The *Real* Reason Ryan Gosling Was Cast in ‘The Notebook’ Will Surprise You

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Ryan Gosling.
Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Ryan Gosling, 42, is one of the biggest leading men in Hollywood thanks to roles in Crazy, Stupid, Love, La La Land and his highly-anticipated performance in the upcoming Barbie. However, while many consider his performance in The Notebook to be his breakout role, Gosling didn’t get the part of Noah Calhoun for his star power.

During a cover story interview with GQ, Gosling said that director Nick Cassavetes “straight up” told him: “The fact that you have no natural leading man qualities is why I want you to be my leading man.”

It wasn't the first time Gosling was given this kind of feedback. The Drive actor told the magazine that he landed one of his other first big roles—as Jewish neo-Nazi Danny Balint in The Believer—thanks to director Henry Bean believing the same thing.

“The fact that I wasn’t really right for it was exactly why [Henry] thought I was right for it,” Gosling said.

Regardless of why Gosling was cast, The Notebook was a smashing success for the Canadian actor. The romantic drama ended up grossing over $100 million at the box office, and to this day, it is considered a certified tearjerker.

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New Line Cinema

At a press junket in 2004, Gosling revealed that he didn't originally think he was fit for the part of Noah. He said, “It was something that was really a stretch for me and I was telling Nick [Cassavetes] that I was really the wrong guy for the movie, and he didn’t seem to think so, and he had a lot of convincing arguments. I said, ‘OK.’ Really, Allie drives the movie. It’s her movie and we’re in it. It all kind of depended on an actress.”

During the same junket, Gosling added, “I’m just not like a romantic lead, and I’ve never really done that kind of thing. The whole thing just felt completely like I was the wrong guy for it, but Nick explained to me.”

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New Line Cinema

Not a romantic lead?! We couldn't disagree more, Ryan.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...