The Notebook is one of our all time favourite films so even we were surprised that there were things about this film that we didn’t know.
Check out these top 10 facts!
1/ It’s kind of based on a true story!
Author Nicholas Sparks has stated on his website, and in past interviews, that the story is based on his wife’s grandparents! According to Sparks, his wife’s grandparents had been too ill to attend their wedding ceremony so the day after he and his wife wed, they decided to hold another ceremony that her grandparents could attend. Sparks says it was then that the couple told the newlyweds of how they met and it was that story that the Notebook centred around!
Sparks wrote on his website, “But though their story was wonderful, 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. I remember watching them together and thinking to myself that after sixty years of marriage, these two people were treating each other exactly the same as my wife and I were treating each other after twelve hours. What a wonderful gift they’d given us, I thought, to show us on our first day of marriage that true love can last forever.”
2/ The movie was filmed backwards!
The scenes were Rachel McAdam’s and Ryan Gosling played a slightly older Allie and Noah, were actually filmed first! Ryan wanted to look like someone who could build houses, so he put on weight and bulked up as much as possible. The cast and crew took a break, during which time, Ryan had to shave his beard and lose weight so he could then return to film the scenes where he played a Noah that was aged seven years younger!
3/ Gosling built furniture to prepare for the role!
Gosling decided to prepare for the role of Noah by moving to Southern Carolina and learning how to build furniture! In the scene where Noah and Allie sit down to have dinner together in Noah’s house, the table they are sitting at was actually built by Gosling! While living in Southern Carolina, Gosling also rowed a nearby river every morning, again in preparation for the role.
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were actually considered for the lead roles! Britney Spears actually did a screen test for the role, which according to Gosling, was very good. We can’t imagine anyone other than Ryan and Rachel playing Noah and Allie, but as it happens, other actors associated with the lead roles included Reese Witherspoon, Tom Cruise and Jessica Biel.
When director Nick Nick Cassavetes came on board, he wanted only Gosling to play Noah. He also knew exactly who would play the part of older Allie … his mum, Gena Rowlands! When Rachel McAdam’s auditioned for the role, she was in the middle of filming a horror film and is said to have auditioned for Allie while partially covered in fake blood!
5/ Ryan & Rachel hated each other initially
Despite their on screen chemistry, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdam’s hated each other, and fought constantly. It got to a point where Ryan asked another person to step in and rehearse lines with him and at one stage even requested that McAdam’s be replaced!
Eventually, the director and producer intervened and brought Ryan and Rachel together in a room for a meeting. Almost immediately, the two started shouting at each other so the director and producer walked out and left them arguing. That screaming match seemed to clear the air however as the two became friends. A year after the film was made, they went on to date!
6/ That boat scene was not digitally enhanced!
Who doesn’t love that super-romantic scene where Noah and Allie take a boat ride on the lake and are suddenly surrounded by white swans and their hatchlings? It was all authentic! The scene was almost cut from the script as it was decided that the idea of getting birds to all stay on the lake would be impossible. The director Nick Cassavetes however figured that if some hatchlings were raised on the lake, they would feel comfortable staying there. He then bought a flock of hatchlings and had animal handlers raise them on the lake. Remarkably, his plan worked!
7/ Brown eyed Ryan
Because James Garner – the man who played older Noah – had brown eyes, blue-eyed Gosling decided to wear brown eye contacts for filming. Eagle eyed fans however spotted one scene in the film where Gosling clearly forgot to wear his brown contacts!
8/ Movie mistake!
Speaking of eagle eyed fans, they also spotted a microphone attached to the middle of the back of Ryan’s shirt in the famous scene where he is hanging on the Ferris Wheel in a bid to impress Allie.
9/ Disintegrating clothes!
In the rain scene, Rachel McAdam’s shoes reportedly disintegrated due to the amount of water that was used in the scene. The costume department had sourced some original vintage pieces for Allie’s wardrobe. Some of the pieces, such as the shoes, were apparently not able to withstand the level of water and completely fell apart.
10/ So much rain it hurt
During the rain scene, the crew used a high powered fire hose to simulate the effect of torrential rain. McAdam’s later recalled that there was so much water in that scene it hurt her eyes!