It seems like yesterday that “Spotlight” was making it’s award season rounds in January, but it’s already the last day of the year which means that it’s time for our annual year in review post. We will give you a summary and review of Rachel’s career in 2016, and what an amazing year we can look back on! It has been a busy year with “Spotlight” taking award season by storm – and earning Rachel her very first Academy Award nomination! – and release of “Doctor Strange” and the documentary “Sonic Sea“. Further, “The Little Prince” finally was released in the United States.
Read our full review after the jump/inside.
2016 began with the announcement that “The Little Prince” was set to open the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February. “Spotlight” continued to make headlines. Rachel’s first appearance of 2016 was attending the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards to support “Spotlight“. Rachel brought Sacha Pfeiffer as her date to the red carpet and stopped by the HBO after party after the ceremony. While Rachel did not receive an individual nomination, “Spotlight” did receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Rachel and Sacha Pfeiffer attended the SAG-AFTRA Foundation (Screen Actors Guild Awards) screening a few days after the Golden Globes alongside co-stars Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo and director Tom McCarthy in Los Angeles. The screening was followed by a Q&A. The 88th Academy Awards Nominees were announced on January 14th and Rachel received her very first Oscar nomination for her work in “Spotlight“. Rachel received a Best Supporting Actress nomination alongside Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs). The movie also 5 other nominations including for Best Picture. Fun fact: Rachel revealed she got the day wrong and thought the nominations would be announced the next day. Another fun fact: Rachel’s “Aloha” co-star John Krasinski was the one announcing the Best Supporting Actress nominations.
The day after the Oscar nominations the first possible post-Oscar project was reported. Various outlets reported that Rachel was in talks to join the “Collateral Beauty“ ensemble. It was later reported that Kate Winslet joined the cast instead. While the “Spotlight” cast and crew were still celebrating their Oscar nominations, the cast and crew continued to make award season rounds. Rachel attended the 21st Annual Critics’ Choice Awards mid-January and she brought her sister Kayleen McAdams and Sacha Pfeiffer as her red carpet dates. Rachel was nominated for 3 awards (Best Supporting Actress, Best Ensemble and Best Actress in A Movie Made For Television Or Limited Series (for “True Detective“). “Spotlight” took home the Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Acting Ensemble awards. Rachel accepted the latter award, on behave of herself and her co-stars.
Taking a little break from her “Spotlight” duties in Los Angeles, Rachel was spotted at the NBA Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors Game late January in Toronto. She was enjoying the game alongside her good friend and (former) “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Spotlight” co-star Duane Murray. Fun fact: Rachel thanked Murray during her Canada Walk Of Fame acceptance speech. A few days later Rachel supported her “Spotlight” co-star Brian d’Arcy James’ Broadway performance of “Something Rotten!“ in New York. She was spotted meeting the cast and crew backstage.
While “Spotlight” continued to received critical acclaim, “The Little Prince” also received, and later on won, a César nomination for Best Animated Film. The The 41st Annual César Awards (French equivalent of the Academy Awards) winners were announced in March.
Closing January on a high note, the “Spotlight” cast and crew – including Rachel – attended the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. Rachel also presented alongside her co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton during the ceremony. Rachel was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble. The “Spotlight” cast took home the latter award (biggest award of the night). Another reason why this was a special evening for Rachel: it also turned into a mini “The Hot Chick” (2002) reunion. Rachel brought her former co-star Megan Kuhlmann as her red carpet date while she was seen reuniting with her other former co-star Anna Faris on the red carpet and inside the venue.
Rachel kicked-off February by attending the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Rachel received the American Riviera Award alongside her “Spotlight” co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton. The American Riviera Award was created in recognition of actors who have forged their own path – taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film.
Rachel supported “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy by attending the 68th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards. Rachel took the stage to precent McCarthy his nominee medallion. A few days later Rachel attended the 88th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon held at the Beverly Hilton to celebrate her Oscar nomination. This time she brought her friend (and fellow actress) Toni Trucks as her red carpet date. According to People Rachel bumped into Leonardo DiCaprio inside the venue.
