The Fan Carpet: Rachel McAdams Interview

The Fan Carpet
Published: September 9, 2009

The latest offering from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, 2006) comes State of Play, a blistering thriller about an investigative journalist who finds himself embroiled in political murder and corporate collusion. Starring Oscar-winners Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams, this highly-anticipated new film is due to hit the shelves on DVD and Bluray on Monday 21st September.

What did you learn from working with Russell?
RACHEL: I learn that you can work really hard and still have a great time. That is part of his philosophy. He is very committed at getting it right but at the same time, he likes to have fun.

What kind of fun?
RACHEL: He likes to tell jokes, which I can’t. I can’t remember a joke to save my life. I don’t have a brain for it.

Was it more interesting to be paired with someone and not be a love interest?
RACHEL: It was refreshing. It didn’t seem necessary. It was nice for our characters to just be journalists and there was enough fodder to explore. I think people are wise to keep love and work separate.

How did you find any parallels in your own life?
RACHEL: In this film I am the rooky in the cast. Everyone has miles of experience than me and Della is in the same situation, so life imitated art in many ways. I don’t think I could be a journalist. I wouldn’t make a very good journalist, especially in Washington and working in politics, which I think would be really tough.

Did you research?
RACHEL: Yes I spoke to a blogger. It was election time when we were doing the movie and Hillary Clinton was still in the running. This blogger was doing a story on democratic women who were anti-Hillary. He was on the computer speaking to these women and it made me realize that you can reach a much broader audience online but on the other hand Russell’s character argues that you still need to get on the streets and see people face to face, and check your facts.

What was it like to spend time in Washington?
RACHEL: It was great, because I met journalists that were on both sides of things. People who are young, enthusiastic and hard working journalists working on the online side and people who had been there forever. There was one journalist who had running shoes under her desk in case she had to kick of her heels and go out and cover a breaking news story.

How do you get your news?
RACHEL: I listen to news on the radio. I don’t read the internet that much. That’s where Della and I parted ways.

What was your biggest surprise when you were in the newsroom?

RACHEL: I didn’t know how any of it worked really. It was great to be a fly on the wall when they had their morning editorial meetings, and what was considered important and what stories were tossed aside. The Washington Post was interesting because it’s such a politically minded newspaper. We were there through the elections so it was quite a frenzy going on. The other thing I learn is that journalists are very messy.

You have a great interest in the environment with your own website. What inspired it?

RACHEL: Growing up I had a real disconnect with the planet. I would go to the beach in my turtle neck, all bundle up. I would read my book and kind of scowl, but I hadn’t seen the most beautiful beaches in the world. We had a beach (in Canada) where you couldn’t even go swimming. But once I travelled and saw more beautiful areas, my relationship to the planet expanded I started connect to it more and be more aware. I find it’s a very positive movement and something you can do every day in little ways. Our philosophy on the website (www.greenissexy.org) is not to have green guilt, do what you can.

What beach changed your mind?
RACHEL: It was in Australia. I started in Cairns and went up to Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas and then went to Fraser Island. It was there that I thought was quite heavenly. I just decided to go back packing somewhere and that’s where I picked. It was just before I got the role in Hot Chick. A friend wanted to me to go to Australia and I was thinking my career is just starting, it’s not a good time to leave but she told me that my career would always be there and I was only going to get more immersed in it, and she was right. So it was a good time to go.

How would you describe your style?
RACHEL: I love vintage clothes. I have a real passion which probably comes from the days of my mum who had this great dress up box that she put all her clothes from the 60s and 70s in – platform shoes and jumpsuits and boots.

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