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Ryan Gosling: Notebook Director Told Me I Wasn’t “Handsome” or “Cool”

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Millions of women and men would disagree with director Nick Cassavetes — who cast a then-unknown Ryan Gosling in The Notebook because, well, he wasn't that cute.

Now one of the most sought-after hunks in Hollywood, the Drive actor, 31, was just a Mickey Mouse Club alum and indie movie actor when Cassavetes was casting for his now-beloved 2004 romantic film.

Related: PHOTOS: Ryan and other breakout stars of 2011

"The director, Nick Cassavetes, called me to meet him at his house," Gosling tells British magazine Company. "When I got there, he was standing in his back yard, and he looked at me and said, 'I want you to play this role because you're not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You're not handsome, you're not cool, you're just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts."

Related: PHOTOS: Ryan Gosling -- evolution of a hottie!

Gosling went on to star in the smash film opposite fellow Canadian Rachel McAdams — whom he dated and was briefly engaged to.

And despite his leading man status today, Gosling tells the mag he grew up a "lonely child. I didn't do well at school and TV was my only friend."

Related: PHOTOS: See Ryan and Britney Spears as mouseketeers

It was watching the small screen that inspired him to go Hollywood himself. "Then, one day, I saw Raquel Welch on The Muppet Show. She was dancing with this big furry spider and I immediately fell in love. She was the first crush I ever had, and I thought, 'How do I get to meet this woman?' And then I thought, 'Well, she's on TV, so to meet her I have to get on TV myself."

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