The revelation is from Spears’ forthcoming memoir, The Woman in Me. Hollywood casting director Matthew Barry shared a clip of Spears’ audition with the Daily Mail. She was in the final round of auditions to play Allie opposite Ryan Gosling, who’s off-camera in the video, dated from Aug. 18, 2002.
“I’m not staying,” Spears says in character, as Allie. “I tried to call you to tell you that I wasn’t going to stay—but nobody answered the phone… Noah, you can’t marry two people. And I’m marrying Lon, so I should go, okay?”
“I prayed for you to die in the war, really,” Spears says as she tears up. “Well, not die. I would have felt completely horrible if you would die. But I kinda didn’t want you to be alive anymore because I couldn’t bear the thought of you being with somebody else, or of us never seeing each other again. So I gotta go, okay?”
Barry told the Daily Mail that Spears’ audition was “phenomenal.” He continued, “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.”
The singer outshone top actresses who also auditioned for the role, like Scarlett Johansson, Claire Danes, Kate Bosworth, Amy Adams, Jamie King, and Mandy Moore. “Britney beat out all of them,” he added. “Everybody who was anybody that year wanted this part.”
According to Variety, Spears shares in her book that there weren’t any hard feelings when she didn’t get the part.
“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,” she writes. “If I had, instead of working on my album In the Zone I’d have been acting like a 1940s heiress day and night.”
She also addressed the 2002’s Crossroads, her first and last movie. In her book, she reveals that acting was difficult for her.
“My problem wasn’t with anyone involved in the production but with what acting did to my mind,” she writes. “I think I started method acting—only I didn’t know how to break out of my character. I really became this other person. … I ended up walking differently, carrying myself differently, talking differently. I was someone else for months while I filmed Crossroads.”
“I imagine there are people in the acting field who have dealt with something like that, where they had trouble separating themselves from a character,” Spears continues. “I hope I never get close to that occupational hazard again. Living that way, being half yourself and half a fictional character, is messed up. After a while you don’t know what’s real anymore.”
Spears’ memoir, The Woman in Me is slated for release on Oct. 24.