The Notebook – Casting Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling
June 25th marked the anniversary of the beloved romance film The Notebook. Fans remembered it with fond, albeit teary eyes, fawning over the tragic love story played out by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
However, it seems the onscreen chemistry between the two stars wasn’t as romantic as they had fooled us to believe. In a recent interview with director Nick Cassavetes, the two were constantly at each other’s throats. Several times, they had to stop filming because of the fighting.
“Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this story,” Cassavetes told VH1, “But they were really not getting along one day on set. Really not. 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.”
To try to ease tensions, Cassavetes attempted to isolate the two, leaving them to work out their differences. After emerging from a screaming bout, they seemed to get along better, though conflict continued to disrupt filming occasionally.
“We went into a room with a producer; they started screaming and yelling at each other,” he recalled. “I walked out. At that point I was smoking cigarettes. I smoked a cigarette and everybody came out like, ‘Alright let’s do this.’ And it got better after that. 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.”
It could have been the (slightly heated) passion that made the two such a perfect pair onscreen. When interviewed, they sung a slightly different tune on the matter.
“We inspired the worst in each other,” Ryan said. “It was a strange experience, making a love story and not getting along with your co-star in any way.”
Rachel added to that, saying, “We weren’t throwing Ming vases at each other, so it wasn’t loathing, but our relationship was not what you saw on the screen. I would say that we were both, well, professional.”
Passionate, angry, or professional, the two were certainly able to pull themselves together long enough to produce one of the most iconic love stories of our time.