Chapter 3

Jump to: The Return | Next: Chapter 4

The Pause

The Pause (2006-2008). Rachel stepped back from the spotlight after her breakthrough years in 2004-2005.

  • If I’m picky, it’s for that reason. I want to be able to bring my best to the table. So if I’m not connecting to something, then I’m not gonna hold up my end of the bargain, and that’s really embarrassing.– Rachel McAdams, Los Angeles Times (2015)
  • Taking a well deserved break, Rachel stepped back from the spotlight in 2006. However, it seems she continued to look out for new projects. In early May 2006 it was announced Rachel joined the cast of “Married Life“. Filming for the movie began July 2006 with most of the movie being filmed by September 2006. Her breakthrough seem have impact and opened doors, because the director Ira Sachs revealed he casted Rachel after seeing “Red Eye“, stating “that [Red Eye] was the movie where I saw what I wanted to see and cast her [Rachel McAdams] based on that work, is that she has a certain mystery (x).” Sachs also says, “She’s very touching and sympathetic, but at the same time, she holds things back. There’s always something going on just under the surface (x).” Rachel praises working with Sachs, “He instilled confidence in me and was interested in everything that actors bring to the table. That copacetic relationship allowed him to move on quickly to actualize his vision (x).” To prepare for her for her scenes, Sachs also gave Rachel a piece of the music that was composed at the very beginning. She acknowledged it was helpful, “It’s lovely when directors share something like that and you don’t just hear it at the movie theater. It’s nice to let you in on their vision a little bit and to actually be able to hear the mood. [That] was really helpful for me (x).” Rachel also decided to dye her hair platinum blonde, stating “I think we forget, because so many photographs are in black and white, that women were very risqué and, at the time, it was very usual to be that blonde (x).” For the first time since “The Notebook”, Rachel took on a role that was set in the past. She described being drawn to the well-crafted script, “I read the script and I thought, this is a very mature film. It’s not easy, but it’s well-crafted. The dichotomy of that, I thought, would be a great experiment. The characters were roughed-out enough that they’re interesting, but there was a lot to explore still (x).”

    In February 2006 Rachel hosted the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards, held on February 18, 2006. A segment was showed during the 78th Academy Awards, which were hosted by Jon Stewart. During the event, Rachel told reporters that the movie business owed a great debt to technology: “Well, we wouldn’t be here without it. It’s just incredible to know what’s happening behind the scenes. It’s really exciting (x).” A week later, Rachel was one of thirty performers of The Vagina Monologues in Toronto. Performers included Catherine MacKinnon, Vanessa Vaughan and Shirley Douglas. The Vagina Monologues is an initiative of V-Day, which is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Proceeds of the performance in Toronto went to Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter, a place for abused women and children to seek refuge, and Japanese Comfort Women, which supports women who were sex slaves during the Second World War.

    “Deep down inside, I know she wants to be home and go to her local co-op. I think if you told her she would live a life where she wasn’t an actress, exactly half of her would be genuinely fine with that.”
    – Co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, Los Angeles Times (2015)

    Three new projects were announced in 2007: “The Lucky Ones“, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “State Of Play“. The first project was announced early March 2007. Rachel joined Tim Robbins and Michael Peña in “The Lucky Ones“, originally titled “The Return”, with the production beginning in May of the same year. To prepare for the role, Rachel shadowed some journalist including from Washington Post. Filming lasted for about eight weeks and filmed on-location at Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Colorado, and finally to Las Vegas. Director Neil Burger revealed Rachel was on the top of his list to play Colee, “Rachel I had known about, and she was at the top of my list for the character of Colee. You know, Colee’s kind of a complicated part in that she’s really naive, but very wise in a way as well. It’s a very complex role. And I talked to her at length about it, and I just thought that she would be the one to do it. She has sort of similar qualities to Colee in the sense that she has an openness and an optimism that I really responded to (x).” Rachel revealed that what attracted her to the script was the script, “I liked the ambiguity of the script, I liked that sometimes I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh or not (x).” To prepare for the role, Rachel trained for two weeks at Fort Campbell, Tennessee. She was placed in a military police unit that had been deployed in Iraq and was preparing to return to that country and no one of her unit, other than her commander, her platoon leader and her platoon sergeant, no one knew she was an actress. Military consultant Todd Breasseale praised Rachel, “She can do physical fitness training with the best of them. She’s an expert marksman now. The assault course — she nailed it. I think you’re going to see her training in this picture. She brings a nuanced quality to this picture that you’re not going see from someone who has not at least attempted to walk in the shoes of a soldier who’s done the real work (x).”

