Hello! Magazine UK: Half Hour With … Rachel McAdams

Hello! Magazine UK
Published: February, 2016

The actress is in the Spotlight again, in a true-life tale of scandal and cover-ups. But the Notebook star tells that she’ll always be in love with romance…

She enjoyed huge success with films including cult comedy Mean Girls and ultimate weepy The Notebook and now Rachel McAdams is celebrating her first Oscar nomination as she returns to the big screen with a grittier role.

In Spotlight, Rachel, 37, plays investigative journalist Sacha Pfeiffer in the true-life drama about the Boston Globe reporters who exposed a child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The Best Supporting Actress nominee has already had a taste of success after the film won Best Picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards in California.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” she says of the win, having attended last week’s ceremony with Sacha as her guest.

Rachel, who has been linked with actors Ryan Gosling and Michael Sheen, recently shot down rumours that she was dating her True Detective co-star and friend Taylor Kitsch, but that’s not to say the Canadian star is not interested in a long-term partner. “Just watching my parents, they’ve been together so long and they’re still so very much in love,” she says. “I’m in awe of that.”

Rachel, why do you feel Spotlight is such an important story?
It’s easy to forget these events and it’s important we never do. Investigative reporting is really a dying art. These stories take years to bring together. They’re not glamorous, they’re just hard work.

Tell us about Sacha Pfeiffer…
She did a lot of the cold calling, literally walking up to people’s doors including, amazingly, quite a few priests. She was very aware that she was stirring up a lot of stuff people had tried to put behind them.

What is Sacha like?
She’s just an incredibly awesome person. She works so hard and really cares about telling the story right, no matter what it takes. I feel very privileged to play her. I spent a lot of time with Sacha and her husband. They walked me around Boston, we had dinners together, they were on set and very much part of the project. I am so indebted to them. But all the reporters were incredibly generous and available.

What surprised you about the story?
Just how honourable Sacha was in terms of dealing with survivors of abuse. She’s very compassionate and an amazing listener. I respect her so much for the way she didn’t walk out of their lives once she had the story. She’s still friends with many of the victims and has formed really strong relationships. She did it all with such integrity and grace.

What inspired you to start acting?
Shakespeare when I was 12. It was something I was intimidated by but I had this amazing director who made it really accessible and that was it. I was hooked.

Have your recent roles been a deliberate choice to show a tougher side?
I don’t think so. I think I’ve always had a tough side, but I want to play both sides of the spectrum. It’s not that I’ve suddenly gone for a particular kind of tough role instead of something romantic.

Are you a romantic?
I love romance; I think it’s really fun and delicious. Some of my favourite films are love stories. I think you just get a chance to fall so in love with a character. You get to experience intimate moments that you’re not privy to in life. I find relationships so fascinating, but you can’t really be a fly on the wall.

What’s your idea of a perfect evening?
Lying on the couch watching a movie is awesome. That is ultimate romance to me. I don’t care what movie. It is just so romantic.

Which of your films do fans want to talk about when they meet you?
Mean Girls is one, Southpaw and probably most of all The Notebook. It’s amazing to be part of something that still reaches people. I had no idea it would be so lasting when we were making it; I was too busy thinking I was going to be fired. I’m glad it worked out.

Do you enjoy watching your own movies?
I feel weird about watching myself. I can’t relax. I wish I could just watch it and be carried away, but that hour and a half never sums up the shoot and the relationships you made, the trials and tribulations. I’m always left with a sense of longing.

© 2016 Hello! Magazine UK | Written by Hilary Morgan | No copyright infringment intended.