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Credit: New Line/courtesy Everett Collection

Noah from The Notebook is one of Ryan Gosling‘s most well known roles. But, at the time of casting, Nicholas Sparks said it was difficult finding his male heartthrob.

“No one wanted to play Noah,” the writer-producer said during a session with IMDb Asks (via Huffington Post). “It was really interesting because a lot of the actors said, ‘Well, what’s Noah’s arc?'”

He continued, “It’s a guy who falls in love and then he just kinda does nothing, and then waits for her to show up and then he’s there and he’s still in love and then at the end of the film, well, he’s still in love. Where’s the arc? Ryan Gosling came in and he really brought that story to life.”

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In 2011, Gosling recalled to the British magazine Company, “the director, Nick Cassavetes, called me to meet him at his house. 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.”

Even though he went on to spar with his costar Rachel McAdams on the set, The Notebook is still the quintessential love story from Sparks’ vault.

The Notebook
  • Movie
  • 121 minutes