Mattew Barry the Notebook casting director has opened up about how Britney Spears almost landed the coveted role opposite Ryan Gosling after her mind blowing audition.
For any Hollywood romance lover when it comes to listing some of the most iconic romantic drama films of all time, The Notebook will always make it to the top. Based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling movie was a massive success. The movie followed the story of Allie and Noah who fall in love in the 1940s before being forced apart by her disapproving mother.
Despite killing her role as Allie in the movie, Rachel McAdams was so close to losing out the role to none other than Britney Spears.
The pop star auditioned for the 2004 film back in 2002 and casting director Matthew Barry was massively impressed with it. Amidst the controversy surrounding Spears at the moment with her tell-all memoir The Woman in Me having recently released, the then casting director for that movie has opened up about how things happened leading to the singer almost getting the iconic role in the movie.
In a conversation with Entertainment Tonight, Barry said, "Britney Spears was unbelievable. She was absolutely unbelievable. Britney came in and blew us all away." Recently, footage from her audition was released by Daily Mail, and the clip features a 21-year-old Spears acting out a scene. She showcased her emotions as she recited the monologue. The casting director stated that he was happy fans got to see a side to Britney that no one would expect after more than two decades.
The clip shows Spears, who is dressed in a white lace top and wearing her hair down, and Gosling, who is standing off-camera, reading through a scene together - with the popstar slowly tearing up as she goes through her lines.
‘I'm not staying,' she begins. 'I tried to call you to tell you that I wasn’t going to stay - but nobody answered the phone.’
Struggling to maintain eye contact as she deals the devastating blow that her character is going ahead with her plans to marry another man, Spears continues: 'Noah, you can’t marry two people. And I’m marrying Lon, so I should go, okay?’
Proving why she deserved to be in contention for the role, she then starts crying as she tells Gosling: ‘I prayed for you to die in the war, really. Well not die. I would have felt completely horrible if you would die.
'But I kinda didn’t want you to be alive anymore because I couldn’t bear the thought of you being with somebody else, or of us never seeing each other again. So I gotta go, okay?’
Her excellent acting blew many fans away as the young Britney looked like she was made for the role.
Barry also added that he feels Spears should get back to acting. "We didn't know what was going on at the time with her and Justin Timberlake. So I think that she absolutely tapped into what was going on at the time," he added, referring to the Criminal hitmaker's breakup. "I think she definitely tapped into her emotional depth and brought it out. She showed us she was raw, she was emotional, she was fantastic. She laid it all out on the line," he expressed.
He further added that spears almost got the role but Rachel McAdams came and rocked the audition with an exceptional performance.
Barry then revealed that she came after Spears and just destroyed everyone with her portrayal. It was a very, very hard toss-up between the two of them. There was lots of arguing as there is in any film that ever gets made. I think the studio probably wanted Britney for obvious reasons. But Rachel, it was her role, the casting director further told the portal.
According to Barry, Spears breathtaking display of raw emotion caught the attention of the movie's producers and had all but secured her role in the movie, but McAdams stepped in front of the camera and just showed that she was born to play the part of Allie.
Barry also added that Britney was not just good but exceptional, and letting her go was one of the toughest decision he had to make as a casting director.