    Rachel on-set of “Married Life”, August 2006. Rachel filming “The Lucky Ones” in July 2007. Rachel on-set of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” with co-star Eric Bana. Rachel on-set of “State Of Play” with director Kevin Macdonald.

    In Mid-April 2007 it was reported that Rachel joined Eric Bana as leads in the adaptation of “The Time Traveler’s Wife“. According to reports, Rachel was flirting with the project for a while now. The rights for the adaptation were originally bought by actors Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. Pitt ended up serving as executive producer. Principal photography began September 2007 and filming took place in Toronto. Additional photography took place a year later in September 2007. Producer Nick Wechsler recalls meeting Rachel, “She was incredibly insightful about Clare and we knew immediately that we wanted her for the role. Rachel also has this natural warmth and charisma that was so important for the part (x).” Director Robert Schwentke echoes the praise, “With Rachel, there is something intangible that happens; she just glows. She’s so lovely; it takes your breath away. There is almost an alchemical reaction between her face and the camera (x).” Rachel read the book prior to getting involved with the adaptation, “I read the book a few years ago and thought it was such a beautiful love story, so when the movie came about I was very excited by the prospect of playing Clare. I was so intrigued by the character (x).” Co-star Eric Bana revealed what drew him to the movie was the opportunity to work with Rachel, “I’ve been a fan of Rachel’s and wanted to do a movie with her (x).” In order to prepare for the movie, there was about two weeks of rehearsals so they could break down the relationship between the characters at each stage.

    Late September 2007, it was reported that Rachel joined the cast of “State Of Play“. The movie was filmed late 2007/early 2008. The Writers Guild of America strike of late 2007 and early 2008 effected the filming process. However, the producer continued to believe in the script and continued to develop the movie. The production got delayed which lead to Brad Pitt getting replace by Russell Crowe and Edward Norton by Ben Affleck. Producer Eric Fellner revealed Rachel was the ideal casting choice to play Della, saying “her passion for this project and chemistry opposite Russell meant there was no better option to play Della. As we watched her go head-to-head with him, we knew we’d made the ideal choice in casting (x).” What drew Rachel to the movie the theme of emerging technology, she says “I was interested in the idea of new journalism versus old. It’s a relevant issue in the face of a changing profession (x).”

    Rachel breakthrough did not go unnoticed by her peers. For example, in late 2007 director and actor George Clooney told Variety he Rachel and Ryan Gosling are young actors he admired, he said: “Ryan Gosling. He’s really interesting to watch. Rachel McAdams is another one. She’s a smart actor (x).” He also told Entertainment Weekly: “I’ll tell ya, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are both really good actors. Both have great range and can do all kinds of stuff (x).” The same year, actress Julia Roberts also told Vanity Fair that she admired Rachel.

