Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams dated after The Notebook. But at first, they hated each other.

It’s been 17 years since Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams met on the set of one of the most iconic romantic comedies, The Notebook

And while their working relationship eventually turned into a romantic one, in almost never happened at all.

Much like Allie when she first met Noah, then 22-year-old Gosling wasn’t too sure about McAdams in the early days of shooting – and at age 24 she didn’t care for him much either.

Notebook director Nick Cassavetes told VH1 in a 2014 interview: “They were really not getting along one day on set. Really not.”

In fact, Gosling tried to kick his co-star off the film.

“And Ryan came to me, and there are 150 people standing in this 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.'”

But the pair managed to overcome this lack of connection and, as professionals, work together to make a film.

Their romantic relationship only came towards the end of the process, something McAdams said in a 2013 interview that she wasn’t expecting.

“[Our relationship] certainly wasn’t something that either of us had expected would come out of that filmmaking experience,” she told The Independent.

“Which goes to show you that you can engineer chemistry on screen just by telling the audience that these two people love each other. And, unless your actors are doing a really terrible job, I think people will want to see that. As an actor you don’t have to feel it. You don’t have to feel anything. Just imagine it.”


Well, they imagined it well enough that it came to life. And we, the fans got to enjoy three years of this:

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
The famous couple at the 12th Annual Critics' Choice Awards in January, 2007. Image via Getty.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams after winning 'Best Kiss' at the MTV Movie Awards in June, 2005. Image via Getty.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams at The Notebook premiere in LA in June, 2004. Image via Getty.
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
The cute couple at the Academy Awards in February, 2006. Image via Getty.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), there would be no real-life equivalent of Noah rereading their story to a dementia-suffering Allie in aged care. In 2007 the couple broke up.

And we get the sense it was a bit of a messy breakup from a quote Gosling gave ahead of a screening of his film Fracture. He had turned up without McAdams and was naturally asked by a reporter if they were still dating.


"No idea. No comment," he said.

But fans still had to wait until October for official confirmation of their split. (This was long before the era of Instagram statements.)

"We both went down swingin’ and we called it a draw," he told GQ magazine of the split.

But he didn't have anything but kind, if not nostalgic words for his ex, saying The Notebook had "introduced me to one of the great loves of my life".

"People do Rachel and me a disservice by assuming we were anything like the people in that movie. Rachel and my love story is a hell of a lot more romantic than that."

Four years on and he reflected that McAdams, and Sandra Bullock, who he dated before her, were "two of the greatest girlfriend of all time".

"I haven't met anybody who could top them," he told The Times in 2011.

He also hinted at why his relationship with McAdams or Bullock (or both) ended: "Showbusiness is the bad guy."

"When both people are in show business it's too much showbusiness. It takes all of the light, so nothing else can grow."

Of course, then he started dating his current partner Eva Mendes. Despite keeping their relationship private, we know they have two daughters Esmerelda, who was born in 2014, and Amada, who was born in 2016.

McAdams, meanwhile, appears happily married to her husband, screenwriter Jamie Linden.  In April 2018 they welcomed their first child together, a baby boy whose name we still don't know.