Wait, Jessica Simpson Could Have Starred In The Notebook Instead Of Rachel McAdams?

Rachel McAdams and Jessica Simpson up for The Notebook 2004

Jessica Simpson has been a busy bee in recent weeks as she prepares for the release of her upcoming memoir Open Book, but tucked away in stories of her life and relationships is one involving Nick Lachey, an airplane viewing of The Notebook and the story of how Jessica Simpson was allegedly asked to take on the role but turned it down.

So, here’s how Jessica Simpson put it in Open Book (via ET). The singer and occasional actress was on a plane. She and Nick Lachey had just decided to split and she confirmed she was “loudly sobbing in first class.” Then, the plane announced it would be playing The Notebook, which she already knew all about, because she had previously turned the gig down. She said:

I knew exactly what the movie was about because I had read the script but turned it down because they wouldn't budge on taking out the sex scene. And it would have been with Ryan Gosling, of all people.

Now, look, the Open Book quote doesn’t officially say Jessica Simpson was in the running for the lead Allie role, but if you’ve seen The Notebook, you should know there’s the one major sex scene in the movie between Allie and Noah. She also mentions the sex scene would have been with Ryan Gosling, so the conclusion to draw here is clear.

The scene in question occurs after a romantic boat rowing session on a lake leads to both Noah and Allie getting really wet and needing some help stripping their clothes off when they got back into the house. The whole thing is pretty steamy.

The scene occurs before Allie’s wedding to Lon. She, in fact, basically leaves him to go see Noah and what he is doing with the house he is refurbishing to Allie’s specifications, though they are no longer together. Obviously, Allie and Noah are meant to be together and the audience should be really rooting for the coupling, but also, it's worth pointing out that they do get together under less-than-ideal circumstances.

Jessica Simpson may have been getting divorced to Nick Lachey at the time she was handed the script for The Notebook, but it’s not a real shock that she would be out on a premarital sex scene in a movie. During the early years of her career, she often spoke out about being an advocate for waiting until marriage to have sex.

In her new book she also talks about what it was like to wait to have sex before marriage and how long it took her to realize that having an emotional affair could really be worse, as she details in some quotes related to Johnny Knoxville. Still, her early ideas about sex and what it means in relationships apparently kept her from saying yes to The Notebook.

Regardless, can you even imagine what The Notebook would have been like with Jessica “I know it’s tuna but it says chicken” Simpson in the role? Now granted, stories have come out in the past that Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams really didn’t get along on the set of the 2004 movie, but it's hard to imagine any other two actors in the role. Particularly given at the time this movie was coming together Jessica Simpson was only known on the acting side of showbiz for a role in That '70s Show as a dimwitted girlfriend of Kelso's from California. This gig would have been before she signed on to play Daisy Duke in Dukes of Hazzard in 2005.

This isn't the first time we've heard of casting troubles with The Notebook. The movie also had trouble landing its male lead, and book author Nicholas Sparks previously said it's because Noah's arc in the story is just non-existent. But Ryan Gosling ultimately took the role and it is still one of his most memorable performances today.

It's weird to think Jessica Simpson might have been considered for The Notebook, until you remember the fact a Nicholas Sparks adaptation had similar success with a singer in a lead role in the 2002 movie A Walk To Remember starring Mandy Moore; despite Allie not really needing musical talent in the same way, I wonder if that's where peoples' heads were at. It's hard to tell if Simpson would have landed the role even if she had expressed interest in it, as we don't know what point in casting the movie was in when she got her hands on the script. Regardless, I'd say all's well that ends well. Jessica Simpson went on to land a fashion empire and Rachel McAdams kept taking lead roles of this ilk and has built a whole brand out of being charming, likable and real on the big screen.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.