Today marks the 10th anniversary of The Notebook—the wildly popular romantic drama based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks—and despite a decade having passed since the former costars shared the silver screen together, no one can seem to forget their palpable chemistry, which cemented the two as one of the most beloved romantic pairings.
But finding a leading lady and lad with looks, charm and talent was no simple task, although it's easy to see why McAdams landed the part after just one peek at her audition tape (seriously, it may require a few tissues).
Director Nick Cassavetes first cast Gosling in the flick, which hit theaters in 2004, although he never predicted the heartthrob status that the stud would soon achieve after taking on the role of Noah.
"I just thought he was weird enough in a certain respect that you would believe that he would know that he could take one look at somebody and know that that was the person for them," Cassavetes says of Gosling, speaking about the film in a featurette.
Ten actresses were then tested with Gosling—"nine of whom were very well known"—and, as Cassavetes recalls, "some of them were really, really great, but when Ms. McAdams came in and read it was apparent that she was the one."
"I didn't know who she was," Cassavetes admits of McAdams, whose hit flick Mean Girls was released less than two months prior to The Notebook. "It was somebody who was a last-minute audition and you think, 'God I hope this one works out.'"
For her part, McAdams was touched by the script before she even entered the audition room. "I read the script the night before and bawled my eyes out," she admits. "I was surprised that I even got up the next day. I was just wrecked by it."
And that emotion clearly carried over on camera, as the actress passionately read the tear-jerking scene where Allie tells Noah she's leaving him for her fiancé while Gosling reads his lines off to the side.
Describing the experience as "electric," McAdams recalls that "there was just a feeling there and everything sort of fit. It was the best audition experience I've ever had."
"She left and Nick and I were just like, ‘Oh my God,' we gave each other a big hug, and it was just such a big relief," Gosling says while Cassavetes adds, "At the end of the day, we went with the best person for the job"