    After wrapping up filming for “State Of Play“, Rachel joined the cast of “Sherlock Holmes” (2009). Reports of her being in talks to join the cast surfaced late September 2008 and Rachel’s casting got confirmed during the pre-production press conference held in London before filming kicked off the next day. Director Guy Ritchie revealed he casted Rachel because he thought she would be the ideal Irene, “Rachel struck me as the ideal Irene, She portrays her with this fantastic benign façade under which is the serpent of the most nefarious nature. She’s not to be trusted at all. Even when she’s got a blade to your throat, she smiles. Her sweetness is a front she uses to be as efficient in a man’s world as she is (x).” Rachel was eager to join the movie. She revealed, “I hunted Guy down and camped on his doorstep until he relented. OK, no, we had a chat in a garden and it went from there… Fortunately, it worked out for me (x).” Principal photography began for the movie in December 2008 in London and wrapped up filming around February 2009 with additional photography taking place in August 2009. The locations was a combination of authentic locations and CGI with soundstages located in London and New York. Rachel was blown away by the sets, “I didn’t realize how big it really was until I stepped on the sets and they were just massive (x).” To prepare for her role, Rachel decided to combine the ten pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work, “I combed the 10 pages I was in, over and over. I read it backwards and upside down. [Irene Adler] was in one story, so I relied heavily on that, and I just played around with it from there. I had her in the circus, I had an adoptive brother that died, I’m fighting for his revenge. You fill all these little things in your head, so it’s all urgent and dire. But I spent a lot of time with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Irene (x).” Looking back at the filming process, Rachel revealed she really enjoyed the physicality that the movie demanded. She recalls, “I loved the fight scenes and the action stuff. Guy Ritchie is a great fight choreographer and I don’t know if it’s just from my old figure-skating days, but it was fun to map out all the graceful – albeit violent – dances (x).”

    “I try to shut out ideas about why you should do things. Trying to do good architecture and really designing a career? There’s some attention to be paid to that, but I don’t think it’s everything.”
    – Rachel McAdams, Los Angeles Times (2015)

    Rachel already lined-up her next film, while filming “Sherlock Holmes“. Mid-December 2008 it was reported that Harrison Ford was set to star in “Morning Glory” (2010) with Rachel being in talks. All the filmmakers involved seemed determined to cast Rachel as the lead. Director Roger Michell had to woo Rachel over the course of several dinners to convince her to sign onto the movie, “I think she’s clinically hesitant,” he said. “She finds it very, very hard to choose her projects. But when she makes a choice, then she’s 120 percent committed to this film (x).” Producer J.J. Abrams said they needed an actress for who the audience wants to root, “She had to be bubbly and fun, but the treacherous part was that she also had to have an equal amount of depth and sophistication. Rachel McAdams brought all of that. She nails the classical comedy stuff, but her character is also full of heart, honesty and emotion (x).” The movie reunited Rachel with Diane Keaton, with whom she worked previously on “The Family Stone”, when Keaton signed on a few months after Ford and Rachel. Keaton expressed her surprise when she found out Rachel was cast because it was an unusual role for her, “I was surprised that she was cast. You don’t think of her as carrying a kind of lighter tone, because she’s a great dramatic actress (x).” However, Keaton has nothing but praise for Rachel predicting the movie will have an important impact on Rachel’s career, “There’s a good chance that this movie will be a breakthrough for her. She will emerge as a bonafide movie star. Luckily, she has created the foundation to be very graceful thus even occurs (x).” Adding, “She’s strong. She’s a strong actress. That’s why she could handle the light aspect very well. And usually she’s not called upon to that. And she does it with grace, and that’s the mark of a brilliant actress (x).” Co-star Harrison Ford echoed Keaton’s words, expressing he would be proud if she was his daughter. He said, “She’s really good at what she does and she’s a pleasure to work with. Rachel has a rare capacity to keep all the comedy balls in the air and maintain an emotional vulnerability at the same time (x).” Principal photography began in June 2009 and wrapped up filming by August of the same year. Most of the movie filmed on-location in New York and part of it was filmed at MediaMix Studios in New Jersey. To prepare for the role Rachel drove her personal research by visiting nearly all the morning shows in New York to analyze how they really work. She recalls, “I talked to everyone – the producers, the people who book the stories, the camera operators, the guys in the control room – to try to understand how it happens from every possible angle (x).” Furthermore, Rachel also worked closely with screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, “Aline is such a great writer and she knows her characters so well that she was great to have involved in the process (x).”

    Rachel, Ryan Gosling and Al Gore attending a special screening of “Seeds of Tolerance”. Rachel on-set of “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr. Rachel attending the SAG Awards in 2007. Rachel on-set of “Morning Glory” with co-star Jeff Goldblum and director Roger Michell.

