Can you imagine a world in which Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams never starred together in “The Notebook,” never stole our hearts as Noah and Allie and never became the world’s most perfect couple ever to kiss in the rain?
The very idea is too horrifying even to contemplate; we thought about it for, like, three seconds, and we’ll probably have nightmares for weeks. So right about now, let’s all fall to our knees in gratitude over the recent revelation, courtesy of our friends at VH1, that “The Notebook” director Nick Cassavetes is basically solely responsible for making a recalcitrant Ryan shape up and accept Rachel as his character’s one true love.
Ten years after the movie’s release, Cassavetes shared the story of how it almost didn’t happen.
“Ryan came to me, and there’s 150 people standing in this big scene, and he says, ‘Nick come here,’” the director told VH1. “And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and he says, ‘Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?’ I said, ‘What?’ He says, ‘I can’t. I can’t do it with her. I’m just not getting anything from this.’”
Fortunately for all involved, Cassavetes declined to bring in another actress. Instead, he threw the pair into a room together and made them work through their conflict.
“They had it out … I think Ryan respected her for standing up for her character and Rachel was happy to get that out in the open,” he said. “The rest of the film wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was smoother sailing.”
And clearly, the tumultuous process of making the movie ultimately didn’t have any negative impact on the chemistry between its characters — nor the actors who played them, considering that they went on to be the cutest real-life Hollywood couple alive for two wonderful, beautiful years. Sigh.
For more behind-the-scenes intel from “The Notebook, ” including the pivotal scene that studio execs called “impossible” and wanted to cut — check out Cassavetes’ full interview with VH1.