St Thomas Times-Journal: Humble parents savor Rachel’s Oscar nod

St. Thomas Times-Journal
Published: January 15, 2016

On the grandest night of his daughter’s career, Lance McAdams just might be watching the Oscars at home on TV while Rachel’s mom Sandra sits nervously in the audience.

The day after Rachel McAdams earned a supporting-actress nomination for her role in Spotlight, dad was calmly packing his gear for a weekend hockey tournament in Niagara Falls.

In fact, Lance found out about the Oscar nod in a dressing room at the Timken Centre in St. Thomas.

“Actually I haven’t talked to her yet,” he laughs. “I was getting notification when I was playing hockey with the guys Thursday. The guys were coming in congratulating me and I didn’t know what it was for.

“I’ve texted her to let her know how I feel. And we’ll chat.”

While the nomination comes as a complete surprise, he nevertheless points to Rachel’s work ethic as a contributing factor.

“Of course you’re proud and you’re pretty excited for her, but she works so hard on a daily basis on everything she does. So it’s recognition she gets that is well deserved. I don’t think she ever expected it would amount to this.”

And a quantum leap for the 12-year-old aspiring star who performed with the Original Kids Theatre Company in St. Thomas.

Reflecting back on those pre-teen years Lance observes, “We thought we would be going to the Princess Playhouse Theatre and watch her in plays on the stage in St. Thomas. This is a big deal for her.”

As was achieving gold standard in dance as a figure skater while attending Central Elgin Collegiate Institute.

“Maybe she’ll yet be in a figure skating movie,” Lance ponders.

“She has said herself, ‘I never expected to be a big movie star.’ Anything that comes with that is quite a surprise to her. I’m sure she is overjoyed. She loves doing her craft and people have a way of appreciating that and showing it.”

Rachel’s nomination for her role as Boston Globe reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, who helped break the story of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, shouldn’t overshadow the efforts of that Pulitzer-winning team, Lance stresses.

“The big story is actually the people who got the story. And I think that’s what Rachel and a few other people think that’s probably where the accolades should go. Those are the people who did all the work. We met some of the staff and reporters from the movie and they’re just lovely people.

“And hopefully people who are suffering come out. Personally I feel if that happens, then that’s a good thing in airing that all out. If it helps other people along the way to deal with things, get help or talk about it, then it’s a good thing.”

So, will the next bags he and Sandra pack be in readiness for a trip to the Oscars?

“I’m not sure I’m getting to go. Sandra’s getting to go. I think there’s only so many seats. I’ll be like everyone else, enjoying it on TV, it’s less stressful that way. Those cameras do like to watch you.”

Whether the nomination translates into a walk across stage to accept the award, Rachel will never lose that trademark humility, Lance asserts.

“We keep her in line to make sure she comes back (to St. Thomas) once in a while.”

As was the case in the summer of 2013 when she returned home for the induction ceremony at the Wall of Fame in that very same Timken Centre.

But for proud papa, the Oscars are the furthest thing from his mind; the task at hand now is netting a goal or two over the weekend.

“If I can skate like her with a stick in my hands, I might be getting an Oscar as well.”

© 2015 St. Thomas Times-Journal | Written by Ian McCallum | No copyright infringment intended.

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