    Between 2006-2008 Rachel reportedly turned down many roles, including romantic leads in Mission Impossible 3 and Casino Royale, lead roles in Get Smart and The Devil Wears Prada. The latter was confirmed when the movie celebrated the ten year anniversary. Fox pursued Rachel to play the lead but Rachel turned it down multiple times. Eventually Anne Hathaway was cast. Rachel laters recalls, “I’m not going to make movies just to make movies, I have to be passionate about it. And at the same time, I can get very distracted when I’m working, and I like to get back to my life a lot (x).” She was called a ‘reluctant star’ by the media because she did not have any movies released after her breakthrough. Rachel revealed that she found it sort of annoying, because she was just trying to pace herself and take it easy. She noted, “You just need a break sometimes afterwards. And then timing is such sometimes that, you know, everything comes out at once and then there’s nothing (x).” Furthermore, Rachel also admitted she has a tendency to overanalyze: “Sometimes I don’t think I’m the best person for the job. Sometimes I think, Really? You see me as this? Just because I don’t see myself that way, does that mean I shouldn’t do it? I tend to go, Is this the right decision? What are the ramifications of doing this part You start to over analyze (x).” However, once Rachel has committed to a project, she will give it her all: “once I make the decision, it’s full steam ahead (x).”

    In 2007 Rachel launched, which was co-founded by herself and her friends Didi and Megan (her former “The Hot Chick” co-star). The site “came about when three friends realized that exchanging quips & tips on ways to make an impact on the environment was becoming daily conversation (x).” The site ran from 2007-2009 and Rachel, Didi and Megan shared many great practical tips, ideas and inspiration in support of the environment in the five years that the site was online. Rachel considers herself an environmentalist seems to integrate this into filmmaking. For example, Rachel reportedly requests the use of environmental friendly products on-set of her movies. She said: “I’m excited that people are getting on board and that the Oscars had their first green event [in 2008]. We could still make great art and great movies without the burden of how much they cost to the environment (x).” In 2006, Rachel attended a special even hosted by Al Gore alongside Ryan Gosling.

    Rachel continued to call Toronto her hometown. To this day she has never moved to Los Angeles or even the United States to be closer to Hollywood and the film industry. She describes, “I like staying in Toronto, It’s nice and quiet and it gives me a break from the business. It’s home (x).” Even when Rachel’s career was just taking off, she already told the press in 2005 that she prefers to remain located in Toronto, “I love being able to come home to a place where no one really cares what you do or who you are and allows me a break from that life (x).” Rachel herself likes to refer to her break as a ‘pause’, stating that “it wasn’t a conscious break as much as a reassessment. I felt like I was getting swept up with the current and wanted to make sure I was making my choices from the right place (x).” Furthermore, Rachel points out that she never really wanted to be a movie star, stating “everything was happening really quickly, there were a lot of cooks in the kitchen, a lot of voices around me, and I wanted to step away so I could hear my own voice again. I never really wanted to be a big movie star. I never even wanted to work outside of Canada, or outside of the theatre (x).”

    Rachel’s family is clearly important and they continue to be a huge part of her life and throughout her career. According to Rachel, they help her put things in perspective: “I usually talk to my sister or my mother for a really, really long time on the phone. They’re probably the people I go to in my life most — and a few friends. I always find nature really reminds me that my problems are not that big, that there’s a much bigger world around me that keeps going and carries on and is beautiful and at peace (x).” Her sister Kayleen, who Rachel considers to be her best friend, is her make-up artist, and usually travels with her when she is doing press for her movies. Rachel really enjoys working with her sister, she said: “Working with her is amazing because your family can be honest with you without hurting your feelings. And I really trust her aesthetic eye. When we travel they book separate hotel rooms for us, and we say, ‘We can just bunk together. We’ll have two win beds (x).’” She added: “Neer in my wildest dreams did I think my sister and I would be traveling around to movie premieres and walking down the red carpet together.” Kayleen describes Rachel as a warm person: “Rachel is the most open, warm, inviting person. When she meets anyone, she makes them feel special (x).” Rachel considers herself a hopeless romantic and sees her parents and their marriage as a great example: “I’m very blessed that way. I had a great example of love in front of me, and that’s probably what makes me such a romantic, because I’ve seen it firsthand (x).” During a fundraiser event in 2004, Rachel’s mother Sandra McAdams told the press: “We’ve always known that our kids were going to be great great people, not so much fame-wise, but caring, compassionate, contributing citizens and that’s sort of what we have raised them to be, that kind of people (x).”

