That’s So Raven star reveals racism during casting

Anneliese van der Pol shares That’s So Raven information. Pic credit: © Mcgee/Globe Photos

That’s So Raven almost didn’t happen, according to one of the show’s stars.

Anneliese van der Pol, who played Raven-Symone’s best friend on the Disney Channel series, shed some light on the behind-the-scenes happenings of That’s So Raven.

She appeared on a podcast this week while bringing the nostalgia for a Disney-themed reunion of sorts.

The actress stopped by Vulnerable, a podcast hosted by fellow Disney Channel alum Christy Carlson Romano. Fans likely recall that Christy starred on Even Stevens as the older sister of Shia LaBeouf’s character. Each week, Christy welcomes guests to discuss the beauty of being human, including sharing vulnerabilities.

The TV BFF of Raven didn’t disappoint, spilling tea and dropping bombshells.

Anneliese discussed an array of topics, including Hollywood hookups and substance abuse in the industry. Her most intriguing story involved the Disney show that almost never was.

Anneliese van der Pol reveals That’s So Raven almost didn’t happen

Anneliese told Vulnerable host Christy Carlson Romano about her audition process for That’s So Raven.

According to Anneliese, That’s So Raven was originally supposed to be completely different.

As she explained, when she auditioned for the show nearly 20 years ago, it was called Absolutely Psychic.

At the time, Anneliese auditioned for the lead character, and Raven was to be the sidekick.

Although Anneliese couldn’t remember her character’s name for certain, she believed it was “Molly.”

The actress said Raven was supposed to be a sidekick, but her comedic timing was undeniable.

Anneliese revealed, “When they filmed, they realized Raven was the funniest one and had a following, and so they bumped her up to first position, and then they started auditioning people again.”

She continued, “I think that was kind of, like, racism at a low level — I guess if that’s even a possibility. They couldn’t really see a Black girl leading a show. They only saw her as a sidekick.”

Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and Raven earned the top spot.

In 2017, Anneliese and Raven reunited for Raven’s Home, a show featuring the characters as adults.

Raven-Symone lost weight after reprising her role in Raven’s Home

Raven’s return to the television circuit coincided with a few other significant changes. She publicly discussed her sexuality for the first time in 2016.

The actress also met her wife, Miranda Pearman-Maday, whom she married in 2020. In fact, Raven’s wife inspired her weight loss and healthy lifestyle.

Perhaps best of all, Raven didn’t even exercise to drop the pounds.

She lost 40 pounds by kicking her addiction to sugar, intermittent fasting, and utilizing the principles of the keto diet.

Raven became a beacon of light for the LGBT+ community and for people of color.

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