Special: Canada Day & Canada 150

Canada is celebrating it’s 150 year anniversary this year. Today, on Canada Day, we want to celebrate with a site special on Rachel’s homecountry Canada. Rachel was born and raised in Canada and continues to live in Toronto to this day. In this post we will highlight our favorite Canadian with an overview off our favorite Canadian moments featuring Rachel. We would also like to wish all our Canadian vistors a Happy Canada Day!

Canadian Roots
I grew up here [Canada]. I went to school here. This is where I hang my hat, where I sip my tea. And as much as I love adventure; there is nothing as nursing for my soul as coming home.
Rachel McAdams, CWOF Speech, 2014

Rachel was born and raised in St Thomas, Ontario and moved to Toronto while attending University. She considers herself a “pretty hardcore Canadian (x).” Growing up, Rachel was a competitive figure skater. She remembers: “I didn’t have a lot of stuff [growing up], but I always had my skates (x).” She also recalls: “Growing up I figure skated a lot. It was either hockey or figure skating (x).” Rachel appears to be a hockey fan, which is possibly influenced by her father playing hockey (“My dad played hockey and I was surrounded by sports [x]“). Rachel attended various hockey matches throughout her career, including the NHL Stanley Cup Final in 2011 and St. Louis Blues v Los Angeles Kings hockey game in 2012. In 2009 Rachel was seen in the audience of a taping of CBC’s Battle of the Blades, a Canadian figure skating reality show and competition. Furthermore, she even took “The Vow” co-star Channing Tatum out to skate while filming the movie in Toronto. Canadian nature was also a big part of Rachel’s childhood as she would later write on her environmental website: “Summers spent at the cottage, swimming in the Great Canadian Lakes, riding a banana seat bike around the neighborhood. Winters consisted of tobogganing through the treacherous woods and building dangerous snow forts”.

According to Rachel she is “known to drink Maple syrup straight from the bottle (x)” and recalled in 2004: “I always get in trouble for drinking my mom’s maple syrup (x).” While filming “The Notebook” (2004) there was a scene in which Rachel had to eat pancakes with maple syrup and she recalls: “I was more than happy to eat them [pancakes]. I love maple syrup. I went for the maple syrup. I’m such a sugar fiend I’m bouncing off walls. I agreed to do this movie for the maple syrup (x).” To celebrate winning the Ensemble Award during the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2016, Rachel and the cast of “Spotlight” celebrated by drinking a shot of maple syrup backstage.

To this day, Rachel never permanently relocated to the United States. While promoting “Wedding Crashers” in 2005 she told the press: “Acting is my job. It’s not my life. My life is in Toronto. It’s home. It suits who I am. It helps me keep my life and career in perspective (x)” and she added: “I really can’t see myself living there [Los Angeles] permanently. Nothing against Los Angeles, but 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. I need the change of seasons; it suits my personality. When the weather is perfect every day, I tend to get depressed (x).” She recently echoed this response: “I have to fill my cup back up sometimes and get back to normal life if I’m going to portray normal life (x).” She also thinks living in Toronto allows her to keep a balance between her work and private life and maintain normalcy: “I can work from anywhere. I can read scripts from anywhere, do phone interviews from anywhere. This is where my family and friends are. It’s just home. I feel very Canadian. I just can’t leave it (x).” She added: “I really like having a life outside work. I sometimes wish I did more career stuff and was in that Hollywood scene a bit more. But Toronto’s my home (x).” While she seems to be able to live a private life while living in Toronto, she recalls getting recognized as Regina George in “Mean Girls” while giving out candy during Halloween. She appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2013 and revealed she had to dress up while giving out candy to be able not get recognized.

One of the values associates with Rachel’s Canadian upbringing might be that Rachel is known for being nice and kind. Headlines often included praise such as ‘the nicest girl in hollywood’ while costars always praise Rachel for being nice and kind to everyone on-set. To quote “Southpaw” co-star Jake Gyllenhaal: “Oh man, you Canadians you get me. She’s amazing. She’s a lovely, lovely human being. She’s a consummate professional and I adore her. She’s probably one of the most strikingly beautiful creatures and she’s a lovely human being. Working with her is is easy (x).” This seems inline with what Rachel told People in 2016: “I would like to be remembered for kindness (x).” Similarly, the Korean press told Rachel in 2011 that she is known in Korea as the ‘nice Rachel McAdams’ because of a story that made headlines years before in South-Korea. In 2006 Rachel was photographed by paparazzi giving directions to a Korean couple while waiting for the bus.

