Britney Spears is ‘glad’ she didn’t star in ‘The Notebook’ as leaked audition tape resurfaces

Britney Spears with long hair and a silver, strappy bra top smiles in front of a blue backdrop
Britney Spears auditioned for a lead role in the 2004 romance “The Notebook.”
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)
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Britney Spears almost took a detour from her music career to star in the 2004 romance “The Notebook.”

The “Toxic” singer was in the running to star alongside fellow “Mickey Mouse Club” star Ryan Gosling in the Nick Cassavetes movie, according to the Daily Mail. On Monday the website published the singer’s emotional audition tape from 2002, where she exchanges lines and tears with Gosling.

“I would have felt completely horrible if you would have died, but I just — I kinda didn’t want you to be alive anymore because I couldn’t bear the thought of you being with someone else,” the singer, then 21, recites in the video. Casting director Matthew Barry shared the clip with the Daily Mail.


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The elusive screen test was reportedly kept under wraps for decades and allegedly was listed on EBay in 2021 for $1 million. According to Barry, Spears allegedly bested other contenders for the part of heiress Allie, though Rachel McAdams ultimately walked away with the role.

The Daily Mail published Spears’ audition a day before the singer released her tell-all memoir, “The Woman in Me.” Before the memoir hit shelves, several revelations — including the singer’s experience having an abortion while she was with ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake — made headlines.

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“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,” she wrote. The singer, who starred in Shonda Rhimes and Tamra Davis‘ “Crossroads,” wrote that she had trouble with leaving a character behind as she practiced Method acting.

“If I had [taken the role], instead of working on my album ‘In the Zone’ I’d have been acting like a 1940s heiress day and night ... I hope I never get close to that occupational hazard again.”

“The Woman in Me” chronicles the 41-year-old pop diva’s career, her relationships with Timberlake and Kevin Federline, and her 13-year conservatorship. For The Times, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd wrote that Spears’ memoir “reads like a long exhale.”


“It’s not a particularly uplifting read, though relief and rebellion course through it,” Escobedo Shepherd said. “Her writing is conversational and straightforward, and though there are moments of self-reflection, the details are enough.”