A million memes of Ryan Gosling seducing you with his eloquent feminist speak wouldn’t have happened had Gosling not landed the very sexy role of Noah in The Notebook. Surprisingly, Gosling didn’t have much competition for the role, though. According to Nicholas Sparks, via an IMDb Asks interview, no one wanted to play Noah: “It was really interesting because a lot of the actors said, ‘Well, what’s Noah’s arc?’” He went on, “It’s a guy who falls in love and then he just kinda does nothing, and then waits for her to show up and then he’s there and he’s still in love and then at the end of the film, well, he’s still in love. Where’s the arc? Ryan Gosling came in and he really brought that story to life.” (At least Sparks is cognizant that his characters aren’t characters.) Films based on Sparks’s novels tend to be not so great, though they occasionally have puppies in them. But The Notebook was a mega-hit and turned Gosling into a sensitive heartthrob. And the rest was history, girl.