Additionally, Rachel seems to value keeping her feet on the ground and remaining modest and humble. She credits her family for “always keeping my feet on the ground (x)“. York professor Professor David Rotenberg praised Rachel in 2006 after her hollywood breakthrough for being “grounded”, he added: “We teach up at York that you’ve got to know where you come from – it’s a big part of the training (x).” Rachel reflected in 2013: “I reached a point [in 2006] when I had had enough of all the fuss and celebrity. I had some time out and I was much happier backpacking around Ireland than being on the red carpet. I like to keep my feet on the ground (x).”

Canadian Accolades
Trying to put down roots is a bit of a joke, I really appreciate the opportunity to come home and have something familiar. I have community.
Rachel McAdams, Sunday Style, 2013

Rachel’s breakthrough in the film industry did not go unnoticed in Canada. Early in her career the Canadian Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television nominated Rachel for the Gemini Awards (Canadian equivalent to the Oscars) in 2003 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in “Perfect Pie” (2003). Her work in “Slings & Arrows” (2003-2005) also did not go unnoticed, she won Gemini Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series for season one of the series and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role Dramatic Series for season two.

In 2013 she was inducted into the St. Thomas’ Timken Centre Wall of Fame. Rachel made a surprise appearance alongside her parents Sandra and Lance to receive the honor in person. During the induction, Rachel reunited with her teachers Linda Maskell Pereira and Christopher Pereira who she both credited has huge influences on her career. Actually, Rachel might have never gotten into acting professionally if it weren’t for Pereira. Rachel originally planned on studying social sciences at the University of Western Ontario but she ran into Pereira who told her she should follow her heart and give acting a try which lead to Rachel changing her application. Even when Rachel was still a student, Pereira saw potential. He told the press after the induction: “She stood out as being extremely talented and extremely gifted. And she was also a very hard worker and a really smart girl (x).”

In 2014 Rachel was inducted into the Canada Walk Of Fame and during her acceptance speech she highlighted her love for Canada and credited it’s “incredibly rich arts program” for the positive influence on her career. In her speech she also thanked her (acting) teachers, her (management) team and her friends and family. Other inductees were Louise Arbour, Ryan Reynolds, The Band, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Jeff Healey. Recently Rachel was awarded Favorite Canadian during YTV’s (parody) award show Golden Couch Awards 2017. Rachel joined in with the fun and happily accepted the award as “an incredible honor.”

Canadian Red Carpet
The strongest community I have is in Toronto. I like being able to go to the same places and see the same people. My family’s close by.
Rachel McAdams, Glamour, 2012

Rachel made her Toronto International Film Festival debut in 2005 by attending “The Proof” premiere and also attended the Awards Reception. A few years Rachel attended the “Married Lifepremiere in 2007 alongside her co-stars Patricia Clarkson and Chris Cooper. She brought her brother Daniel as her red carpet date. In 2008 Rachel attended “Che (Part 1)” premiere alongside her sister Kayleen and the premiere of “The Lucky Ones” alongside her co-star Tim Robbins and director Neil Burger. 2012 marked a special year for Rachel with two movies being selected for the festival. Rachel attended the “To The Wonder” alongside her co-star Olga Kurylenko and the “Passion” premiere alongside director Brian dePalma. In 2015 two of Rachel’s movies were part of the selection. Rachel attended the “Every Thing Will Be Fine” premiere alongside co-stars Robert Naylor and Julia Sarah Stone and director Wim Wenders. The “Spotlight” premiere marked a reunion for the cast, filmmakers and Boston Globe journalists including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Sacha Pfeiffer. She was also part of Jason Reitman’s Live Read of the “Princess Bride“, which she considers her favorite film.

While attending the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival Rachel recognized two people who she went to high school with. Jessica Allen, the assistant editor of the Canadian news site Maclean.ca, shared via her official twitter account: “Rachel McAdams and I went to the same high school. She remembered me when we spoke on the red carpet. That gal is all class.” She would later also recognized someone who asked a question during the “Passion” screenings Q&A by stating: “I know you, Mike R.! We went to high school together!”

Besides attending TIFF, Rachel has promoted various projects over the years in Canada. In 2015 she attended the Toronto premiere for “Southpaw” alongside her co-star Jake Gyllenhaal. In 2016 Rachel stopped by Toronto to promote Marvel’s “Doctor Strange after promoting the movie in Europe and the United States.

