CanMag: Rachel McAdams on State of Play

Published: April 16, 2009

Rachel McAdams plays an online journalist in State of Play. Aside from being the most beautiful online journalist ever (nothing against my colleagues, I just have a thing for Rachel McAdams), she did us pretty proud.

McAdams Talks State of Play

I was shadowing journalists a little bit,” McAdams said. “We were introduced to some people at the Washington Post and it was funny because they were tricky. They would turn the questions around and I would have to keep saying, ‘No, this isn’t about me, this is about you.’ So it was funny, that’s their job and they’re doing it 24-7. We kind of went all over. They took us all over and I met people who worked online. I met young people and the people who have been doing it forever. They were on opposite ends of the building.”

She even learned the lingo for the role, though in real life you won’t find McAdams doing anything online except her environmental blog, “I am not a tweeter. I’ve been completely educated about this today. I heard about Twitter for the first time, and it’s all I’ve heard about ever since. I’m really ignorant. I don’t subscribe to newspapers. I really do listen to the radio, I listen to CBC, NPR and I find it’s something you can multi-task to. You know, eat your breakfast, and drive, and get your news at the same time.”

Since the film is a thriller, its journalists dodge bullets in precarious situations. “There were a few times where [our advisor] who was kind of consulting on set, he would stick his head in and say, ‘You guys know this doesn’t actually happen. It’s totally illegal to be taping this person,’ or whatever it was, so he’d kind of reign us in sometimes. Or sometimes we’d veto him and say, ‘Shhh! It’s a Hollywood film.’ But some people, especially in Washington, they talk about not being able to reveal their sources and having had to make some really difficult decisions sometimes when people’s reputations or their lives are on the line. They’re dealing with the law and they’re dealing with politicians, and I think it can get kind of heavy duty.”

It’s a journey for McAdam’s character, Della. “I think that she realizes that it’s hard to be objective and be a great reporter. I think she realizes that things aren’t so straightforward and that it’s hard to have a sexy story and tell the truth. I think she just comes to realize that things aren’t so cut and dry and that it’s kind of a tough gig, especially when you get out from behind the computer.”

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