Hollyweird: Britney Spears Almost Starred in 'The Notebook'

Hollyweird: Britney Spears Almost Starred in 'The Notebook'

by Trey Taylor

Hollyweird, in collaboration with @velvetcoke, takes stock of once-known but obscure or forgotten stories about popular celebrities and cult figures.

Britney Spears has always blurred lines as a performer. Her acting career started out promising: at 17, she had a deal with Columbia TriStar to have her own show and appear as a series regular in Dawson's Creek. It didn't pan out. In light of her debut album selling 5 million units, she didn't have much time for TV. As a flight attendant in 2001's Longshot which may or may not have inspired her "Toxic" video — Spears stole the limelight. Then came 2002's Crossroads. Her unforgettable turn as Lucy in the road trip caper was a flat tire at the box office.

So when she was sent the script for 2004 weeper The Notebook, Thespney was ready to try her hand at a meatier role. When asked about future projects in a 2001 interview with Richard Blackwood, she said, "What would excite me? Probably to get this amazing movie, this script that I read. They already have someone doing it, but I would die if I got to do it."

"You're trying to tell me they're choosing somebody over you?" Blackwood retorts.

"I'm not gonna say! I can't do that," Spears says, clamming up. "It's the most amazing script I ever read."

"What type of movie is it then?"

"It's a love story, of course," she teases.

Keep in mind that The Notebook began filming in late 2002. It was later revealed by the film's star, Ryan Gosling, that — along with Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Biel and Ashley Judd — Spears did do a screen test with her former Mouseketeer mate for the Nicholas Sparks adaptation. (The role eventually went to Rachel McAdams).

"We met with a lot of actresses, and they were all very good," Gosling told ET in 2004. "I did [screen test with Spears], yeah. I hadn't seen her really since she was about 12 — we were both 12 — so she's grown up, but she was really good, actually. She did a really nice job. We were 12, I don't remember much from when I was 12, but yeah, no, she did an excellent job, actually. That was cool."

"I'm sure Britney would have done a great job!" added McAdams. "I'm sure it would have been a totally different movie, but yeah, I just heard that the other day. I had no idea! I was very fortunate. I was sort of at the end of the line, and I know they'd sort of done a cross-country trip — Nick and Ryan together — looking for the girl, and I sort of squeaked in there."

It should go without saying, but #JusticeForCrossroads.

Photo via BFA