Published: October 29, 2013
If Rachel McAdams showed up at our door at 2 in the morning, with a harried expression on her face, and told us that we had to blindly come with her if we wanted to, say, save the planet, we would go without even heading upstairs to change out of our slippers. That’s how much we implicitly trust the actress, without even knowing her. This is, after all, the lady who had us secretly rooting for the Mean Girl and crying buckets during The Notebook. McAdams is like our northern-neighbor version of Sandra Bullock — goofy, approachable, gorgeous, and truly Canada’s sweetheart.
In her latest movie, About Time, McAdams finds herself once again dealing with a time-traveling romance, something she’s no stranger to. “I’m starting to be mad that I’ve never actually gotten to time travel. I’m starting to notice a trend where I have to stay home and I don’t get to do the fun time-traveling part. I’m going to make sure I’m an actual time traveler myself the next time I do a time-traveling movie,” she says. However, time travel, much like being granted wishes or seeing the future, is an impossible (albeit appealing) concept.”The lesson in About Time is that maybe you don’t have to change anything to make the most of the limited time you do have.”
With so much reflection around mistakes, second chances, and lessons learned, it only felt fitting that we get Rachel to give us her very own guide to life — including her one life even she’d go back in time to change. And really, who couldn’t benefit from a little insider intel on how to be, well, more like Rachel McAdams.
On starting a new job:
“You always feel like you’re starting over. I always feel like I have no idea what I’m doing on the first day. You have to remind yourself that you’re there, you were chosen for a reason, and take comfort in that.”
On starting a new project:
“I’m one of those people who starts a project and never finishes them. I have, like, 12 going at once. Rule number one: Don’t do that. Finish one before you start another. That’s the most important thing when moving forward.”
On getting over rejection:
“I had a teacher in school who told me, after an audition, that I could beat myself up for the duration of the bus ride home and then I had to let it go. I’ve tried to keep that with me my whole life. I give myself a certain amount of time to run it over in my mind, beat myself up a little bit, and think of all the ways I could have done it before letting it go — in theory.”
On not psyching yourself out:
“I try to get out of my head. I go for a hike or something physical; I’ll spend time with someone who makes me feel good. I try not to sit and think about something too much because what are you going to solve sitting around and thinking?”
On entering your thirties:
“It’s been interesting. I like it. I like the wisdom that comes with age. I like knowing myself better than I’ve ever known myself. It helps you get to the heart of something a lot faster. I’m still figuring it out. I’d like to go back to my college self, the one who kept worrying about a jobless future, and tell her that it will all be okay.”
On getting over heartache:
“Stay busy. I think it’s good to get out and be with people. You have to remind yourself that there’s a whole other world happening out around you. Breakups suck; there’s no way around that. But, any way you can take the focus off yourself, do it.”
On having fun with your hair as you mature:
“I think hair is a metaphor for your life. You can get all precious about it, but there’s nothing more liberating than cutting your hair or dying it. Sometimes you’ll hate it and think the world is over, but in time you don’t even think about it anymore. I always find that when you’re getting into a rut, changing your hair is the easiest way to help you out of it. You realize that things aren’t that big of a deal, even your appearance.”
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