Canadian Filmmakers
It was so great to film at home because I got to sleep in and get out of bed and walk to work and I really got to know Ontario in a different way
Rachel McAdams, The Toronto Star, 2009

Throughout her career Rachel worked with many Canadian filmmakers. Fellow Canadian costars include Ryan Gosling (The Notebook), Taylor Kitsch (True Detective), Tatiana Maslany (The Vow), Luke Kirby (Slings & Arrows), and Jay Baruchel (Aloha). Rachel also worked with Canadian director Barbara Willis Sweete in “Perfect Pie” (2002) and Graeme Campbell in “Guilt by Association” (2002). As we mentioned above, Rachel appeared in Canadian director’s Jason Reitman’s live read of ‘The Princess Bride’ in 2015. We might see Rachel and Reitman collaborate in a future project, as Reitman revealed he would love to work with Rachel in 2009. She also almost worked with fellow Canadian Keanu Reeves in “Passengers“, however both Rachel and Reeves dropped out of the project.

In 2011 Rachel was asked if Canadian actors who also worked in the United States knew each other. Rachel revealed that Canadian actors like to celebrate Canada Day together while they are in Los Angeles: “I do know Ryan [Reynolds], Dan Aykroyd, Alanis Morissette, and people like that. We all see each other in LA on the first of July for Canada Day. Fireworks and outdoors festivities. It’s like 4th of July of America, except that it’s earlier (x).”

Another fan favorite Canadian moment is probably Rachel accepting the Best Liplock award during the 2005 Teen Choice Awards alongside her “The Notebook” co-star Ryan Gosling. The award was presented by fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds and Rachel ‘accidentally’ mistook Reynolds for Gosling. She jokingly explained: “I think I got the wrong Ryan. They are both Canadian and beautiful people (x).” What you might not know is that Rachel initially planned on kissing Pamela Anderson, who also happens to be Canadian. Anderson was originally scheduled to present the award and Rachel revealed: “I wanted to kiss Pamela Anderson (x).”

After filming “The Notebook” and “Mean Girls“, Rachel returned home to star in the first season of the Canadian television series “Slings & Arrows“. While the series never reached the popularity levels of projects such as “The Notebook“, it found a certain popculture following. In 2010 Daniel Radcliffe gave the series a shout-out while he was cohosting Live With Regis in Kelly!, when Rachel made an appearance. He told Rachel he “obsessed” with the series and he added: “it’s an amazing show. Rachel is in it and it’s amazing (x).”

Rachel also filmed various projects over the years in Canada, including recently “Spotlight” (2015), which filmed in Toronto, and “Every Thing Will Be Fine” (2015) which filmed in Montreal. Other projects that Rachel filmed in Canada include “The Vow” (2012), “Married Life” (2007) and “Mean Girls” (2004).

Furthermore, Rachel decided to do a slight French Canadian accent in Wim Wender’s “Every Thing Will Be Fine” (2015). She described: “It [an accent] can inform the character so much. There’s a certain sensibility that comes with that. Without making any gross generalizations, what I love about French Canadians is that they are so open and that their hearts are really on their sleeves (x).”

Canadian Charities
I like staying in Toronto. It’s nice and quiet and it gives me a break from the business. It’s home. In my own life, I tend to fight the good fight and I at least go back for one more round before I give up on something.
Rachel McAdams, Courier Mail, 2016

Rachel has supported many Canadian charities. In 2004 Rachel attended a special screening of “The Notebook in her home town of St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. The screening raised $5000 for United Way of Elgin-St. Thomas. The screening was also attended by her parents, her brother Daniel and her childhood friend Tennille Rose Will. Rachel’s mother Sandra McAdams told the press: “I think it’s a wonderful charity that’s putting it on, so we’re really excited (x).”

In 2010 Rachel appeared in the Canada for Haiti telethon, aimed to raise money for those affected by the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2013 Rachel volunteered for Habitat for Humanity alongside her parents and sisters in St. Thomas, Canada. Rachel explained: “There’s something so profoundly beautiful about building a home from the ground up, It’s about more than doors and windows and paint. It’s about family, future, and building the foundation for lasting memories (x).” In 2013 Rachel attended the Canfar’s 3rd Annual Our Future Without AIDS 2013 alongside her childhood friend Tennille Rose Will. Rachel was the Honorable Ambassador during last night’s A Night Out With The Millennium Network Toronto hosted by the Clinton Foundation in 2013.

In 2015 Rachel attended the 31st Anniversary of CIBC Miracle Day in Toronto. Rachel presented a $75,000 donation to her charity of choice, Nanny Angel Network, on behalf of the bank as part of the event. She said: “Every child deserves to have compassion and support in their lives, especially in trying times. Communities are strengthened when we come together to provide the best for children so we can build a better future together (x).” She also donated to Serenity House Handbags for Hospice Auction in 2015.

