(LONDON) — The much-beloved 2004 romantic drama The Notebook stars Ryan Gosling as the younger version of an older man, played by James Garner, recounting the story of the love of his life.  But it was almost George Clooney and Paul Newman who starred in it — if only Clooney hadn’t gotten cold feet.

“Basically, I was going to play him as a young man, and it was funny. We met and said, ‘This is it. It’s going to be great,"” Clooney revealed during a wide-ranging virtual conversation Sunday at the British Film Institute London Film Festival, according to Deadline.

So what happened?  Clooney, who became friends with Newman late in the latter’s life, re-watched a few of the Oscar-winning screen legend’s films.

“He’s one of the handsomest guys you’ve ever seen. We met up [again] and I said, ‘I can’t play you. I don’t look anything like you. This is insane,’” Clooney recalled. ‘We just wanted to do it because we wanted to work together, [but] it ended up being not the right thing for us to do.”

Unfortunately, Clooney and Newman never worked together on screen before Newman died in 2008 at age 83.

Clooney can next be seen in the science-fiction film The Midnight Sky, which he also directed, debuting on Netflix in December.

By Christopher Watson
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