Ten years after The Notebook first hit theaters (an anniversary we oh-so-ceremoniously celebrated with the help of Ryan Gosling’s biceps), we expected that the film’s ravenous fans would have uncovered any and all of its juicy, behind-the-scenes details. As a universally adored (scratch that: worshipped) love story, The Notebook set the bar for every rip-your-heart-out big-screen romance to come.
But depressingly, Rachel McAdams and Gosling’s otherworldly chemistry wasn’t natural (as their nearly three-year-long relationship may have suggested). Instead, it was acting—just acting. According to The Notebook’s director Nick Cassavetes, the co-stars quarreled constantly while on set.
“Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this story, but they were really not getting along one day on set. Really not,” Cassavetes told VH1. “And Ryan came to me, and there’s 150 people standing in the big scene, and he says, ‘Nick, come here.’ And he’s doing a scene with Rachel and he says, ‘Would you take her out of here and bring in another actress to read off camera with me?’ I said, ‘What?’ He says, ‘I can’t. I can’t do it with her. I’m just not getting anything from this.’”
Cassavetes then went on to describe an impromptu therapy session: “We went into a room with a producer; they started screaming and yelling at each other. I walked out. At that point, I was smoking cigarettes. I smoked a cigarette and everybody came out like, ‘Alright, let’s do this.’ And it got better after that, you know? They had it out.”
But yet, the fiery tension between the two (supposed) lovebirds made way for legitimate sparks—and we’re still holding out hope for a quarrel-free rekindling. We can dream, right?