Rachel has also teamed up for Greenpeace Canada for their Save The Artic movement. She attended their Vancouver rally alongside Jane Fonda. Similarly she also collaborated with Food & Water First in 2013. In a promotion video she said: “Farmland and fresh water are our most vital resources, without them we wouldn’t be able to survive.” For more about Rachel’s environmental work, be sure to check out our previous special. Furthermore, Rachel (co)signed an open letter in support of Grassy Narrows in 2016 and the Leap Manifesto Canada in 2015.

Most recently Rachel donated one of her scarves for auction to the Tie One One in Toronto. The annual event is an evening benefiting Homes First, an organization that provides affordable, stable housing and support services to break the cycle of homelessness for people with the fewest housing options.

Canadian Favorites
I feel very much at home there. I ride my bike everywhere.I have my favourite restaurants.
Rachel McAdams, Metro UK, 2012

Rachel considers Frank’s Kitchen, Evergreen Brick Works, Kensington Market among her favorite placed to visit while in Toronto. She also frequently mentions Bell Lightbox theatre as her favorite cinema, she said: “Toronto is the best place to be. The Bell Lightbox is my favourite theatre (x).” Her bike is still her vehicle of choice while living in Toronto: “I feel very much at home there. I ride my bike everywhere (x).”

In 2013 Rachel told people magazine the last time she was starstruck is when she met Canadian author Margaret Atwood at the airport. She recalls: “I saw the author Margaret Atwood. I normally don’t go up to anyone, but I sort of fell over myself in front of her and sputtered out, ‘I love you!’ I’m sure she had no idea who I was (x).” In 2014 Rachel accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge and challenged Atwood to accept the challenge as well.

Rachel has also been a fan of Anne of Green Gables, written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. She credits the Canadian series adaptation as what inspired her to become an actress: “I watched [Anne Of Green Gables] when I was young — about 150 times! It was just a really great performance.” She added: “A Canadian film [series] with an amazing Canadian actress, Megan Follows. And it was just so beautifully crafted and executed and I wanted to be her. So I would say that one was quite influential to me (x).” Recently Rachel narrated Audible’s version of Anne of Green Gables. She said: “I just got to do an audible book of Anne of Green Gables, which is one of my favorite fictional characters. I just bow down to her she’s so phenomenal (x).”

Recently Rachel collaborated with Canadian artist Daniel Romano on his song “Toulouse“, which was released in 2016 and Rachel is featured. Romano told the press: “Once it was written it was a two-character type song and it felt like a character that could go beyond a vocal performance. Something that needed more feeling than just signing. I have known Rachel for a little while, almost 3 years now, and it just seemed like the right fit. She’s an incredible actor. She’s the best.”

Rachel often mentions she listens to the radio. Last year she said: “I listen to the radio a lot. I listen to CBC News in Toronto kind of 24-7 because they do very in-depth stories. They spend a lot of time on topics. That’s hard to find nowadays (x).” Similarly, she previously told the press she prefers to listen to the Canadian radio: “I really like CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation]. I still live in Canada so I listen to CBC Radio every morning, John Givenchy, Matt Galloway. Shout out to the Canadian radio guys (x)!”

While Rachel is a fan of Canada, fellow Canadians appear to be Rachel’s biggest fan. Actress Nina Dobrev frequently mentions Rachel as her favorite actress. She told Flair in 2010: “She’s a great talent who holds her own opposite names such as Robert Downey Jr., Diane Keaton, Eric Bana, and Harrison Ford.” Actress Anna Paquin also expressed interest in working with Rachel. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who hold a Canadian citizenships, considers Rachel his celebrity crush as he recently told People Magazine. Singer/Songwriter Shawn Mendes also frequently expresses his love for Rachel and other fans include tennis player Vasek Pospisil and singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen. Furthermore, after Rachel’s Oscar nomination for “Spotlight” last year many people congratulated her, including Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau: “Congratulations to Ontario’s Rachel McAdams on her Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Good luck!” Rachel’s friend and fellow York Alumni Zoie Palmer also took twitter to congratulate her: “Congratulations to my beautiful friend Rachel Mcadams for her Oscar nomination for best for supporting actress.”

Rachel continues to show she’s proud of being Canadian. While preparing for the 2016 Oscars she proudly showed she is St. Thomas Proud, referring to her place of birth.

Team McAdams ready to rep our hometown at the McAcademy Awards! We are #STTHOMASPROUD #Canada #spotlight #rachelmcadams

Een bericht gedeeld door K . M . G . M . T (@kayleenmcadams) op

Special thanks to my friends Amanda and Lou.


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