‘The Notebook’: Britney Spears and Tom Cruise Could Have Starred in the Movie

It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams for The Notebook. Their portrayals of Allie and Noah feel so rich and authentic that it seems as though they were destined for the Nicholas Sparks adaptational film. Yet, believe it or not, director Nick Cassavetes had to fight hard for the two young actors to get their leading roles, respectively. Originally, Tom Cruise and Britney Spears were both heavily considered for the roles of Allie and Noah.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears | Fryderyk Gabowicz/Getty Images

‘The Notebook’ took a risk casting Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

The Notebook took a risk by casting Gosling and McAdams in the film. Why? Because the actors were unknown to the general public back then. Since Gosling and McAdams weren’t big names in Hollywood, they ran the risk of lowering ticket sales. But fortunately, Cassavetes took an artistic risk by choosing the two over any A-list actors. Yet despite Gosling and McAdams sweeping audiences away, several other big actors were looked at before the two. 

Steven Spielberg originally planned to direct ‘The Notebook’ starring Tom Cruise 

According to E!, Steven Spielberg wanted to direct The Notebook. He had a vision for recreating Sparks’ novel into a film adaptation, and fans of the book were ecstatic to see what he’d come up with. 

Yet unfortunately, scheduling conflicts got in the way, and the Jurassic Park director could no longer work on the project. But before scheduling conflicts got in the way, Spielberg had his sight set on Cruise for the role of Noah. At the time, Cruise was known for his smash hit films such as Top Gun and Risky Business. Yet ultimately, when Cassavetes took on the project, Gosling seemed like the perfect match for the romantic role. 

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But Cruise wasn’t the only A-list celebrity looked at for the film. According to E!, Britney Spears was also heavily considered for the role that made McAdams famous. While the “Toxic” singer auditioned for the film, Gosling was already cast. Gosling and Spears were quite familiar with each other, considering they were both a part of the Mickey Mouse Club. 

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling think Britney Spears would’ve been great in the film

It seems like Gosling and McAdams were in full support of Spears’ potential for the role. According to The Notebook co-stars, both believe the pop star would’ve been “great” for the part. Gosling recalls his screen test with Spears, telling ET, “I hadn’t seen her really since she was about 12—we were both 12—so she’s grown up, but she was really good. She did a nice job. We were 12. I don’t remember much from when I was 12, but yeah, no, she did an excellent job, actually. That was cool.”

Of Spears taking on the role, McAdams says, “I’m sure Britney would have done a great job!” According to E!. “It would have been a different movie, but yeah… I had no idea!” She says. “I was very fortunate. I was sort of at the end of the line, and I know they’d sort of done a cross-country trip—Nick and Ryan together—looking for the girl, and I sort of squeaked in there.”