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Real Life Tragically Mimics The Notebook for One of the Film's Stars

Real Life Tragically Mimics The Notebook for One of the Film’s Stars

Unfortunately, there is a hereditary component to Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association notes that it is more likely to affect people who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s. That’s the reason that Gena Rowlands almost declined the role of Allie in “The Notebook.”

“[It] was particularly hard because I play a character who has Alzheimer’s,” Rowlands told O, The Oprah Magazine, in 2004. “I went through that with my mother, and if Nick [Cassavetes] hadn’t directed the film, I don’t think I would have gone for it—it’s just too hard. It was a tough but wonderful movie.”

Still, the actor had fond memories of working on the film, especially since she got to work with her son. She said that she was quite impressed with the way he handled himself while at the helm of the production, marveling that the little boy she raised had come so far. Even though he was very professional, he still made sure to acknowledge and praise his mom. Rowlands recalled a funny moment on set: “The first day of shooting, Nick said, ‘Okay, Mom. Action!’ James Garner turned to me and said, ‘Action, Mom! That’s the first time in my career I’ve ever heard that one.’ James laughed so hard he ruined the take.”

Source: Alzheimer’s Association, O, The Oprah Magazine