Britney Spears’ emotional casting tape for the role of Allie opposite Ryan Gosling in “The Notebook” has been exclusively released by the Daily Mail, following her announcement in her upcoming biography, “The Woman in Me,” that she made it to the final round of auditions.
In the video, Spears reads a passage in front of Gosling, who isn’t seen on camera throughout the audition and is almost brought to tears. The singer, who at the time of the audition had only appeared in the movie “Crossroads,” was given the assignment of reading a scene in which Allie informs Ryan Gosling’s character Noah, that she is getting married to someone else.
Spears says in character,
“I’m not staying, I tried to call you to tell you that I wasn’t going to stay — but nobody answered the phone… Noah, you can’t marry two people. And I’m marrying Lon, so I should go, okay?”
“I prayed for you to die in the war, really,” Spears says as her eyes well up with tears. “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?”
Hollywood casting director Matthew Barry gave the Daily Mail access to the film of Spears’ audition, stating that “Britney wasn’t just good,” but “she was phenomenal” during her meeting with Gosling. On August 18, 2002, in Los Angeles, the audition tape was recorded.
“It was a tough decision,” Barry said. “Britney blew us all away. Our jaws were on the floor. I was blown away. Absolutely blown away. She brought her A-game that day.”
Barry continued, “Britney beat out several of the top female actresses at the time. Scarlett Johansson, Claire Danes, Kate Bosworth, Amy Adams, Jamie King and Mandy Moore auditioned for this role. Britney beat out all of them. Everybody who was anybody that year wanted this part.”
Spears writes in her memoir that the casting for Allie in “Notebook” came down to her and Rachel McAdams, who eventually won the part. Spears was not upset about losing the role.
“Even though it would have been fun to reconnect with Ryan Gosling after our time on the ‘Mickey Mouse Club,’ I’m glad I didn’t do it,” Spears writes. “If I had, instead of working on my album ‘In the Zone’ I’d have been acting like a 1940s heiress day and night.”
“Crossroads,” which Spears struggled to make, marked the beginning and end of her acting career
“My problem wasn’t with anyone involved in the production but with what acting did to my mind,” she writes. “I think I started Method acting — only I didn’t know how to break out of my character. I really became this other person. Some people do Method acting, but they’re usually aware of the fact that they’re doing it. But I didn’t have any separation at all. I ended up walking differently, carrying myself differently, talking differently. I was someone else for months while I filmed ‘Crossroads.’ Still to this day, I bet the girls I shot that movie with think, She’s a little… quirky. If they thought that, they were right.”
“I imagine there are people in the acting field who have dealt with something like that, where they had trouble separating themselves from a character,” Spears continues. “I hope I never get close to that occupational hazard again. Living that way, being half yourself and half a fictional character, is messed up. After a while you don’t know what’s real anymore.”
Spears’ forthcoming memoir, released on October 24, will cover her decades-long career, growing up in the entertainment industry, her personal relationships, and her 13-year conservatorship, which ended in November 2021. Among the other disclosures in Spears’ book is that she had an abortion while dating fellow singer Justin Timberlake, which she describes as “one of the most agonizing things I have ever experienced in my life.”