Britney Spears’ The Woman In Me memoir doesn’t even officially release until Tuesday (October 24), but excerpts have already spawned numerous headlines — from shaving her head in 2007 to romances with Justin Timberlake and Colin Farrell. Most of those pre-release headlines upset Spears, but her audition for the classic 2004 romantic film The Notebook feels like harmless territory.
On Monday morning (October 23), The Daily Mail published Spears’ never-before-seen audition tape. The clip shows a young Spears reading lines as a young Allie, whom Rachel McAdams ended up portraying, opposite Ryan Gosling, who played a young Noah. About 45 seconds in, Spears begins crying but impressively powers through her lines.
The Daily Mail obtained the tape from casting director Matthew Barry. The audition took place in Los Angeles on August 18, 2002.
“Britney wasn’t just good — she was phenomenal,” Barry told the UK publication. “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.”
On October 17, People published an excerpt from The Woman In Me — her first of two books? — in which Spears reflected on her first film, 2002’s Crossroads, and her The Notebook audition. Spears wrote about how the Crossroads experience “wasn’t easy for me.” She continued, “My problem wasn’t with anyone involved in the production but with what acting did to my mind. I think I started Method acting — only I didn’t know how to break out of my character. I really became this other person.”
That directly correlated with her audition for Allie and The Notebook, as she wrote, “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.”
The Woman In Me is out 10/24 via Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. Find more information here.