After 12 years since it premiered, The Notebook is still one of the most romantic films of all time. The film, which was adapted from Nicholas Sparks‘ stunning novel, was also Ryan Gosling‘s breakout role. From co-stars who initially hated each other to iconic improvised lines, here are 12 things you never knew about The Notebook.
1. Steven Spielberg was almost the director for The Notebook
We know this is super shocking, but it’s true that New Line Cinema desperately wanted Spielberg to direct this epic film. Instead of Spielberg, Nick Cassavetes, the son of famous director John Cassavetes stepped in. Cassavetes even got his mom, Gena Rowlands to play Old Allie.
Luckily, when Cassavetes stepped in, he vetoed these choices immediately. Instead of Justin and Britney, Ryan Gosling (their old Micky Mouse Club mate) snagged the role.
3. Nick Cassavetes cast Ryan Gosling as Noah because he thought he wasn’t a hottie!!!
Sir what?! Not only is Gosling a dreamboat, but the late Roger Ebert once called Gosling, “the finest actor of his generation.” Cassavetes actually invited Gosling over to tell him he got the role. He told the then 24-year-old actor, “I want you to play this role because you’re not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts.” Um….at least Cassavetes was right on the money about Gosling’s talent.
4. The Notebook is Ryan Gosling’s most financially successful film.
Though The Notebook came out over a decade ago, it is still Ryan Gosling’s most successful film. The film has made over $115 million dollars to date.
5. Cassavetes had Gosling cover up his baby blues.
Cassavetes wanted to make sure that Gosling’s eyes matched James Garner‘s who played Old Noah. Therefore, Gosling had to wear brown contacts to cover his blue eyes. It’s strange though because, Rachel McAdams has hazel eyes while Gena Rowling has blue eyes. Neither actress was required to wear contacts.
6. The Notebook was filmed in reverse.
In the film, the post-war scenes when Noah is all bearded and hunky and Allie is engaged to another man were filmed first. This was done so that Gosling could lose 20lbs of muscle and come back clean shaven and baby-faced as pre-war Noah.
7. The dreamy boat ride almost didn’t happen
New Line pressured Cassavetes to cut the boat scene because they feared the birds would not cooperate in the water. Instead, Cassavetes raised some birds by the lake, so they would feel comfortable in the water with the crew when it came time to film. We’re so glad that the scene worked out, because it would have been an absolute abomination if we’d never got to see it.
8. Gosling improvised the movie’s most iconic line.
Do you remember at the end of the film when Noah asks Allie to decide between him and Lon, and Noah says, “What do you want! What do you want?” That was all Mr. Gosling. That just shows how amazing he is as an actor.
9. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling couldn’t stand the sight of one another while filming.
Despite their chemistry onscreen and their subsequent real-life relationship. McAdams and Gosling could barely get along on the set of The Notebook. Gosling said, “We inspired the worst in each other. It was a strange experience, making a love story and not getting along with your costar in any way.” It got so bad that Cassavetes had to stage an intervention. There can never be too much passion if you ask us.
10. James Marsden who played Lon Hammon thought The Notebook was going to be trash.
Marsden admitted later, “I thought The Notebook was going to be a schmaltzy Movie of the Week type thing.” We realize that love stories can be very cheesy, but The Notebook is iconic!
11. Gosling built the table in the dinner scene.
In order to get into his character, Gosling moved to Charleston, South Carolina to build furniture for two months before filming began. His furniture was so good that the set designer used his gorgeous table in the reunion dinner scene. It’s nice to know that Gosling is also good with his hands. *wink wink*
12. Rachel McAdams only had one day to prepare for her audition.
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