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Rachel McAdams didn’t have a good time filming The Notebook’s iconic boat scene. While it looked breathtaking with hundreds of swans surrounding Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie’s (McAdams) boat, the scene’s rainstorm made the experience unpleasant for the actors who went on to become a real-life couple off-camera. Continue reading to learn what the actress, now 40, said about the 2004 film.

Rachel McAdams on famous boat scene in ‘The Notebook’

In 2014, a decade after The Notebook hit theaters, McAdams reminisced on the making of the film with Life & Style. She touched on the famous boat scene when Noah and Allie reunited after years apart — Noah recited the now-often quoted line, “It wasn’t over, it still isn’t over,”  — that proved to be pretty miserable for the actors. 

“We just wanted to get out of the rain. It was very cold,” McAdams told Life & Style. In the scene, Noah showed Allie the spot where the swans gathered then as a storm moved in, they finally confronted each other about their unresolved feelings as they made their way back to the dock. Soaking wet, the characters admitted their feelings for each other and kissed in the rain (it’s a Nicholas Sparks movie after all). 

Set in the 1940s, Gosling and McAdams had to look the part. For McAdams, that meant in some scenes wearing clothes and shoes inspired by the time or vintage items from the decade. McAdams revealed while filming the boat scene her vintage shoes fell apart because of the rain. 

“That dress was made for the film, but a lot of the stuff I wore was rented and was actually from the 1940s. So much of it was falling apart,” she said. 

McAdams ended up shooting the last few takes barefoot because her shoes couldn’t hold up in the rain. “I think there’s a scene in the movie where I’m running in bare feet, and it’s only because [after] the first few takes I did, the shoes disintegrated off my feet.”

Ryan Gosling wanted Rachel McAdams replaced in ‘The Notebook’

The actress and Gosling played a couple in love on screen but off-screen they didn’t like each other. They didn’t get along to the point where Gosling asked to get a replacement for McAdams. 

During an interview with VH1, Nick Cassavetes, the director of The Notebook, explained how Gosling asked him to remove his co-star from the set.

Rachel McAdams revealed the romantic boat scene in 'The Notebook' with all the swans wasn't fun at all to film.
Rachel McAdams. | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

“Maybe I’m not supposed to tell this story, but they were really not getting along one day on set. Really not,” Cassavetes said. “And Ryan came to me, and there’s 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,’” he explained. 

Cassavetes continued, saying he forced them to talk about their feelings. “They had it out … I think Ryan respected her for standing up for her character and Rachel was happy to get that out in the open. The rest of the film wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was smoother sailing,” he said. 

What happened after filming on ‘The Notebook’ wrapped?

After filming wrapped is when the smooth sailing really began for McAdams and Gosling. The Notebook did better at the box office than anyone anticipated, bringing in $115 million. Then the actors who didn’t get along at first became an off-screen couple. Gosling and McAdams dated on-and-off until 2009. Today, Gosling has two children with Eva Mendes, another co-star he fell for while shooting a movie. McAdams welcomed a baby in 2018 with her boyfriend, Jamie Linden, according to People.