Lindsay Lohan's team were told sending a Christmas video might be a "way forward" - as it appeared the Mean Girls actress would not honour a pledge to turn on Kettering's Christmas lights.
Lindsay had agreed to travel to the Northamptonshire town after implying nobody had heard of the place while tweeting during the night of the EU referendum.
Kettering Borough Council got in touch with Lindsay's representatives just under a month before the switch-on was due to take place at the town's Market Place on November 24.
In correspondence provided to the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act, the actress's representatives told the council they were "very supportive" of her crossing the Atlantic to switch on the lights.
The email added: "We are still currently sorting out details but trying to make it work in her busy schedule."
But as the festive event approached, the council wrote an email in which they feared "the media will start to come to their own conclusions" given Lindsay's attendance had not been confirmed.
An email, sent the day before the switch-on, continued: "If Lindsay is not able to attend... then a video played on our big screen could offer a way forward for us all.
"I really do think this could in itself bring global coverage."
Other correspondence from the council to Lindsay's team said it was keen to agree "some words ... that make a positive out of the situation", adding: "There is no sense in creating any negative PR with this."
Hours before the event, Lindsay posted a video to her nine million Twitter followers to make her excuses.
In it, she said: "Hi everyone in Kettering it's Lindsay Lohan.
"I really wanted to make it there to light the tree but with my busy schedule I wasn't able to, and appreciate the offer. Happy holidays."
The documents released by the council also reveal staff rang her representatives five times in the week leading up to the switch-on, including twice on the day itself, though the content of those conversations was not disclosed.
Former EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison replaced Lindsay Lohan in flicking the switch.
Cheryl, who was appearing in Beauty And The Beast in the town, tweeted: "Ok so I may not be YOUR 1st choice to turn on the lights but I can guarantee a fun time all round with lots of interaction with the crowd."
A spokesman for Lindsay told the Press Association: "I tried to make it happen and the stars didn't align," while Kettering Borough Council said it had been "completely open" about the prospect of Lindsay not turning up due to her other commitments.