MOTW: Rachel McAdams Continues to Impress Audiences with Each New Role

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
September 19th, 2013

MOTW: Rachel McAdams Continues to Impress Audiences with Each New Role

Rachel McAdams captivated audiences with her appearance in "Mean Girls;" however, that breakout role was not the first role for the Canadian actress. Born in London, Ontario, in 1978, McAdams trained as a competitive figure skater until age 18. In addition to skating, McAdams also had an interest in acting. As a result, her childhood was spent competing in regional ice skating events and attending theatrical summer camps. By the time she was 12, McAdams had performed with a local theatre company. Within just a few years, she had advanced to directing her own productions. Although she had originally planned to pursue a degree in Cultural Studies, McAdams was later encouraged by her drama instructor to pursue a professional acting career. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from York University, McAdams worked in a variety of film and television productions in Canada.

In 2001, the actress made her first onscreen appearance in the MTV pilot, "Shotgun Love Dolls." That same year, she also appeared in "My Name is Tanino" and "Perfect Pie." She was nominated for a Genie Award for her work in the latter production. By the following year, McAdams made her way to Hollywood to appear in "The Hot Chick." Her role in the film earned her critical acclaim. After returning to her native Canada, McAdams appeared in the mini-series "Slings and Arrows."

It was in 2004; however, that McAdams' career truly began to take flight. Although she was already 25 years old, McAdams was cast as a mean-spirited teenage drama queen in "Mean Girls." Once again, her performance was met with rave reviews along with a matching pair of MTV Movie Awards to solidify her success. Later that year, she starred with Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook." In order to properly portray her role as a Southern belle, McAdams chose to leave Canada and reside in Charleston, South Carolina prior to filming. In response to her performance, McAdams brought home several Teen Choice Awards as well as an MTV Movie Award.

The following year would prove to be no less hectic for the actress when she appeared in a trio of films. For her role in "Wedding Crashers," she took sailing lessons because her character in the film was accomplished at sailing. Taking a dramatic departure from the comedy genre, McAdams next appeared in "Red Eye," a thriller from Wes Craven. Her final role in 2005 was in "The Family Stone." As a supporting character, McAdams appeared with Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Claire Danes, and Luke Wilson. The chemistry of the cast made the film a success. While the film was produced for less than $20 million, it raked in more than $92 million at the box office.

Following two years of performing at an almost breakneck speed, McAdams opted to take a break for two years. Between 2006 and 2007, the actress turned down a number of notable roles, including parts for films such as "Casino Royale," "The Devil Wears Prada," and "Mission: Impossible III." Other than making one brief appearance in a Toronto stage production for charitable fundraising, McAdams remained out of the public eye until 2008. That year, she appeared in "Married Life" with Chris Cooper and Pierce Brosnan. She also appeared with Michael Pena and Tim Robbins in "The Lucky Ones" in 2008.

Feeling re-energized following her two-year break, McAdams next appeared in three film productions the following year. In "State of Play," she portrayed the role of an online reporter who investigated a potential political conspiracy. Her second film of the year was "The Time Traveler's Wife." She wrapped up 2009 with her role as Irene Adler in "Sherlock Holmes."

She has since appeared in a number of other productions, including "Morning Glory" and "The Vow." In 2013, McAdams appears in no less than three films. Her first production of the year was "To the Wonder." She also appears in "Passion" and "About Time." The actress is also scheduled to appear in a number of upcoming projects, including "A Most Wanted Man" and "Every Thing Will Be Fine."

An active environmentalist, McAdams often participates in environmental fundraising projects and supports several other charitable foundations, including Habitat for Humanity and United Way of Canada. She makes her home in Toronto, where she lives with her two younger brothers. When she is not acting, McAdams enjoys cooking and gardening. Although she has been romantically linked with several actors, including Ryan Gosling, the actress remains single.