TORONTO — It was definitely not love at first sight for The Notebook co-stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, according to director Nick Cassavetes.
The two stars, who were born in the same London, Ont. hospital, sizzled in the 2004 drama and then had a real-life romance that lasted about two years.
But the director revealed Gosling and McAdams — like their characters — had heated arguments.
“Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this story, but they were really not getting along one day on set. Really not,” he told vh1. “And Ryan came to me, and there’s 150 people standing in this big scene, and he says, ‘Nick come here.’ 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.'”
Cassavetes said he put Gosling and McAdams in a room and let them work things out.
“They started screaming and yelling at each other. I walked out,” he said. “At that point I was smoking cigarettes. I smoked a cigarette and everybody came out like, ‘All right let’s do this.’ And it got better after that, you know? 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. The rest of the film wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was smoother sailing.”
Cassavetes shared behind-the-scenes secrets with vh1 to mark the 10th anniversary of The Notebook, which earned $115.6 million at the box office.
He also recalled Gosling’s failed attempt to discuss character traits with James Garner, who played the older version of Gosling’s Noah.
Cassavetes shared: “[Ryan] says, ‘I was thinking about accents. There’s all kinds of South Carolina accents — one’s more rural’ and this and that. [Garner] goes, ‘I don’t do accents, kid. They’re stupid.’ And [Ryan] goes, ‘Okay. What about eye color? I have blue eyes. You have brown eyes.’ He says, ‘Everyone knows Jim Garner’s got brown eyes. Do what you want, kid.’ [Ryan] says, ‘Okay, I guess I’ll wear contacts. What about hair?’ And he says, ‘Do whatever you want, kid. Nice to meet you. See you later.'”
Cassavetes, who directed this year’s comedy The Other Woman, had high praise for both Gosling and McAdams.
“They were committed to their characters and both of them are terrific artists in their own right,” he said. “Really, really top-notch artists. I would love to work with them [again].”
BELOW: Watch the trailer for The Notebook.
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