By Lanford Beard
Updated December 02, 2011 at 07:15 PM EST
Mario Santoro/PR Photos

Buffy‘s kid sister as Bella? That’s what Michelle Trachtenberg claimed nearly happened. The Gossip Girl star formerly known as Dawn Summers says she was up for the role of Bella Swan in Twilight. “There was definitely interest here and there because there’s only so few pale girls in Hollywood,” she quipped. See how Trachtenberg came about the near-miss — and imagine Twilight without Kristen Stewart — after the jump.

Trachtenberg said she knew Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke from when the director was in pre-production for Thirteen. “I was actually supposed to star in that, but I was on Buffy at the time,” she explained. So when it came time to cast Edward Cullen’s love interest, Hardwicke turned back to Trachtenberg. Alas, “I guess schedules never worked out,” said Trachtenberg. Though she didn’t seem too broken up about it: “I already have Buffy. I’ve already done the vampire thing.”

Just for funsies, let’s allow this imaginary world to play out. As anyone who’s seen Georgina Sparks in action, Trachtenberg can bring a deliciously evil flare to her work. Try to picture Trachten-Bella holding her tongue as Robert Pattinson’s Edward covered his face at the scent of her. And how would she read physically? Stewart has certainly grown more beautiful with each Twilight (with the notable exception of — SPOILER — her anorexic zombie look in the final half of Breaking Dawn — Part 1), but part of her allure in the first film was that she did have a sort of plain-Jane look that worked with Bella’s niggling insecurities. Would Trachten-Bella be too pretty? Finally, Trachtenberg definitely wouldn’t bring K-Stew’s multitude of tics to the table. Would you miss Stewart’s constant hair mussing, for example, or would you say good riddance?

Can you imagine Trachtenberg headlining Twilight, PopWatchers? What do you think she would have brought to the role? Would she have the same chemistry with Pattinson? What would you miss about Stewart’s performance?

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