Speaking of People, Rachel was one of the actors featured in People’s Amazing Women Of Oscar feature alongside fellow nominees including Brie Larson. Rachel revealed she would like to be remembered for “kindness”. Mid-February it was announced Rachel would be one of the presenters during the Oscars and she continued to promote “Spotlight“, including by speaking to Hello! Canada.
With only a few more days until the highlight of award season (the Oscars), Rachel continued to attend various award season events. On February 25th Rachel attended a dinner hosted by Vanity Fair and Barnes and Nobles to celebrate “Spotlight” alongside her sister Kayleen McAdams. The day before the Oscars Rachel attended the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards. “Spotlight” took home the Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Robert Altman Award. The Robert Altman Award is given to the film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. Later that evening Rachel headed to the Oscars Night Before Party & Fundraiser event were she reunited with her “Wedding Crashers” and “Aloha” co-star Bradley Cooper.
To close award season and the Oscars weekend, Rachel attended the 88th Annual Academy Awards. She stole the spotlight by wearing a green August Getty Atelier gown – she even wore the it before it officially made it’s debut during the Paris runway. Rachel presented the Best Cinematography award to Emmanuel Lubezki, with whom she worked on “To The Wonder“, alongside actor Michael B. Jordan. She brought her mother as her red carpet date and she later revealed her mother celebrated her birthday the same day as the Oscars. While Rachel did not win Best Supporting Actress, “Spotlight” did take home the most important award of the night. The movie won the Best Picture award and Rachel took the stage alongside the filmmakers, producers and co-stars.
To celebrate the big win of the night, Rachel attended the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party after the 88th Annual Academy Awards. She changed her green gown for a beautiful pink Naeem Khan dress. Open Road celebrated their big win by announcing that “Spotlight” would expand again to 1,000 theaters starting early March.
In an unexpected move, Paramount announced that they dropped “The Little Prince“. Thankfully, a few days later it was announced that Netflix picked up the rights for the movie in the United States. Additionally to releasing the movie on their streaming service, Netflix also announced they would release the movie in theaters making it eligible for the 89th Academy Awards. Mid-March we reported that Rachel joined the documentary “Sonic Sea“ as narrator and Discovery Channel picked up the air rights as part of their ‘Discovery Impact’ series line-up.
“Doctor Strange” wrapped filming early April with the trailer and film poster getting released in the following days. Rachel’s co-star Benedict Cumberbatch stopped by Jimmy Kimmel to release the first trailer mid-April. Producer Kevin Feige revealed that Rachel finished almost all her scenes by January, in time so she would be able to attend the Oscars.
Rachel headed to Japan mid-April to promote “Spotlight“. She attended a press conference on April 13th and continued her promotion tour a few days later by attending the premiere. At the premiere Rachel met author Marie Kondo (‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing’). After returning home, Rachel got invited to attend the 102nd White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner (WHCD) by the Boston Globe and Sacha Pfeiffer. On April 30th Rachel attended the annual WHCD (a.k.a. #NerdProm) event and she later revealed she was also able to meet President Barak Obama, who revealed that he saw “Spotlight“. President Obama even gave Rachel and “Spotlight” movie a shout-out in his speech. After the WHCD Rachel headed to the 2016 WHCD Vanity Fair After Party.
Kicking off May, Rachel attended the ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology’ Costume Institute Gala held at the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It’s the second time Rachel attended the anticipated annual MET Gala. Rachel walked the red carpet alongside her sister Kayleen McAdams and Pierpaolo Piccioli & Maria Grazia Chiuri from Valentino.
A few days later Rachel attended a special screening of “Sonic Sea“, a few days before the Discovery Channel premiere. Be sure to check out our Stop Ocean Noise post for more information about how you can join the movement. Mid-May we also reported that Rachel would collaborate with Daniel Romano’s upcoming album ‘Mosey’ on the song “Toulouse“, which would be released late May. Netflix also released the first U.S. trailer for “The Little Prince“ late May and announced an August 5th release date.
Continuing her environmentalist and activist work Rachel signed the ‘We stand with Grassy Narrows’ open letter in support of the Grassy Narrows in early June, alongside many others including Jane Fonda. Late July it was announced that joined the #JeansForRefugees project by artist Johny Dar by donating one of her jeans for the auction. All proceeds raised will be donated to the International Rescue Committee (rescue.org). Fun fact: Rachel was spotted at a charity shift for the International Rescue Committee in New York late December.
