Britney Spears’ tear-filled audition tape for the role of Allie in The Notebook has been released.
The Daily Mail unearthed the 2002 tape, which is being seen by the public for the first time 21 years after it was recorded.
In it, Spears reads a scene with her former Mickey Mouse Club cast mate Ryan Gosling.
Spears ultimately didn’t get the part — the role of Allie went to Rachel McAdams — but she was a strong contender, casting director Matthew Barry told The Daily Mail. He added that Spears was the second runner up to McAdams, having beaten out other actresses who also auditioned for the part including Claire Danes, Scarlet Johansson, Jessica Biel and Amy Adams.
Watch Britney Spears Audition for The Notebook Above
Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook was released in 2004 to wild success.
In her audition, Spears reads a particularly emotional scene that takes place when Allie has just spent the night with her long-lost childhood sweetheart, Noah (Ryan Gosling), and is now grappling with the decision of whether or not to go back to her waiting fiancé, Lon (James Marsden). Notebook fans will notice that the dialogue in the audition is different than what ultimately ended up in the movie.
“I’m not staying,” Spears reads. “I tried to call you to tell you that I wasn’t going to stay, but nobody answered the phone.”
She breaks down in tears as she continues with a confession:
“I prayed for you to die in the war, really. 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?”
Barry told the outlet that Spears nearly had the part clinched — until McAdams read for the scene.
“Britney wasn’t just good – she was phenomenal,” Barry said.
“It was a tough decision. 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.”
Although Spears was saddened to lose the part back in 2002, she’s since changed her mind, she says in her upcoming memoir coming out on Tuesday called The Woman in Me, according an excerpt from the book obtained by People.
“That was pretty much the beginning and end of my acting career, and I was relieved. The Notebook casting came down to me and Rachel McAdams, and 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. If I had, instead of working on my album In the Zone I’d have been acting like a 1940s heiress day and night,” Spears says in the book.
“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. 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.”
You can watch Spears’ audition tape above.
Main Image: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in The Notebook