Britney Spears is “In the Zone” with her acting skills in a now-viral audition tape for “The Notebook.”

Spears, who infamously was almost cast in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation alongside Ryan Gosling, ultimately lost the role to Rachel McAdams. “The Notebook” casting director Matthew Barry shared the audition tape from August 2002 with The Daily Mail, adding that Spears “blew away” the film‘s producers.

“Britney wasn’t just good, she was phenomenal,” Barry said. “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.”

Spears auditioned to play the role of Allie, who is torn between two men in the 1940s. According to Barry, Spears “beat out several of the top female actresses” at the time to be one of the final contenders for the lead.

“Scarlett Johansson, Claire Danes, Kate Bosworth, Amy Adams, Jamie King, and Mandy Moore auditioned for this role,” Barry said. “Britney beat out all of them. Everybody who was anybody that year wanted this part.”

Spears’ would-be co-star Gosling recalled how she did an “excellent job” in the audition to Entertainment Tonight in 2013 (via The Daily Mail). Gosling was off-camera during the newly-released audition tape.

“We met with a lot of actresses, and they were all very good,” Gosling said. “I hadn’t seen her really since she was about 12 — we were both 12 — so she’s grown up, but she was really good, actually. She did a really nice job. We were 12, I don’t remember much from when I was 12, but yeah, no, she did an excellent job, actually. That was cool.”

Spears recently wrote in memoir “The Woman in Me” that while “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” the film.

“If I had, instead of working on my album ‘In the Zone’ I’d have been acting like a 1940s heiress day and night,” Spears penned.

The iconic singer also reflected on her acting debut in “Crossroads,” saying, “I think I started Method acting — only I didn’t know how to break out of my character. I really became this other person. Some people do Method acting, but they’re usually aware of the fact that they’re doing it. But I didn’t have any separation at all. 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. 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 has since shut down the concept of any actress portraying her in a future biopic.

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