The New Paper: Her Time To Shine

The New Paper
Published: September 26, 2013

Rachel McAdams is an acclaimed actress in her own right.

But on hearing critics remark that she’s the new Julia Roberts, the Canadian actress dismissed the notion.

Well, it’s a very flattering comparison. She’s one of the biggest movie stars in the whole world, which I am certainly not!

She’s had a really lovely career so I’d be really fortunate if I could get anywhere close to that,” said the radiant Valentino couture-clad 34-year-old during a junket to promote her latest movie, About Time, in Knightsbridge last month.

The romantic comedy, written and directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings And A Funeral), is about love, family and time travel.

While it might seem like a bizarre combination on paper, it is a trademark “Curtisian” film.

Opening in Singapore on Oct 10, it stars Domhnall Gleeson as Tim, a man who uses his ability to travel through time in search of his true love.

McAdams professes to be a fan of Curtis’ movies.

I think he’s the best at making those movies, those sort of life-affirming yet somehow a little bittersweet movies that make you laugh and cry,” she said.

To be in a Richard Curtis movie is a real pleasure and it feels like a milestone of sorts growing up, having loved, loved, loved his films and his voice.

The characters that he builds stay with you for a lifetime, so yeah, it was a real honour to be asked.”

The 56-year-old British screenwriter-director reciprocated the admiration in a separate interview.

Speaking of his decision to cast McAdams, he found her to be a revelation and heaped praise on his latest leading lady.

I didn’t know how good she was before I cast her; there are actresses who, every time you see them, you think ‘Wow, she’s extraordinary’.

I did think Rachel should have won an Oscar for The Notebook actually. Often people give their most extraordinary performances really young, like Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting. I think she was blinding in that movie and I’ve always thought she’s wonderful.

But this movie required a kind of maturity and wisdom as well as a sort of youth and lightness of spirit… and that was the particular thing I knew Rachel would be able to do, that she wouldn’t just be a sort of quirky, unusual young person. She’s a really brilliant actress; it was real joy.”

With hit roles in Mean Girls and The Notebook, both in 2004, McAdams quickly became part of the Hollywood A-list.

On top of the romantic fare she’s mostly known for (The Vow, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Midnight In Paris), McAdams has also taken on more mainstream genre pictures like Sherlock Holmes, State Of Play and Red Eye and recently completed shooting Anton Corbijn’s spy thriller, A Most Wanted Man.

She agreed that audiences crave for the sort of perfect romances seen in her movies.

I mean that’s part of it but I always feel this renewed lust for life when I come out of a (rom-com) film like About Time.

Sometimes I’m just looking to be entertained, but sometimes there are nice reminders in films and you come out feeling like you’re off the ground. (Movies) can be so powerful and transformative that way, and I think Richard does that.”

When asked which genre she felt was most difficult, McAdams – who used to date actors Ryan Gosling, Josh Lucas and Michael Sheen – pondered for a moment before replying: “Hmm… I think comedy requires a certain kind of timing, but I find that easier than straight-on drama.

I suppose it’s easier to laugh convincingly than to cry. But I find it all endlessly challenging so it’s nice to get to jump back and forth between the two (genres).”

McAdams will soon be seen in Brian De Palma’s Passion, opposite Noomi Rapace of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy fame.

Opening on Oct 31, the erotic psychological thriller, which features girl-on-girl action between the two leads, premiered on the festival circuit last year.

When asked if it was her most daring role to date, McAdams again took time to ponder before replying.

She said: “I don’t know. I guess any character that feels a little bit far away from me feels daring but I was really interested because she’s quite a damaged character and unpredictable, and much more power-hungry and powerful than I see myself, so it was a great exploration and felt like something new for me to try.”

Even though she’s ascending the Hollywood ranks, the pretty star eschews living in Los Angeles and chooses to reside in her native Toronto.

It’s just home, it’s just where my family is, so it just makes sense for me,” she said.

Living there has its perks, it seems, as McAdams is seldom mentioned in gossip tabloids despite her fame.

Joking that she had some sort of arrangement, she said: “Oh yes, I’ve just been paying them off. Or I just try to be as boring as possible.

I mean, I live in Canada, so I think it’s a little bit different there. The paparazzi will starve to death if they tried to make a living in Canada.”

© 2013 The New Paper | Written by Melvin Ryan Tan | No copyright infringment intended.

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