Gabrielle Union Almost Starred In This Iconic TV Drama

Gabrielle Union could've been Olivia Pope! The "Bring it On" actress has held several roles in hit movies and television shows throughout the '90s and early '00s. Some of her most memorable roles from the teen movie era were her roles in "She's All That," "Love & Basketball," "Almost Christmas," and many more.

Along with her impressive IMBd resume and iconic fashion sense, the "Breaking In" star has used her platform to become an activist on inclusion issues in Hollywood. Along with advocating for diversity, Gabrielle Union has shared her personal battles with mental illness, infertility, her journey with therapy, and past traumas of sexual abuse. In her 2017 book "We're Going to Need More Wine," the actress opens up about being raped at the age of 19. According to the Daily Mail, during a candid interview with Taraji P. Henson, Union expresses how therapy helped her identify the effects of her trauma.

"Being able to have the language, to know what was happening to me, to define the terror that exists to this day in my body, my spirit in my soul, to be able to say, 'Oh that's post-traumatic stress syndrome,' I need it," she says.

Union uses her past experiences and voice to educate the public on many issues that woman around the world face. But Union is far more than just a pretty face, there are many layers that compose the actress, but did you also know that she was almost selected to play Olivia Pope?

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Could Gabrielle Union play Olivia Pope?

In July 2013, Gabrielle Union revealed that she was in the running to be the lead in ABC's hit series "Scandal" (via Yahoo News).

Although Union lost the role to Kerry Washington, she says the experience made her hopeful. By auditioning for the role of the White House's crisis manager Olivia Pope, Union became hopeful that there would be more creative and diverse, likable characters cratered towards Black actresses.

"I said to myself, 'Oh my God, these roles are out there,'" Union recalled. "It showed me that you don't have to settle. Luckily, the success of her and the show bred more work. Just from the audition process, I knew that I couldn't go backward."

Despite losing the role, the opportunity encouraged Gabrielle to find similar roles for Black women. For the actress, "Scandal" was a stepping stone that led her to BET's hit show, "Being Mary Jane."

"I didn't get 'Scandal,' but I got something better — which is my own show," Union told Yahoo. "It's all about building a legacy. This new opportunity is something I feel that can grow."

"Being Mary Jane" had 5 seasons. The fourth finale of the hit show ranked in a total of 2.1 million viewers. According to a BET Press release, the critically acclaimed show was the highest original telecast of the fiscal year 2019.