    Back to top

    The Return

    The Return (2007-2010). After taking a pause, Rachel returned to the spotlight with a versatile line-up. From indie films to a blockbuster

  • It wasn’t a conscious break as much as a reassessment. I felt like I was getting swept up with the current and wanted to make sure I was making my choices from the right place.– Rachel McAdams, Stylist UK (2015)
  • Almost two years after the theatrical release of “The Family Stone“, Rachel returned with the release of “Married Life” in 2007. The movie had it’s world premiere on September 12, 2007 during the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie continued to be part of fall film festival season and it was also part of the New York, Woodstock, and Miami film festival. The movie was released on March 7, 2008 (limited) in the USA.

    The Lucky Ones” premiered during the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2008 before heading to limited theaters on September 28, 2008 in the USA. Director Neil Burger expressed his disappointment about the release years later. The movie got shelved by the distributor because other movies released before with the same themes failed to impress in the box office. Burger says, “I understand from a business perspective where they [Lionsgate] were coming from. But it was incredibly depressing (x).” The movie also failed impress in the box office and is one Rachel’s lowest grossing movies to this date. However, she wowed critics with her performance. The late acclaimed critic Roger Ebert praised Rachel’s performance calling it her coming-of-age as an actress, “Rachel McAdams comes into her own here. Here she is feisty, vulnerable, plucky, warm, funny. This is her coming of age as an actress. She provides yet another lesson that you can’t judge acting ability until you see an actor given a chance to really stretch. Watch the poignance of the scene when she meets her boyfriend’s family (x).” New York Times critic Laura Kern praises Rachel as well, calling her performance “luminous, as always (x).” Furthermore, the movie seems to be a personal highlight for Rachel. Four years after the release, Rachel reflects that her character “was really fun to play — probably one of my favorite characters I’ve ever played (x).”

    Rachel and her brother Daniel attending the “Married Life” premiere at TIFF in 2007. Rachel as Colee in “The Lucky Ones”. Rachel in “State Of Play” alongside Helen Mirren & Russell Crowe. Rachel attending “The Lucky Ones” premiere at TIFF in 2008.

    Making her return and the end of her pause official, Rachel returned with the theatrical release of three feature movies in 2009. “State Of Play” was in theaters nationwide on April 17, 2009. The movie grossed close to $90 million in the box office worldwide. The movie also received critical acclaim, earning a Certified Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes with 84% of the reviews being ‘fresh’ (i.e., positive). Thus, despite the delays and setbacks in production the movie was a success when released with critics praising Rachel’s performance as the “holds her own (x)” against co-star Russell Crowe.

    “Such a brilliant actress—not like Meryl, but she has that kind of intelligence. That brain is substantial, and if you have that along with a face you can’t take your eyes off, it’s so compelling. It’s rare.”
    – Co-star Diane Keaton, Vogue (2009)

    The Time Traveler’s Wife” was release nationwide on on August 14, 2009. Producer Brad Pitt made a surprise appearance during the premiere. The movie grossed over $100 million worldwide. While the movie got mixed reviews, Rachel’s performance was generally praised. Los Angeles Times critic Betsy Sharkey wrote, “[McAdams] is luminous (x)” while Washington Post critic wrote, “McAdams remains one of the most substantial yet inviting young actors around. She’s got the chops and the depth to play far more complex roles and invests this one with layers of feeling (x).” Rachel and co-stars Eric Bana made their rounds promoting the movie at morning shows, including the today show, in New York. Simultaneously, Rachel took the opportunity to do research for at the morning shows for “Morning Glory”.

    December brought the release of “Sherlock Holmes” on December 25, 2009. Rachel and the cast and crew promoted the movie worldwide over the course of several weeks, including in Europe and the United States. The movie made over $62 million in it’s opening weekend and grossed over $500 million worldwide. This was the first movie for Rachel to hit the $500 million box office milestone. Only three months after the release, Warner Bros announced their plans for a sequel with the original cast, including Rachel, Robert Downy Jr., and Jude Law and director Guy Ritchie set to return. The movie also received critical praise and earned two Oscar nominations for the art departments. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films nominated Rachel for Best Supporting Actress while the fans voted Rachel Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure during the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.

