‘The Notebook’: James Marsden Got Tons of Grief for Lon Hammond Jr.

There are few romance movies as beloved as The Notebook. Though it’s been nearly 16 years since the film premiered, the cast is still asked about the iconic film on the regular. Adapted from the eponymous Nicholas Sparks novel, The Notebook tells the love story of Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun. It’s a classic tale of two people from opposite sides of the track that couldn’t be more different. But, despite their differences, they manage to fall in love anyway.

James Marsden The Notebook cast
James Marsden | JC Olivera/Getty Images)

But Noah isn’t the only man in Allie’s life. During the years that she and Noah were apart, she falls in love with another man, Lon Hammond Jr., who was played beautifully by James Marsden. Lon was exactly the kind of man that Allie’s parents wanted for her. He was charming, funny, sweet, and, of course, extremely wealthy. In fact, the love between Allie and Lon almost felt easy in comparison to the love that she shared with Noah.

What makes ‘The Notebook’ so compelling

One of the things that makes The Notebook so compelling is that there’s no easy choice for Allie to make. Lon’s love can’t compare to Noah’s, but he’s actually sweet and kind and treats her really well. Typically when we see the love triangle device utilized, one of the two options is mean, treats the person badly, or simply has a huge character flaw. But, that simply was not the case with Lon, which makes Allie’s indecision that much more believable and relatable.

James Marsden received tons of flack for his character, Lon Hammond Jr.

But despite the fact that Marsden played a good guy, he still received tons of flack for the character he was cast to play. In a recent interview with Good Morning America, he shared that he felt that Lon was a standup guy. He chalked the negativity he received up to the palpable chemistry between his fellow castmates.”I thought he was a good guy. But, I think it’s a testament to the movie and the chemistry between Ryan and Rachel, you know,”  The Notebook actor shared.

The cast had undeniable chemistry

In fact, the cast had such great chemistry, that fans of The Notebook would hilariously come up to Marsden and demand to know why he felt the need to stand between Noah and Allie.”When the movie became such a phenomenon, people would come up to me on the street and be like, ‘Why were you trying to get in their way?! They were supposed to be together,’ It was like, ‘Ahh, I didn’t do anything. It was a job. I don’t know,'” Marsden revealed about how he dealt with The Notebook superfans.  

The cast had no clue how successful the movie would be

The movie might be seen as a classic these days, but Marsden confessed that he and the rest of the cast couldn’t have predicted that enormous amount of attention and popularity it garnered.”Nobody knew that that was going to be such a massive hit. You never know when you’re filming. You hope that it’s gonna happen, but that one I don’t think anyone saw it coming, Pretty special thing to be a part of,” The Notebook alum shared.

It’s great that Marsden still looks back at the experience with fondness. He might’ve gotten tons of grief for his character, but at least he was a part of something that elicits such a viscerally emotional reaction from people.