20 Captivating Facts About "The Notebook"

Updated on January 21, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.

This year one of greatest romantic dramas of all time, The Notebook, will be celebrating its 15th anniversary. The film that had moviegoers dreaming of a love like Allie and Noah's, has since become an iconic romance staple. While the movie may have made you reach for your tissue box, it holds a special place in the hearts of fans everywhere. Here is a list of 20 captivating facts about the beloved movie, The Notebook.


1. The Notebook is actually based on a true story. Nicholas Sparks's book was based on his then-wife Cathy's grandparents, who spent more than 60 years together and inspired Sparks to write the novel.

2. Rachel McAdams (Allie) had less than one day to prepare for her audition. She received the script for the movie the night before her audition, and sobbed uncontrollably when she read it.

3. The director Nick Cassavetes, cast Ryan Gosling because he wasn't handsome. He had told the young 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." Perhaps he wasn't looking at the same Ryan Gosling we all know and covet?

4. The movie was actually filmed in reverse. All the older Allie and Noah scenes (with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling) were filmed first. Gosling even had to lose 20 pounds of muscle and shave off his older Noah beard to transform into the younger Noah.

5. Other actresses who auditioned for the role of Allie included Ashley Judd, Britney Spears, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Biel. Rachel McAdams won the role, and director Nick Cassavetes had once expressed, "When Rachel McAdams came in and read, it was apparent that she was the one. She and Ryan had great chemistry between them."

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Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams.
Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams.
Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams. | Source

6. Though the pair had chemistry on-screen, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling did not initially get along on set. The couple clashed during production and often yelled at each other, before finally mellowing out. Tension must have turned to passion, as the duo went on to date.

7. James Marsden (Lou Hammond Jr.) thought the movie was going to be a flop. He had once said in an interview with Out Magazine, "I thought The Notebook was going to be a schmaltzy Movie of the Week-type thing, and here we are!"

8. Ryan Gosling (Noah) wore brown contacts for the film. Since James Garner, who plays the older Noah, has brown eyes, Gosling had to hide his baby blues.

9. The iconic boat scene almost never happened. The production studio didn't think the birds could be properly trained and wanted to cut the scene, but Cassavetes and a producer bought a bunch of hatchling birds and raised them by the lake. When it was time to film the scene a few months later, the birds were used to the environment and behaved wonderfully.

10. McAdams and Gosling eventually became a real-life couple, and went on to date for several years. Though their relationship was on-and-off, the pair remain friendly. Gosling has found love with actress Eva Mendes, whom he shares two children with. McAdams recently welcomed a baby with boyfriend Jamie Linden.

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James Marsden as Lou Hammond Jr.
James Marsden as Lou Hammond Jr.
James Marsden as Lou Hammond Jr. | Source

11. Gena Rowlands, who play the older Allie in the nursing home, is actually the director's mother.

12. The Notebook went on to win many awards, including a whopping eight Teen Choice Awards, a Satellite Award and an MTV Movie Award for "Best Kiss." McAdams and Gosling famously recreated that iconic kiss on stage as they accepted their award.

13. Fans can actually vacation in the mansion that Noah built for Allie. The 5-bedroom home is located in Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina, and according to Trulia for $1,000 a night visitors can stay in the famous home.

14. McAdams and Gosling are both Canadian, and were actually born in the same hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario.

15. Rachel McAdams had no shoes on during the famous rain scene because they disintegrated in the water. Most of her costume was originally from the 1940s and fell apart.

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Rachel McAdams & Ryan Gosling recreating their iconic kiss at the MTV Movie Awards.
Rachel McAdams & Ryan Gosling recreating their iconic kiss at the MTV Movie Awards.
Rachel McAdams & Ryan Gosling recreating their iconic kiss at the MTV Movie Awards. | Source

16. Ryan Gosling is a method actor and in order to prepare for the role of Noah, he lived in Charleston, South Carolina to understand the location better, rowed down the Ashley River and even built furniture. Noah's wooden kitchen table was built by Gosling.

17. Ryan Gosling was the director's first and only choice to portray Noah. At one point, Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise and Justin Timberlake were attached to the project but ultimately backed out. Coincidentally, Timberlake and Gosling were once roommates and starred on The Mickey Mouse Club together.

18. On January 3, 2019 it was announced that The Notebook would be adapted into a Broadway musical with a book by Bekah Brunstetter and music by Ingrid Michaelson.

19. There is very little nudity in the film, because the director admitted he's easily embarrassed by sexual things. He also wanted the movie to be appropriate for a large audience. "I don't want children seeing things they shouldn't be seeing," He said.

20. While The Notebook was the first Nicholas Sparks novel to be published, it was actually the third book he completed. It spent over a year on the bestseller list.

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Justin Timberlake (left) at one point was tied to the film.
Justin Timberlake (left) at one point was tied to the film.
Justin Timberlake (left) at one point was tied to the film. | Source

© 2019 Rachel M Johnson


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