Dark Horizons: Interview: Rachel McAdams for “Wedding Crashers”

Dark Horizons
Published: June 29, 2004

Hollywood loves to promote its next big star, and beautiful Rachel McAdams seems to be on her way. Coming from The Hot Chick, McAdams proved she has what it takes, with strong performances in The Notebook and Mean Girls. But the Canadian-born actress prefers not to take the hype too seriously. While in town to promote her co-starring role in the irreverent romantic comedy Wedding Crashers, the actress says “I don’t want to disappoint“, responding to her reaction to the ‘it’ girl label being bestowed upon her. “Yeah, there’s a lot of pressure there. I don’t know, it’s very, very flattering. You try to go into movies not thinking about how people are going to react to them. You hope everyone enjoys everything I make, but you have to go into it selfishly: this does something for me personally and hopefully it translates.” Even winning the recent MTV Movie Award for Most Promising Newcomer keeps McAdams from getting too large a head. “It’s kind of strange to believe any kind of projection outside of yourself and it’s a little dangerous to see yourself the way other people do. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. It’s really lovely that people are thinking that way and it’s important, obviously in my career and getting other jobs that people think I’m competent, so I appreciate that very much. But for my own sanity, because if it doesn’t happen, I put all my eggs into one basket and hope that I will get to work for the rest of my life. You know that’s so rare. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be incredibly disappointed, so I guess I just try to enjoy it now and you try and do things that speak to you and hopefully it’ll all work out. I have faith in the universe, and faith that things will be ok

In Wedding Crashers, Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson star as the film’s central characters, lifelong friends who crash weddings in order to meet women. McAdams co-stars as the daughter of a powerful politician, being pursued by Wilson, though she has a fiancé who’s nothing short of a jackass. Though the ‘straight man’ in this otherwise anarchic romantic comedy, McAdams was attracted to the film, she says, “I was just interested in working with these guys and after having met the director in the audition, I knew that we had worked up a really good rapport immediately. Ever since I did The Hot Chick I never thought I’d be doing comedy, because I was terrified of it. With this one I thought: this is an opportunity to work with people who are the best of the best right now, in terms of this kind of genre and I hadn’t done an adult comedy and I wanted to try it.”

McAdams says there were certain elements of this character she related to, she concedes, smilingly. “I guess your job as an actor is to relate to every character and to find out something inside of yourself that understands what their plight is, then also, to find out something that you didn’t know before. For instance, I don’t know what it’s like to be with that kind of guy, as I’ve never been with a jerk for a long period of time. I’m pretty tough that way. I don’t think I’ve ever been duped, but at the same time, I feel bad for Claire because I think she thinks this will make everyone happy

McAdams will also be seen in the vastly different Red Eye, a creepy thriller from director Wes Craven. The actress clearly loves to mix and match, and says she learned a lot from Craven. “Wes is great! I learned an entirely new skill about how filmmaking and suspense are related and the way you use a camera and the way you use your vessel to terrorize an audience. So that was interesting as I’ve never touched that stuff before.” The actress says she has always been a fan of thrillers. “I like how physical they are, I love the action stuff, and the action sequences. And in this one, I’m running through the airport in high heels. I mean, that’s just really, really fun!”

McAdams then “just finished this wonderful family drama with Diane Keaton called The Family Stone“, and after taking a short break, will return in a new independent film. “It’s a very, very low budget, dark piece. It’s a piece that spoke to me and I read it about a year ago and it’s come back around, so it’s a labour of love piece.” McAdams may be the new ‘it’ girl, but she is determined not to be typecast. After all, variety IS the spice of life. “I want to keep working and keep experimenting. That’s the nicest thing about this year in particular, in that I’ve gotten to do so many different genres and that people have faith in letting me do something that I normally wouldn’t be allowed to do. That’s exciting, and I hope I get to keep doing that.”

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