    After over a year without a new casting announcement, Rachel joined a new project early 2010. It was reported in early-February 2010 that Rachel joined Terrence Malick’s “To The Wonder” alongside Christian Bale, Javier Bardem, and Olga Kurylenko. Prior to signing onto the project, Rachel had already spoken to Mr. Malick about the project, “I had spoken to Terry for maybe two years before we started (x).” Producer Nicholas Gonda revealed that with casting, Malick is always looking for actors who posses quality of the character they are playing, “Terry will always look for somebody who just can become the character, but somebody who already possess qualities and give that character life (x).” Bale left the project for unknown reasons, and Ben Affleck replace him. This would mark the second time that Rachel and Affleck worked together, they previously starred in “State Of Play”. Mr. Terrence Malick, who also wrote the screenplay, is known for being protective of his private life and rarely making public appearances. Not much information was released on the filming process but the movie was filmed during the Fall of 2010 and Rachel herself confirmed she was on-set in Oklahoma in October and November with additional filming taking place in March 2011. Mr. Malick and Rachel spent time together beforehand to prepare for filming, “We spent a fair amount of time together before we got started. I got to know the town we were shooting in, as though I had lived there. There’s great preparation involved with him [Terrence Malick] (x).” Rachel added, “It was great working with Terrence Malick recently. He took me around a town where my character would have lived and pointed out, ‘Perhaps you grew up in that house, and your dad worked at that building, and you went to that school.’ I found it incredibly helpful (x).” Malick is renowned for making brilliant and unique films using unconventional methods. For example, this movie never had a formal script. Rachel revealed she got “pages of beautiful poetry in the morning [on-set[ and then you are free to expand on that (x).” Rachel described Malick as a sculptor, “I think Terry [Terrence Malick] is like a sculptor and the story presents itself to him. He puts a lot of clay on the table and sees what comes out of it, which I appreciate. He’s not stuck to something, if you’re out and something is not working then it’s fine and you just move onto something else (x).”

    Rachel on-set of “Midnight In Paris” with co-star Owen Wilson. Rachel attending the “Sherlock Holmes” premiere in New York in 2009 alongside co-star Robert Downey Jr. Rachel on-set of “To The Wonder”. Rachel with co-star Diane Keaton attending the “Morning Glory” premiere in New York in 2010.

    Late March 2010, Rachel joined the cast of “Midnight in Paris” alongside Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard. This reunited Rachel and Owen Wilson, who previously worked together on “Wedding Crashers”. The movie is written and directed by Woody Allen, who wrote the screenplay with Rachel in mind, after many years of receiving “glowing” reports on her from “The Family Stone” and “Morning Glory” co-star Diane Keaton. Allen and Keaton collaborated before on multiple films, including Annie Hall. According to Allen he wanted to cast Rachel at any costs, “I’d seen Rachel in a film with Owen years ago and I thought she was sensational. She is a wonderful actress and I wanted to work with her. I wanted to get Rachel at any cost (x).” Rachel recalls being shocked that Allen approached her, “I got a call that [Woody Allen] wanted to meet and I went into a complete shock. I went out to New York and we had a very brief meeting. He said I’d like you to play this part, she’s definitely not the object of desire, but I think she’s a lot of fun. Then he sort of said, but if you don’t want to do it, it’s fine, whatever. It was very surreal, because I never imagined he would knock on my door (x).” Filming began in the Summer of 2010 in Paris and wrapped up after 40 days of production. The filmmakers wanted to keep the plot under wraps and only Rachel and her co-star Owen Wilson received the entire script. To prepare for her part, Rachel watched Allen’s work, “I tried to watch as many of his films as I could…[to] get a sense of the rhythm of the Woody Allen film, but ultimately I realized in the end that it was going to be a unique experience for me and different from the other films (x).” While filming, Rachel impressed her co-stars with her performance. Mimi Kennedy, who plays her mother in the movie, praised her by stating “Rachel sparkles, mentally and physically (x).” This is echoed by Michael Sheen who said, “[she’s] very talented (x)“, and Marion Cotillard (“Rachel McAdams is one of my favorite actresses. I think she’s amazing [x]“). She even impressed director Allen more than he had anticipated, “I knew she was going to be good — I went out of my way to hire her — but I didn’t realize how good she’d be. God, she’s going to make a fortune in this business (x).”

