Who Should Play Leah Clearwater In 'New Moon'? An MTV Staffer Weighs In

Vanessa HudgensContributed by Nicole Guanlao

There have been rumors galore when it comes to the casting of the heavily anticipated “New Moon” – the next installment of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling “Twilight” saga. We all know about the drama revolving around the casting of hunky werewolf Jacob Black. Will Taylor Lautner bulk up enough to keep the role of the lovable “shape-shifter” or will the bigger and older Michael Copon take the cake? Oh the intrigue!

While Twilighters are still debating about which actor they want to play New Moon’s Jacob, there’s new casting drama that has thrown the passionate fans of the mega blockbuster into a tizzy. For the past month, rumors have been circulating that two Disney Channel stars are in contention for the role of Leah Clearwater. Leah is Jacob’s fiesty and heartbroken frienemy, who…umm… also happens to be a werewolf!

Of course, as a Twilighter myself, my ears perked up with interest to find out who was in the running for the role of Leah. The character isn’t integral to the plotline as Jacob, Edward, or Bella, but anything related to Twilight usually gets me excited, which explains why I bought all three Twilight edition covers of Entertainment Weekly, dream about RPattz, and have Paramore’s “Decode” on repeat.

I thought to myself, “Disney Channel Stars? Miley Cyrus? Nope. Ashley Tisdale? I hope not. Selena Gomez? Possible. Vanessa Hudgens? No way. She can’t go from “High School Musical” to “Twilight?” She can’t be that lucky.”

Apparently, she might be.

The girl who’s made boys go gaga in all three High School Musicals (HSM) (and in those naughty pictures too) is rumored to be one of the top two contenders. Who’s the other hopeful? The super-cute and super-funny Brenda Song! You might know her as the spoiled and not so very smart London Tipton alongside Ashley Tisdale in Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”

If you ask me, neither of these gals are good picks. As for Brenda, I love her. She’s cute, funny, and makes the Asian in me sing with glee and glow with pride at how successful she’s been as a Disney Channel star; but, she’s no Leah.

Why would Vanessa – one of the stars of HSM – opt for a minor character? Even though the film is destined to be another mega hit, does she really need this role that badly? Plus, I can’t picture Gabriella Montez running around the woods growling at people.

Now for all of the hoot and hollering some fans have made about Taylor Lautner not fitting the role of Jacob (“He’s too thin. He’s too short.” Blah. Blah), there’s no way directors should cast either of these two as Leah. The character is described as 6’1. Vanessa and Brenda are short and petite! I’m all for taking a book and letting your imagination run wild, but if people are going to make a big stink about Taylor’s real life stature not matching Meyer’s description of Jacob, then why shouldn’t we be nit-picky here as well?!

What do you guys think? Should Vanessa Hudgens or Brenda Song be cast as Leah? If not, who do you think would be the perfect actress for the role?

If Kristin Kreuk were six feet tall, she’d be my pick, but since she’s not, I vote for my MTV News co-worker Vanessa White Wolf who is a. Native American b. very pretty c. not 6’1 but tall and d. fiesty. And her name is Vanessa White Wolf. C’mon Breaking Dawn readers… you know what I’m referring to!

(Above: Vanessa with actor Carl Weathers)