George Clooney Says He Almost Played Ryan Gosling's Role in 'The Notebook'

Ryan Gosling and George Clooney
Barry King/FilmMagic

The actor also reveals that Paul Newman nearly starred in the role that went to James Garner.

George Clooney was almost Noah Calhoun. During a virtual chat at the 64th BFI London Film Festival, the 59-year-old actor revealed that he nearly starred in Ryan Gosling's role in The Notebook. On top of that, Clooney shared that Paul Newman was going to play the older version of his character, a role that ultimately went to James Garner.  

In addition to Gosling and Garner, the iconic 2004 flick went on to star Rachel McAdams and Gena Rowlands as the leading lady, Allie Hamilton.

"We were going to do The Notebook together," Clooney said of Newman, per Deadline. "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.'"

Clooney, who was promoting his new Netflix film, The Midnight Sky, got cold feet after watching some of Newman's flicks in preparation for the project.

"He’s one of the handsomest guys you’ve ever seen," he explained. "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," Clooney added.

Though the pair never did get the chance to share the screen prior to Newman's death in 2008, Clooney has an abundance of memories with the late actor.

"We had a very funny relationship, late in life for him," Clooney said. "I directed a movie that just completely bombed called Leatherheads. [Newman] was still racing at the time, and raced a car, and crashed it. So, he took a photo of Leatherheads and superimposed it on the crashed car, and said, 'I was driving your car in the race.'"

To see what other actors almost got the part, check out the video below.