TV & Movies

Freaky Friday’s Jake Was Almost Played By A Gilmore Girls Star

Annette Bening and Kelly Osbourne were also tapped to lead the film’s cast.

Originally Published: 
Lindsay Lohan, Chad Michael Murray in'Freaky Friday'
Ron Batzdorff/Walt Disney/Kobal/Shutterstock

The 2003 adaptation of Freaky Friday remains a childhood favorite for many, and two decades after the film's release, Chad Michael Murray has disclosed that his Gilmore Girls co-star was almost cast in his place.

Speaking to Vulture, Murray, who played high schooler Jake in the hit comedy, recalled auditioning for Freaky Friday. “I went through the typical casting process. I was reading with a bunch of guys. I know one of them was Jared Padalecki. We were buddies and goofed off before the audition,” the actor shared.

Murray eventually landed the role of Jake, while Padalecki — who portrayed Dean Forester in Gilmore Girls between 2000 and 2005 — would go on to play the leading character of Sam Winchester in the hit fantasy drama Supernatural.

Explaining why he believes he was ultimately cast as Jake, Murray also revealed that Freaky Friday director Mark Waters knew from the jump that he was right for the role. “He [Waters] told me, ‘It’s funny. I knew right away from the moment that you started acting in the scene with Lindsay. I could tell just from her reaction to you being in the room,’” Murray recalled.

Based on Mary Rodgers’ 1972 novel of the same name, the 2003 adaptation of Freaky Friday also stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan as the mother and daughter duo, Anna and Tess, whose bodies are switched by a Chinese fortune cookie.


During his Vulture Q&A — in which it’s also established that Annette Bening and Kelly Osbourne were originally lined up to lead the film’s cast — Murray revealed that he had no idea Freaky Friday would become a hit with moviegoers.

“I didn’t know. Oblivious 19-year-old alert. I didn’t know until I read an article the following year and I saw that Disney had the top movie in the action genre with Pirates of the Caribbean and the top comedy with Freaky Friday,” the actor shared. That’s when I realized it was successful. But I was just a kid running around, trying to make movies and live out a dream. Also, I was told to never read reviews. I still don’t.”

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