Late June the Academy announced they invited 683 new members and Rachel was one of them, after receiving her first nomination earlier this year. The summer also brought us the second trailer for “Doctor Strange“, which was released at 2016 Comic-Con. Marvel Studios hosted their 2016 Comic-Con panel which also featured “Doctor Strange“ and Rachel attended the panel alongside co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong and Tilda Swinton and director Scott Derrickson.
After Comic-Con the promotion for “Doctor Strange” continued with the announcement of a PG-13 rating, magazine features, release of the first featurette, announcement of Sneak Peak screenings, Rachel introducing the STEM Contest and the release of the first production still and posters.
Early August brought us the release of “The Little Prince” in the United States, while Netflix did not host any promotional events for the cast the director Mark Osborne has been out & about promoting the movie. Rachel joined him for a special screening and Q&A late November.
In September Rachel donated a pair of shoes to the annual “Small Steps Project” celebrity shoe auction. The UK charity supports children “living on rubbish dumps” and Rachel has supported this auction since 2013. Late September Rachel attended the “Voyage Of Time: The IMAX Experience” screening in Los Angeles. The documentary is directed by Terrence Malick, with whom she worked on “To The Wonder” and considers one of her favorite filmmakers.
Early October it was reported that Rachel was in talks to join Rachel Weisz in “Disobedience“. Rachel confirmed her involvement a few weeks later while promoting “Doctor Strange“. Late October FilmNation boarded the project – they previously worked with Rachel on “To The Wonder” and “A Most Wanted Man” – while it was reported early December that actor Alessandro Nivola joined the cast. Filming is expected to start on January 3rd in London.
Also announced in early October it was announced that Rachel would narrate Audible’s “Anne of Green Gables“. Rachel and her sister/make-up artist Kayleen were featured in Elle Magazine’s Power Couples feature in October. Rachel and Kayleen both attended the 8th Annual Dior Operation Smile Luncheon back in April were the photoshoot took place.
Mid-October the promotion for “Doctor Strange” kicked into full gear. First up was a coverstory for Entertainment Weekly. Rachel and the cast and director talked about the movie. Rachel also made an appearance at The Ellen DeGeneres Show were she played the game ‘Oops! My Water Broke’ with Justin Hartley to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ellen ended up donating to $20,000 to Ulta Beauty which donated to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
While promoting in Los Angeles, Rachel attended the world premiere for the movie in Los Angeles and also the press conference. Further, Rachel and co-star Tilda Swinton also pre-recorded their Good Morning America interview, which would air a week later. After finishing her LA duties Rachel and the cast and crew headed to London for the UK fan screening, premiere and after party hosted by GQ. A few days later Rachel headed back home to Toronto to promote the movie in Canada. She stopped by the CP24 Breakfast morning show.
“Doctor Strange” opened No.1 in the US Box Office with $85M The movie continued to impress the (international) box office and as of late December it entered the top 100 highest grossing films of all time and made $656,981,341 thus far.
Rounding up the year Audible released the audiobook for “Anne of Green Gables“. Rachel was also featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s Beauty issue alongside her sister (and make-up artist) Kayleen McAdams. Further, Marvel released more additional outtakes of “Doctor Strange” promotional photoshoot to the international press.
The end of the year also brought us buzz about possible sequels for Rachel’s movies. First of all, Rachel’s “Wedding Crashers” co-star Isla Fisher revealed that a sequel for the movie was a possibility and this movie was later confirmed by trade sources including Variety. Secondly, earlier this week former “Mean Girls” co-star Lindsay Lohan revealed she has been pushing for sequel to the original “Mean Girls” (technically, it would be ‘Mean Girls 3’ since a ‘Mean Girls 2’ was previously released without the original cast). Finally, early this year rumors appeared on the development of “Sherlock Holmes 3“ when a new screenwriter was assigned. Late October reports from trade sources indicate that SH3 is still very much in development.
