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33 Surprising Things You Probably Didn't Know About "The Notebook"

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams hated each other on set.

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1. Ryan Gosling was an unknown actor when he was cast in the lead role.

2. Director Nick Cassavetes said he cast Gosling because he wasn’t handsome or cool, but was “just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts." He said the love story was more realistic because Gosling wasn’t good-looking.

3. Gosling said he thought he was wrong for the part and didn’t feel like a romantic lead.

4. Gosling and Cassavetes travelled across the country searching for someone to play the part of Allie.

5. Britney Spears screen-tested to play Allie. Ryan Gosling said she did a very good job in the audition.

6. Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Biel also auditioned.

7. Rachel McAdams blew Gosling and Cassavetes away with her audition. They both felt she understood the role better than anyone else.

8. McAdams said she sobbed uncontrollably when she first read the script.

9. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams didn’t get along during filming.

10. According to Cassavetes, they had a screaming row, and at one point Gosling asked for McAdams to be taken of set and replaced with another actor.

11. Despite that, Gosling and McAdams later won the award for Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards in 2005 for The Notebook.

12. In the end Gosling and McAdams fell for each other and they dated on and off for three and a half years until 2009.

13. Gosling said that after they broke up, a fan of The Notebook approached him in the street and angrily told him off for breaking up with McAdams.

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

15. They shot the later parts of the film first, and Gosling put on as much weight as he could so he’d be convincing as someone who could build a house.

16. To get into the role of Noah, and to gain muscle, Gosling apprenticed with a cabinet maker two months before filming.

17. Gosling built the dining table that appears in the film.

18. The cast then went on a break, and Gosling lost 20 pounds of muscle to transform into the younger Noah for the earlier scenes of the movie.

19. The production company almost didn’t allow the famous romantic bird scene to go ahead, as they said there were no bird handlers in the business who could pull it off.

20. In the end the filmmakers bought a flock of hatchling chicks and hired animal trainers to raise them by the lake, so they would be perfectly trained for the film.

21. Noah’s famous line “What do you want?” was actually improvised by Gosling.

22. Rachel McAdams has no shoes during the rain scene because they disintegrated in the water. A lot of her costume was original from the 1940s and fell apart.

23. The crew blasted the couple with a fire hose during the rain scene, and McAdams said there was so much water it hurt her eyes.

24. Nick Cassavetes confessed that he is a prude, which is why there is so little nudity in the film. He wanted children to be able to watch the film and not see anything they shouldn’t.

25. Gena Rowlands, who plays the older Allie Calhoun, is director Nick Cassavetes’ mother.

26. His father is the legendary director John Cassavetes.

27. Ryan Gosling wore brown contact lenses in the film so he would match the eye colour of actor James Garner, who plays the older Noah.

28. Gosling's natural eye colour is blue.

29. The film is based on the book The Notebook, which was Nicholas Sparks’s first published novel.

30. Sparks wrote it in six months in 1994 at the age of 28. It was published in 1996.

31. Sparks was inspired to write the novel after meeting his wife’s grandparents, who were married for more than 60 years.

32. The day after Sparks and his wife got married, they visited her grandparents. He said, "What I most remember from that day is the way they were treating each other. The way his eyes shined when he looked at her, the way he held her hand, the way he got her tea and took care of her."

33. Sparks said his wife's grandparents gave them a wonderful gift, by showing them, "on our first day of marriage that true love can last forever."

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