    “You want people to buy you as just about anything. So if they think that you’re one thing, it’s hard to slip into, you know, all these other things”
    – Rachel McAdams, Marie Claire (2015)

    Rachel already lined up her next movie while still working on “Midnight in Paris“. It was reported in Mid-June 2010 that Rachel was set to star in “The Vow“, alongside Channing Tatum. Right after wrapping up filming for “Midnight in Paris”, Rachel returned back to her homecountry Canada to start filming “The Vow”. Principal photography began late August, 2010 with the production wrapping up filming the same year in Late October. The movie filmed for most part in Toronto but also filmed on-location in Chicago. Based on the true story by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, who visited the set while they were filming in Chicago. Director Michael Sucsy thought casting Rachel’s role of Paige was tricky, “The difficult thing for an actress in approaching the role of Paige is that she comes out and she doesn’t have any connection to her husband. He’s a stranger to her. If she’s too off-putting, it’s hard to root for her. And in the case of Rachel McAdams, she’s the perfect actress to play the role, because she can tread that line of being likeable, but being convincing that she’s going through this process of having lost her memory (x).” Rachel revealed that she connected with her character while reading the script, “I loved the way the script unfolded. When we first meet Paige, she is a much more actualized version of herself than we see later on in the film, which is kind of a backwards way to go but exactly what I found so interesting (x).” The opportunity to work with Rachel seems to be the main draw for her co-stars to sign onto the project. Channing Tatum signed so he could learn from her, he said: “You gotta do the Dear Johns. You gotta do The Vow. I’m conscious about why I did those parts, those movies, I wanted to learn from Rachel on The Vow […] I didn’t go to acting school, so my knowledge of story, filmmaking, and character comes from just being on set and doing it (x).” He later added, “Look, she [Rachel McAdams] is one of the most brilliant and beautiful people that I’ve ever met. Not just as an actor, but as a person. She cares. She has the true talent to be able to make any line work – and we’ve got some serious big lines in this movie – which can be hard to pull off, but she just does. She has an uncanny ability to make anything sound real and amazing because she commits and believes in it. I’m in awe of her and I’ve learned so much from her (x).” Scott Speedman echoed Tatum’s response and revealed he also signed on to be able to work with Rachel: “Anytime you get to work with Rachel McAdams it’s kind of good. She was really the reason I wanted to do this. She is just sort of a timeless actress, she is a real through back that way. She is great (x).” To prepare for the role, Rachel conducted her own research by investigating brain injuries and memory loss. She also consulted with a with a neurosurgeon: “It was interesting finding out that people who have brain trauma, and the tape is erased and they’re not necessarily going to get those memories back, they will still find their way back kind of unconsciously (to) where they left off before the accident (x).”

    Morning Glory” was released nationwide on November 10, 2010 in the USA. The movie grossed a relatively modest over $30 million in the USA box office. Rachel reflects later on, “It’s funny, because so many people said to me, ‘It’s the kind of film you don’t see anymore, done in a way that isn’t done anymore.’ I thought that was a really positive thing, but apparently not. I only hear these business people: ‘Well, no one was sure who it was for (x).'” The movie ended up grossing over $60 million worldwide and made a profit by earning back it’s production budget. The movie received mixed reviews but Rachel’s performance was praised by critics. Late critic Roger Elbert praised Rachel for transforming the movie: “Morning Glory is a funny entertainment to begin with, and then Rachel McAdams transforms it … She plays as lovable a lead as anyone since Amy Adams in Junebug … Morning Glory could have been routine. It’s Rachel McAdams’ life force that illuminates it. She positions herself barely on the right side of manic. She’s always on, always optimistic, always hoping (x).”

    Back to top | Next: Chapter 4