Ryan Gosling (Noah Calhoun)
Fun fact: As part of preparation for his role, Gosling, with his own two hands, built the kitchen table you see in the movie.
Rachel McAdams (Allie Hamilton)
Fun fact: Some of the other actors up for the role of Allie included Ashley Judd, Reese Witherspoon, and pop diva Britney Spears.
Gena Rowlands (Allie Calhoun)
Fun fact: In real life Rowlands is the mother of the film's director, Nick Cassavetes.
James Marsden (Lon Hammond, Jr.)
Fun fact: Marsden was not certain about how the movie would be perceived and stated, "I thought The Notebook was going to be a schmaltzy Movie of the Week–type thing, and here we are!”
Joan Allen (Anne Hamilton)
Fun fact: Before playing Allie's icy mother, Allen had already been nominated three times for an Academy Award — in 1995 (Nixon), 1996 (The Crucible), and in 2000 (The Contender).
Sam Shepard (Frank Calhoun)
Fun fact: According to his website, one of the reasons Shephard took the part of Noah's dad was, as he puts it, "I think the most important thing is the enduring nature of love, and it’s something I think in this time that we don’t really value much."
Kevin Connolly (Fin)
Fun fact: 2004 was a good year for Connolly, since his hit HBO show Entourage premiered on July 18, which was just a few weeks after the premiere of The Notebook.
David Thornton (John Hamilton)
Fun fact: In the film, Thornton plays Allie's hoity-toity, Southern gentleman father, who may or may not be in a love-less marriage himself. In real life, however, Thornton has been happily married to pop legend Cyndi Lauper for 23 years.
Jamie Anne Allman (Martha Shaw)
Fun fact: After playing the jilted Martha Shaw, Allman would go on to play another pining woman on AMC's The Killing.