Rachel McAdams is a Canadian actress popularly known for her roles in the movie The Notebook
(2004) and in the Academy Award Winning movie Spotlight
(2016). She was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Spotlight. Beginning her career with Canadian TV, McAdams shot to fame with the movie Mean Girls
(2004) and has also appeared in the second season of the acclaimed TV series True Detective, which also stars Colin Farrell
Rachel McAdams was born to Lance Frederic McAdams, a retired truck driver, and Sandra Kay, a nurse, in London, Ontario. She has two younger siblings - sister, Kayleen, who is a celebrity manager, and brother, Daniel. As a child, McAdams developed keen interest in figure skating and even competed in several regional competitions, winning a few awards. However, by the time she turned 18, skating merely turned out to be a hobby for her.
She was first enrolled at the Myrtle Street Pubic School and later completed her schooling from the Central Elgin Collegiate Institute. Although she was an active student, McAdams had an aversion toward academic work and would often make excuses to not attend school. Apart from indulging in sports activities such as Badminton, Soccer, and Volleyball, she also served in the student council, and was a member of the Peer Helping Team.
McAdams developed interest in performing arts when she was seven. Although her parents never discouraged her interest, they also never considered it as a future profession for her. When she was 12, she started participating in the Original Kids Theatre Company and later went on to direct several children`s theatre productions. McAdams was also highly inspired by her English and Drama teachers in her 11th and 12th grades. The actress initially aspired to pursue Cultural Studies from the University of Western Ontario. However, upon her drama teacher`s advice, she decided to take up professional acting and enrolled at the York University`s four-year theater program.
While she was still studying at the university, McAdams also worked with the Necessary Angle Theatre Company and in 2001, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
From 2005 to 2007, Rachel McAdams dated the Canadian actor Ryan Gosling
. Although the couple separated in 2007, they united for a brief period in 2008. A couple of years later the actress dated the Welsh actor Michael Sheen
. The couple were together for a period of two and a half years before separating in early 2013. She next dated the Canadian music manager Patrick Sambrook from 2013 to 2014. Since 2016, McAdams is dating the American director and screenwriter Jamie Linden.
McAdams made her television debut with the show Shotgun Love Dolls (2001) in the same year that she graduated. After a successful Hollywood debut in 2002, McAdams starred in the comedy mini-series Slings and Arrows. She also received two Gemini Award nominations for her performance on the show. However, McAdams is best known for essaying the character of Ani Bezzerides on the second season of the successful anthology TV series, True Detectives. The second season also stars Colin Farell
and Vince Vaughn
in the lead roles.
McAdams made her silver-screen acting debut with the Canadian movie My Name is Tanino in 2001. In the following year, she made her Hollywood debut with the comedy movie The Hot Chick which also stars Anna Faris
and Rob Schneider
. According to McAdams, her role as Jessica Spencer is a huge milestone in her career. The Los Angeles Times also applauded her performance quoting: "emerges as a young actress of much promise". Although she was praised for her work in Hot Chicks, McAdams` breakthrough role came with successful movie The Notebook
(2005) directed by Nick Cassavetes. The movie, which also starred her fellow Canadian actor Ryan Gosling
, went on to become one of the most successful romantic movies of Hollywood. The New York Times praised her performance terming it to be `spontaneous and combustible`.
Her next successful stint was the 2005 movie Wedding Crashers
, alongside Bradly Cooper
and Owen Wilson
. McAdams portrayed the role of an accomplished sailor and to do so, she even earned a sailing certificate. In the same year the actress appeared in a role which was quite different than any of her previous roles. She essayed the character of a disheveled and sardonic woman in the family comedy-drama The Family Stone. Alike her previous roles, she received appreciation for her performance with Manohla Dargis of the New York Times stating that her "engaging screen presence holds your attention and sympathy despite the handicap presented by her character`s personality.
With commercial and critical appreciation, McAdams was then touted to be the next Julia Roberts
of Hollywood. Her charming screen presence and acting abilities opened several big opportunities, however, Rachel accepted none of them. It was in 2007 that she starred in the movie Married Life
alongside Pierce Brosnan
. However, unlike her previous movies, Married Life failed to impress the audience at the box office.
In 2009, she appeared in two successful movies - State of Play
, a political thriller directed by Kevin Macdonald
, and Sherlock Holmes
, directed by Guy Ritchie. She essayed the character of Irene Adler, Holme`s love interest in Sherlock Holmes. The movie was a huge hit worldwide however, Todd McCarthy of the Variety stated that her character was "not very well integrated into the rest of the story, a shortcoming the normally resourceful McAdams is unable to do much about". For her next movie, Morning Glory
(2010), starring Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford
, the actress received mixed reviews from the critics. McAdams essayed a comic character in the movie and was convinced about the role initially. She later revealed that she was unsuited for the role saying: `m not funny. So I said, `if you need me to be funny, you might want to look somewhere else`.
In 2011, the actress was cast in Woody Allen
`s Midnight in Paris
. Allen later admitted that he had written the character especially for McAdams and wanted her to play something other than `beautiful girls`. While the movie went on to become Woody Allen`s highest-grossing movies in North America at the time of its release, McAdams yet again received mixed reviews for her performance. In the same year, she also reprised the role of Irene Adler in the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
. However, the movie saw her playing a less substantial role and the lead was played by Noomi Rapace.
Having a penchant for taking up roles in romantic dramas, the talented actress appeared in the romantic drama, The Vow
(2012) alongside Channing Tatum
. The movie, based on a true story, sees McAdams essay the character of a wife who has no recollection of her husband and their marriage after a car accident. Although the movie turned out to be McAdams` biggest box-office hit in a lead role at the time of its release, she received contrasting reviews for her performance. In the next couple of years she was seen in movies such as Passion
(2012), To The Wonder
(2013), About Time
(2013), and A Most Wanted Man
In 2015, McAdams delivered a powerful performance as journalist Sacha Pfeiffer in the movie Spotlight
, based on the child-abuse scandal in Boston`s Catholic Church. The movie received several Academy Award nominations with McAdams being nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Award. In the same year, she also starred in the movie Southpaw
, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal
. The actress` 2016 release includes Doctor Strange
based on Marvel Comics` character of the same name.