While it was already known that Britney Spears did a screen test with Ryan Gosling for The Notebook, veteran casting director Matthew Barry is now saying that it was actually a “close call” when it came to the pop star landing the lead role of Allie Hamilton. Of course, that role went to Rachel McAdams because she “aced the audition” despite being a relatively unknown name at the time, according to Daily Mail‘s interview with Matthew. Regardless, the casting director shared a photo of Britney and Ryan beaming at their screen test more than 15 years ago — you can see it here!
Britney talking about The Notebook and how it was the most amazing script she’d ever read pic.twitter.com/aH30a4hTgS
— Fan Account (@breatheonmiley) May 22, 2021
Britney wasn’t the only star in running to play Allie opposite of Ryan’s Noah. At first, the studio allegedly wanted Underworld star Kate Beckinsale for the role, but “there wasn’t chemistry,” the casting director claimed. Allie’s role wasn’t the only one up for debate, either!Matthew also said that they “considered” Hayden Christensen (AKA, Anakin Skywalker) for The Notebook. “We went to the opening of whatever Star Wars episode he was in, but we left after 20 minutes,” Matthew admitted to Daily Mail. Bradley Cooper was also considered for a role (specifically, to play Allie’s fiancé, Captain Lon Hammond Jr.). Matthew said he previously auditioned Bradley for a role in the 2002 thriller John Q., and found the actor to be “strange and intense” with a “wicked sense of humor.”
“I think we were auditioning [Bradley] for The Notebook, because we needed a good-looking guy for the role that James Marsden ended up getting,” Matthew later said.Matthew didn’t just discuss The Notebook, though. He recalled many of the A-list stars we know today as household names when they were just starting their careers. He brought up The Avengers‘ Mark Ruffalo and Elektra‘s Jennifer Garner when they both didn’t have any professional experience on their cover letters, save for theater (ironically, they both went on to co-star in one of America’s most famous rom-coms, 13 Going on 30 ).