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Though Ryan Gosling has certainly had an illustrious acting career, there are a few roles that really stick out to fans. One such role was his portrayal of Noah Calhoun in the romantic film, The Notebook. The movie is often regarded as one of the best romantic dramas of all time and despite the fact that it premiered nearly 17 years ago, it is constantly finding new audiences.

Ryan Gosling attends The Notebook world premiere in a black suit
Ryan Gosling | Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

While it’s hard to picture anyone else being cast in the role of Noah, Nick Cassavetes (who directed The Notebook) had to fight for Gosling to be cast. While the director felt that Gosling had the perfect temperament to portray Noah, he had to convince New Line Cinema (the film’s production company) that the La La Land star was the right choice. While Gosling has undoubtedly earned heartthrob status now, back then, Cassavetes was drawn to him because he was different from other Hollywood stars.

Why ‘The Notebook’ director wanted to cast Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun

“[Cassavetes] called me to meet him at his house,” Gosling shared in a 2012 interview with Company Magazine when asked about The Notebook. “When I got there, he was standing in his backyard, and he looked at me and said, ‘I want you to play this role because you’re not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts.’”

Gosling did some method acting in Charleston, South Carolina to prepare for his role

The Notebook director may have believed Gosling looked “a bit nuts” but the actor still had to do a lot of work to get into the mind of his character. In fact, IMDb, revealed that Gosling did quite a bit of method work after he was cast. The actor actually lived in Charleston, South Carolina for two months prior to filming. Every morning, he would head out to the Ashley River to row and once that was completed he would come back home and build furniture. In fact, the table that is utilized in the dinner scene between Allie and Noah was of Gosling’s creation.


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The movie was shot in reverse

Naturally, Gosling’s intense preparation changed his body over time. In fact, the actor managed to pack on 20 pounds of muscle thanks to his intense regiment. This worked out well because The Notebook was actually shot in reverse. The scenes were Allie and Noah are reunited after seven years were shot first, so Gosling’s beard and more muscular physique certainly served the story and the passage of time.

The actor had to quickly drop weight while filming ‘The Notebook’

However, when it came time to film the beginning of the movie, Gosling had to rapidly shed the muscle he’d packed on. Fortunately, the cast of The Notebook went on Christmas break between filming, so Gosling had a bit more time to drop the pounds. Still, the break wasn’t very long and he had to work hard to quickly change his physique. It’s pretty impressive that the actor was so dedicated to the role. Clearly, the method acting paid off for him.