Apparently Jessica Simpson can’t fight the moonlight. In honor of the 15th anniversary of Coyote Ugly, the film’s director, producers, and stars spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what went into the 2000 hit.
It turns out, actress Piper Perabo wasn’t the only woman considered for the part of aspiring singer-songwriter Violet. Other big contenders were Jessica Simpson and Jewel. But despite Simpson’s singing career, she had not yet acted by 2000 (the Daisy Duke shorts came in 2005’s Dukes of Hazzard), and Jewel only had a few small acting credits to her name.
Coyote Ugly’s director David McNally said:
Casting the lead role of Violet was no easy task. “We did our due diligence and saw everybody,” McNally says. The director admits that Jessica Simpson was a “contender” for the role, with Perabo adding that Jewel was also up for the part. “Toward the end of the process, Piper walked in,” McNally explains. “She was actually from New Jersey and seemed to get it.” He adds that “everyone loved” her screen test, and “that was the end of that.”