Published: November 10, 2010
Last weekend I had amazing opportunity to fly to New York City and interview the always lovely and endearing Rachel McAdams. On a perfect, fall sunny day we chatted together at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel about her role as hot shot morning television producer, ‘Becky Fuller’. In the film ‘Becky’ has to help a struggling morning show rise in the ratings all while dealing with two bickering high profile anchors, played by Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton.
AF: Do you now have a better appreciation for what we (hosts/producers) do, after being in this movie?
RM: Oh, yes. Definitely, day in and day out. It’s pretty wild what you do. It’s a very hectic kind of life where you get up very early and are sort of nocturnal. I always thought if you worked on a morning show you got up at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning. But no, it’s like 2 or 3AM. Each day is different because the news is 24/7. I’ve tried to compare it to my job, but after three months a movie is done, whereas you’re always going.
AF: If you were in control of a morning show or any type of entertainment show, how would you handle celebrity news? The public wants to know about the lives of celebrities, but you don’t want to be too intrusive. So how would you handle it, having the knowledge that you have?
RM: [*Laughs*] Well, I guess if your producer is asking for something salacious, that’s where I now realize that you guys are in a tough spot, having played a producer in this role. The producer wants the dirt, and it’s hard for you to go against your boss, BUT I think I would still push for having a celebrity talk about their passion. I think more interesting things come out of an interview where you’re asking someone about what they love to do and how they go about doing it. I just think it inspires something more. Whereas you put them in a corner, and they may get cagy and clammy and shut down. I don’t know. What do I know? I don’t know anything about journalism, but that’s my take.
AF: In the film, you have your cast do a lot of stunts to get better ratings for the show. What kinds of stunts would you like to do?
RM: I love all the stuff that Diane [Keaton] does in the film. She really has the fun job in the movie. Wait… Are those window washers outside? [*Laughs*]
AF: Yes, I was totally staring at them. [*Laughs*]
RM: Hi, that was distracting…
AF: See, you don’t get window washers in a TV interview.
RM: No, you don’t! [*Laughs*] Back to the stunts and segments. I would love to do the arts and craft segments on a show. I’d also like to do animal segments, and get to hang out with little monkeys, frogs, and weird little creatures. I really love Ellen and all the things she does on her show.
RM: I don’t know it’s just really fun show, and I love her dancing. I like that you get to experience these celebrities though their hobbies and interests, and I think she tries to go in through that door.
AF: Working with Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, did they impart any words of wisdom on you or funny anecdotes on set?
RM: Harrison is so cute. He would have Altoids and tell us he was taking them as his acting pills, when he clearly doesn’t need any acting pills.
AF: [*Laughs*] He’s Indiana Jones!
RM: I know, right?! Whatever, Han Solo. [*Laughs*] He was pretty cute and so great to work with.
AF: When we read Hollywood websites and blogs, they always put you in competition with a handful of girls, ie. Scarlett, Natalie Portman, etc. Does it ever get annoying that they always pit you up against one another or is there a secret fight club between all of you?
RM: [*Laughs*] That’s really funny. That would be quite the fight club! You know, I think it’s just a story that people like to make up.
AF: In relation to this film, we see people like to blow things out of proportion to get better ratings or more viewers. Do you find after being in the film you’re more cognizant of things like that?
RM: I’m definitely more cognizant of what goes on behind the scenes and what it takes to run a morning show and just how competitive it is. I think that’s something I didn’t recognize before. It’s amazing because everywhere that I went, every executive has multiple TVs in their office, and they are all watching the competition all the time. It’s just so competitive. I remember when we were shooting the whole story about the…Octo…?
RM: Octomom, yes! That was the story at the time and there was this big hullabaloo as to who was gonna talk to Octagon…I mean Octomom… [*Laughs*] She probably felt like an Octagon. As to who was going to talk to her first, and it was this big fight over it. I couldn’t handle that kind of pressure.
AF: Could you see yourself in the future producing?
RM: Yeah, I’d like to give it a shot. I think it would be fun. I like the whole process of moviemaking. I’ve started to edit the whole process in my head now when I’m watching a film, which is something I’ve never really done before. It might be cool to branch out and try something new.
AF: Does being an actress ruin the movie watching experience for you as a fan, since you know what’s going on behind the scenes? Are you thinking that way?
RM: I think I went through that phase when I was first starting out. I think I’m on the other side of that now where I really appreciate a good movie ‘cause you know how hard it is to make one.
AF: Do feel that pressure to deliver a good movie? Is it ever daunting in a way?
RM: I don’t know if it’s daunting but I definitely feel the pressure to make things entertaining. You need to let that go while you are making the film because it’s a little too much pressure while you’re in the scene, for instance. But it is super important that people enjoy it.
AF: What do you hope audiences come away with after watching Morning Glory? What do you hope we feel?
RM: I really hope people laugh and have a really good time. It’s really a funny movie, and you can have a nice ride.
AF: Do you ever sneak into the theater and see your own movies?
RM: I have never done that. I’m not very good at watching my own movies.
AF: You didn’t go to The Notebook just once and start bawling?
RM: [*Prolonged laugh*] I definitely did not do that! [*Laughs*] I usually see them once before they come out, so I know what I’m talking about when it comes time to promote the film and to see if I accomplished any of my goals that I set out sometimes for myself.