Nick Cassavetes’ film, released in 2004, could well have been based on a completely different cast.
What would have been like Never forget (The Notebook in VO) if Ryan Gosling And Rachel McAdams weren’t headliners? Released in 2004, the film introduced the character of Allie, an old lady with Alzheimer’s, and Noah, who came to visit her every day to read her the same story over and over: their love story. It begins in the 1930s, when they were only in their twenties. Escaping a life of convenience, the two young people will spend the rest of their lives together, until memory separates them.
A real hit at the box office, the feature film by Nick Cassavetes (Alpha Dog), which has amassed $118 million in revenue, almost featured a completely different cast.
In an interview with Deadline in 2020, George Clooney revealed that he was in the running for the role of Noah (eventually landed by Ryan Gosling). If the actor ended up withdrawing from the project, it is because at the start, he wanted to form a duet with Paul Newman (Luke the Cold Hand, Butch Cassidy and the Kid). He would play the young man, and Newman the elderly Noah trying to revive the memories of his wife. “We were going to play together. We saw each other and we said ‘it’s going to be great’”says Clooney.
Only, a little later, the actor became disillusioned. “We met again and I said to him ‘I can’t play the same character as you, I don’t look like you at all, it’s maddening!’. We just wanted to work together, but in the end we realized that it was not the best thing to do”, he explains. Eventually, James Garner (The great Escape) And Gena Rowlands (A woman under the influence) will portray elderly Noah and Allie.
On the Allie side, recruitment also experienced a crisp rebound: Britney Spears almost landed the role. At the time, the singer was at the height of her career, long before she was placed in conservatorship, and the legal hell that followed until 2021. The casting director of Never forgetMatthew Barry also returned to his audition in an interview with DailyMail in 2021. According to him, the choice was quite difficult between Britney Spears and Rachel McAdams, who were the last two potential actresses for the role. Matthew Barry ultimately chose McAdams, who “passed his audition with flying colors”. For Britney Spears, Never forget still stayed “the best script she’s ever read”.
Britney talking about The Notebook and how it was the most amazing script she’d ever read pic.twitter.com/aH30a4hTgS
—Fan Account (@breatheonmiley) May 22, 2021
In France, Never Forget is available on VOD on Apple tv+.
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