock archetype.”
During the same interview, the Shazam! star reflected on the period of time between leaving Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why being renewed for more seasons.
“I was in this weird floating space where tThe CW had recast Reggie, but Netflix still hadn’t confirmed that season 2 of 13 had been picked up,” he recalled. “Thankfully, it did. I had lunch with Brian Yorkey, the head writer and executive producer, and he dropped the news of what was gonna happen with Zach.”
Of course, 13RW viewers will remember that the character ended up having a secret relationship with main character Hannah Baker in season 2, which made him a major character in the rest of the show. All’s well that ends well for both Ross and Charles, who is still playing Reggie on Riverdale.
Scroll through our gallery to uncover all the stars who were replaced by other stars in your favorite TV shows or movies.
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