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Allie and Noah are based on a real couple.About

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook."

New Line Cinema

The film is based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, but the author wrote on his website that

Allie and Noah were based

on his then-wife's grandparents.

They were together for over 60 years, and Sparks was impressed with how strong their love for each other was.

"They told us the story of how they met and fell in love, parts of which eventually made their way into 'The Notebook,'" Sparks wrote.

Ryan Gosling said he was cast because the director thought he wasn't handsome.About

Ryan Gosling as Noah in "The Notebook."

New Line Cinema

Director Nick Cassavetes wanted to cast a male lead who was a bit more of an everyman than typical Hollywood heartthrobs.

Per Us Weekly,

Ryan Gosling told Company magazine

in 2012 that Cassavetes 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."

Britney Spears auditioned to play Allie, and so did a few other notable stars.

Britney Spears is a pop star.About

Mike Windle/Getty Images

Entertainment Tonight reported that pop star

Britney Spears was originally in talks to play Allie

. If Spears had gotten the role, she would've been reunited her with Gosling, her former

"Mickey Mouse Club"

costar.

Reese Witherspoon

,About

Jessica Biel,

and

Jessica Simpson

were also considered for Allie before the role went to Rachel McAdams.

Gosling didn't always get along with McAdams.

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams dated for a while after the film.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The two lead actorsAbout

ended up dating

for a period of time after meeting on set, but during filming, Gosling once requested that a different scene partner be brought in when he clashed with McAdams.

Cassavetes recalled the moment in a 2014

interview with VH1

.

"[T]hey were really not getting along one day on set. Really not," he said, "And Ryan came to me ... 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 can't. I can't do it with her. I'm just not getting anything from this.'"

Luckily they made it work for the movie, even if their romantic relationship didn't

stand the test of timeAbout

in real life.

McAdams did a lot of training for her role.

Rachel McAdams as Allie in "The Notebook."

New Line Cinema

Maclean's magazine reported that

McAdams took ballet and etiquette classes

to perfect the refined nature that her Southern belle character Allie would've had.

In a 2004 interview with IGN, the actress said that she alsoAbout

worked with a dialect coach

for two months to get Allie's Southern

accent

down.

Gosling received specific carpentry training for Noah as well, and he ended up making some furniture pieces for the set.

Ryan Gosling had to do woodworking training for "The Notebook."

New Line Cinema

Noah becomes a woodworker whoAbout

builds his own house

so to get proper training Gosling

did an apprenticeship

with a cabinetmaker in Charleston, South Carolina, before filming.

The actor told People in 2004 that he ended up making the two chairs that Noah and Allie sit in on the front porch of the house. He also made the table that Noah and Allie have a romantic moment on.

Gosling wanted to keep the table, but it went back to the cabinetmaker he apprenticed with.

Noah was supposed to have brown eyes, so Gosling wore colored contacts.

Ryan Gosling has blue eyes.About

New Line Cinema

Gosling has blue eyes in real life but, according to

VH1

, he had to wear brown contacts to match the eyes of

James Garner

, who played older Noah.

According to McAdams, Ellie’s role in the movie is "much bigger" than her role in the book.

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in the first date scene in "The Notebook."About

New Line Cinema

The novel is told mostly from Noah's point of view, so Allie doesn't get as much character exploration. The movie, however, changed that to give Noah and Allie equal levels of perspective throughout the film.

"I was grateful for the changes because it made my role significantly bigger,"

McAdams told IGN

in 2004. "I'm glad they've explored the young love a lot more. I think that it makes the end so much richer because you get to see their memories and you get to see the memories that she's losing and the tragedy in that."

Older Allie was played by the director's mother.

Gena Rowlands as older Allie in "The Notebook."

New Line CinemaAbout

Cassavetes cast his mother

Gena Rowlands

as the older version of Allie in the film.

Rowlands is an actress in her own right who started her career back in the 1950s. And "The Notebook" is not the only one of her son's films she's appeared in.

She was also in "Yellow" (2012), "She's So Lovely" (1997), and "Unhook the Stars" (1996).

"The Notebook" didn't help James Marsden win over many fans.

James Marsden in "The Notebook."

New Line CinemaAbout

James Marsden played Lon Hammond, Allie's boyfriend-turned -fiancé who she was with after her breakup with Noah.

Even years after the film's release, Marsden said he still gets fans coming up to him who are angry that his character almost kept Allie and Noah apart.

"They're just

disgusted

by me,"

Marsden told Vulture

in 2015. "It's just funny how people carry it with them ... some people are like, 'I can't even look at you.'"

But he also told the publication that he occasionally hears people say they would've stayed with him.About

Gosling improvised one of the movie's most iconic lines.

Noah and Allie get into big fights during "The Notebook."

New Line Cinema

Cassavetes

told VH1

in 2014 that, according to the script, during the big fight scene Noah was just supposed to say to Allie: "Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants. Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want."

Gosling then decided to add

, "What do you want? What do youAbout

want

?"

Cassavetes was really blown away by the improvisation, which has since become the highlight of a well-known moment in the film.

The crew raised the swans from the boat scene on location so the birds would feel more familiar with the area.

Allie and Noah take a romantic boat ride through a swan-filled lake.

New Line Cinema

At one point in the film,

Noah and AllieAbout

row through a lake completely filled with swans. But the scene was almost birdless because people were concerned that untrained animals would create chaos on set.

Cassavetes told VH1

in the 2014 interview that they decided to get a bunch of hatchlings and raise them on the lake so they were comfortable in and familiar with the area.

Kobe Bryant once gifted his wife a dress from the film for Valentine's Day.

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant at the Oscars.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

At the late basketball player Kobe Bryant's memorial in 2020, his wife Vanessa Bryant recalled how Kobe once hunted down

the actual blue dress that McAdams woreAbout

during the iconic kiss-in-the-rain scene in "The Notebook."

He wanted to give it to Vanessa for Valentine's Day in honor of the couple's own 2013 reconciliation.

"When I asked him why he chose the blue dress, he said it was because it was the scene when Allie comes back to Noah," Vanessa said. "We had hoped to grow old together like the movie."

She has previously posted a

photo of the costume

on her Instagram page.

Gosling and McAdams won the MTV Movie Award for best kiss.

Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling recreated their iconic kiss at the MTV Movie Awards.About

Getty Images / KMazur

At the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, "The Notebook" won for best kiss thanks to Gosling and McAdams' passionate,

rain-soaked smooch

in the film.

When the actors walked on stage to accept their award, they reenacted the

passionate moment

to roaring applause.

Gosling wanted Noah to burn the movie's iconic house down.About

Ryan Gosling's character builds a house in "The Notebook."

New Line Cinema

It likely would have broken fans' hearts to see Noah torch the house he'd worked so hard to build, but Cassavetes said in

his 2014 VH1 interview

that Gosling floated the idea by him.

"He'd come to me and say, 'Why can't I burn the house down?'" the director recalled. "I'd say, 'Because I don't even know what that means.' And [Gosling would] say, 'Cleansing my fire!'"

Whatever that meant, they did not go in that direction — and the house

is still standing today

.

There's a sequel to the novel.

Nicholas Sparks has written a number of best-selling novels.

Amazon

Sparks' book "The Wedding"

was published in 2003 as a sequel to "The Notebook."

The plot follows Allie and Noah's daughter Jane and her love story with a man named Wilson.

Read More:

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THEN AND NOW: The cast of 'A Walk to Remember' 18 years later

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Latest: Notebook: 6 ways that Ellie and Noah’s relationship is toxic (and 4 ways that are perfect)

Next: Notebook ending