Actor of the Week: Rachel McAdams
Actor of the Week time is upon us again, and this week’s winner is the mega-talented Rachel McAdams. McAdam’s career was pretty much an instant success when hitting the big screen, with her starring in two films in 2004 that, in their own right, are classics to the genre. The first film being Mean Girls, a film I am well aware many girls enjoy, and The Notebook, which saw McAdams star alongside Ryan Gosling, propelling both of their careers.
Even though McAdams had dabbled in acting before starring in 2004’s Mean Girls, it was in this Rom-Com/Chick Flick that McAdams gained wider attention. Mean Girls stars Lindsay Lohan, who plays Cady Heron, a newcomer to Public School. On Cady’s first day it becomes clear to her that the school is divided into many different cliques. Throughout the film you see Cady switch between cliques, with one in particular, a group of girls called The Plastics, which is where McAdams come in. McAdams plays the leader of The Plastics, Regina George. We see Regina take Cady under her wing, but when it seems like Cady may be usurping Regina in popularity terms, the leader turns against Cady very quickly. Even though this isn’t really my type of film, we have all been to school and seen how evil the popular kids can be, therefore I can appreciate how well McAdams plays this role.
As previously mentioned, 2004 also saw Rachel McAdams take on another role, which was very opposite to her turn in Mean Girls - this role being Allie in The Notebook. The Notebook really is a landmark in romantic cinema. Not only did it confirm McAdams’ career in Hollywood, it also introduced many of us to the much-loved Ryan Gosling. The Notebook is a simple story of a poor man, Noah, played by Gosling, who falls in love with a rich girl, Allie. With this film set in the 1930’s the divide between poor and rich was a lot greater back then, creating this brilliant dynamic between the two characters, as they find a way of being together, even if society does not accept them being so.
With McAdams now an established member of the acting industry, the roles came flooding in, with her starring alongside Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in the comedy Wedding Crashers, as well as the clever and romantic The Time Travellers Wife, where she plays Clare, the wife of Henry, played by Eric Banner. Henry has a very odd condition where at any given moment he can be transported to another time, be it tomorrow or 20 years ago. It’s a very strange, but equally great take on your standard love story.
The film that is a highlight to McAdams career is her portrayal of Irene Adler in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. I won’t bore you with synopsis of this film as we are all aware of the story of Sherlock Holmes. What I will say is, even though McAdam’s is acting alongside two of some of hollywood’s biggest actors in Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, McAdams really holds her own, and this is my favourite role of hers to date. The portrayal of women on screen is a hot topic in the modern world, but I think that McAdams is a real badass in this film and can really stand her ground.
More recently, we saw McAdams nominated for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for her turn in the close-to-the-bone thriller Spotlight. I use the term ‘close-to-the-bone’ as it tells us the true story of a group of journalists that uncover the molesting of children within the local Catholic Archdiocese. This was a real gamble within the film industry, but it was very well done, and McAdams was a huge part in it’s execution.
I am unable to write this Actor of the Week segment without mentioning one of Rachel’s most recent roles - Christine Palmer in Marvel’s Dr Strange. Being cast as a character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a great achievement. The current stage doesn’t get any bigger than this, and it shows us that McAdams is up there with the best.
Rachel McAdams has a brilliant streak, with pretty much every film she’s part of being a success. McAdams is a strong and confident actress, and she is, without a doubt, an inspiration to women around the world, which is something Hollywood is showing a lot of at the moment. Thanks Rachel!