Finally, we would also like to point out our birthday post for Rachel. In this post we put a spotlight on various causes Rachel has supported throughout the years, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Favorites of 2016
Just like previous years we would also like to share our favorites of this year. We would love to hear yours as well, so be sure to share them in the comments!
Best Red Carpet Look
Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn continued to work with Rachel and this was the first time they were able to work with Rachel during award season (for “Spotlight“). We have been spoilt this year with many great looks but our favorite is her 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards wearing a Elie Saab gown. We also have to give an honorable mention to Rachel’s August Getty Atelier Oscar gown and her Jonathan Simkhai dress she wore to the SBIFF.
In general we were thrilled – and still are – with the acclaim “Spotlight” received. In particular a highlight of this year, and also Rachel’s career in general, is Rachel receiving her very first, and well deserved, Oscar nomination. A runner-up is “Spotlight” winning the Best Ensemble award at the SAG Awards and Best Picture award at the Academy Awards.
We got many great new photoshoots in 2016, including some great ones Rachel did during award season alongside the “Spotlight” cast and crew. Our favorite photoshoot is the one Rachel did alongside her sister Kayleen for The Hollywood Reporter. A honorable mention goes to her People magazine photoshoot and the “Doctor Strange” promotional photoshoot.
Rachel only made one talk show appearance this year, she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October to promote “Doctor Strange. It’s always a fun interview when Rachel stops by Ellen and this time was no exception. We would also like to give an honorabel mention to Rachel’s BBC press junket interview for “Doctor Strange” in which Rachel looks back on her career.
One of our favorite quotes of this year is a very simple one. Rachel told People magazine that she “would like to be remembered for kindness”.
— Rachel McAdams [RMO] (@rachelmonline) July 20, 2016
Best Quote on Rachel
This remains one of our favorite features to look up because it’s always amazing to read Rachel is admired and praised among her peers. We want to put a spotlight on two quotes by “Doctor Strange” co-star Benedict Cumberbatch and director Scott Derickson.
“She’s really hard working and it looks effortless the way she does it. But she just interrogates the reasoning behind what she’s doing. She’s just flawless in her style and etiquette and her choices are sublime. She does that fine thing of creating someone you haven’t met but feel like you’ve known all your life. And everyone loves her wether it’s on the set or the audience. She’s just adorable and so, so good. I learned a lot from her and Tilda”
-Benedict Cumberbatch, ETalk
“She’s fantastic in the film. I don’t think anyone could have played the role better. She was the only person I wanted for the role and feel grateful to have gotten her. And she’s personally every bit the smart, kind-hearted person you hope she’d be.”
-Scott Derickson, Reddit Q&A
Only one movie got it’s world wide release of Rachel this year, “Doctor Strange” and it’s very exciting she’s now officially part of the Marvel Universe. We would also like to give an honorabel mention to the documentary “Sonic Sea“, because we think it’s so great to see Rachel continues to be actively involved in ‘green’ projects who support the environment. Fun fact: Jane Fonda revealed Rachel agreed to lobby with her in support of the environment.
Best Social Media Post
This year we want to introduce a new feature in which we share our favorite social media post. While Rachel is not (!) active on social media herself she sometimes shows up in posts made my co-stars. One of our favorite moments this year was the instagram post shared by her “Spotlight” co-star Liev Schreiber taken on the floor of the Academy Award stage after the movie won Best Picture. Honorable mentions go to Kayleen’s Oscar selfie (using the caption ‘McAcademy Awards’), the Critics’ Choice selfie alongside Sacha Pfeiffer, Kayleen and Brian d’Arcy James and finally Rachel’s own selfie in support of standing with Clyde River shared by Greenpeace Canada.
You can (re)read our previews year in reviews by following these links: 2015 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. We also want to give a shout-out and thank you to our friends Frederik and Jess for inspiring us to start the ‘A Year in Review’ in the first place. We would also give a special thank you to our friends Luciana, Claudia, Nicole, Amanda & Lou, and Haylie for all their donations this past year (and previous years!).
What an amazing year it has been. We would also like to take this moment to thank you, our visitors. Thank you for your support throughout the years. This year our site already celebrated it’s 12 year anniversary. Thank you for all your visits, comments, messages and support on our social media accounts.