The Notebook

Ryan Gosling Told by ‘Notebook’ Director He Lacked ‘Natural Leading Qualities’

Ryan Gosling may be a Ken doll, but he’s never been seen as a cookie cutter.

The ‘Barbie’ actor revealed during a GQ cover story that his iconic lead role in the 2004 novel “The Notebook” came off of subverted casting. Director Nick Cassavetes told Gosling that playing Noah, opposite Rachel McAdams’ Ali, in the decade-long epic would be an unexpected choice.

“(Nick) said to me directly, ‘The fact that you don’t have any natural lead qualities is why I want you to be my lead,'” said Gosling.

She went on to liken her early career to a kind of therapy, saying, “I was trying to find a place to put all these things that were happening to me. And these movies have become ways of doing that, like time capsules. So you kind of make the movie for yourself. It doesn’t matter if someone else does it, you know? But I think, after doing a lot of this, I realize that I kind of feel like my job is for other people to feel that. And it’s cool if I do, but that’s not the point. The point is, others do.

Related stories

‘Shooting Stars’ Review: LeBron James Teen Biopic Is a Selfish Airball

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Dwayne Johnson attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Dwayne Johnson to direct new film ‘Fast & Furious’ despite publicly rejecting franchise

Gosling added of her current career outlook: “I treat it more like a job now, and not like it’s, you know, therapy. It’s work and I think in a way that allows me to be better because there is less interference.

The “Fall Guy” star noted that he “had to take the secondary entrance” for bigger-budget films coming from the independent space. “I’ve always wanted to do this,” the “Blue Valentine” actor said. “I’ve never really had an opportunity like this, or it’s never worked out like this. It took me a long time to get into sort of bigger, more commercial films. I had to take the back entrance.

Gosling previously reflected on casting ‘Notebook’ for Company (via The Huffington Post) in 2011.

“Nick Cassavetes called me to meet 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 other young actors out there in Hollywood.” You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a little crazy,’” Gosling said.