But can you imagine Noah being played by anyone else but Ryan? No? Well, it very nearly happened.
During an interview with Deadline, George Clooney explained that he was initially set to play the role before Ryan landed the part. He was ready to get going with his friend, Paul Newman, who was cast to play the older Noah, but they decided that they didn’t look similar enough to pull it off.
He said: ‘We were going to do The Notebook together. Basically, I was going to play him as a young man, and it was funny. We met and said, ‘This is it. It’s going to be great’.
‘He’s one of the handsomest guys you’ve ever seen. We met up [again] and I said, ‘I can’t play you. I don’t look anything like you. This is insane’.
‘We just wanted to do it because we wanted to work together, [but] it ended up being not the right thing for us to do.’
The part then went to Ryan, who previously told Company magazine in 2012 that director Nick Cassavetes chose him because he looked like ‘a regular guy’.
He said: ‘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 the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You’re not handsome, you’re not cool, you’re just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts’.’
And while we all know Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton, Jessica Simpson once revealed that she was due to star in The Notebook instead.
In her memoir, Open Book, she explains that she eventually turned down the part because of the movie’s sex scene.
‘I knew exactly what the movie was about because I had read the script,’ she wrote, adding that the movie makers ‘wouldn’t budge’ when it came to removing the scene.
Can you believe it?!