Last updated: Monday, January 1, 2007
for Rachel McAdams
Date of Birth:
October 7, 1976, London, Ontario, Canada
Rachel Anne McAdams
5' 5" (1.65 m)
Early life: McAdams was born in London, Ontario and grew up in nearby St.
Thomas. Her father, Lance, is a truck driver, and her mother, Sandra, is a
nurse. She has a younger brother, Daniel, and a younger sister, Kayleen. She
took up competitive figure skating at the age of four and acting at age thirteen
at a summer theatre camp in St. Thomas, Ontario named Original Kids. When the
company extended to a year-round company (and eventually relocated to London,
Ontario), she was invited to continue with them. She attended the Myrtle Street
Public School and the publicly-funded secondary school Central Elgin Collegiate
Institute in St. Thomas from grade nine to OAC and starred in the Award-winning
student production I Live in a Little Town. Later she graduated from York
University in Toronto with Honours and a BFA degree in Theatre. During her
fourth year at York, she played a child in The Piper – a workshop led by a
creative team from Toronto's Necessary Angel Theatre Company. She also attended
Original Kids Theatre Company in London, Ontario, as well as David Rotenberg's
on-camera acting class in Toronto with fellow actors Scott Speedman, Kenneth
Mitchell, Polly Shannon and David Sutcliffe.
Rachel McAdams had the titular role in the film The Hot Chick alongside Rob
Schneider, but her career really took off when she starred as Regina George, the
"queen-bee" in 2004's Mean Girls. McAdams was told to partly model the character
of Regina George after Alec Baldwin's performance in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).
She was much older than the character she played. McAdams had previously
appeared in the Canadian television series Slings and Arrows, alongside Paul
Gross. She played a main role in the first season, but due to her rising stardom
was written out of the second season, appearing in only the first episode. She
followed Mean Girls with the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel The
Notebook, alongside Ryan Gosling, with whom she would later begin an off-screen
romance. They broke up in 2007.
In 2005, she played Owen Wilson's love interest in Wedding Crashers and then
starred in the suspense thriller Red Eye as Lisa Reisert. She played a young
woman held captive aboard a red-eye flight by criminal-for-hire and assassin
Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy). Rachel was inThe Family Stone where she
starred in an ensemble cast alongside Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah
Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Brian J. White and Claire Danes.
McAdams auditioned for the role of "Sue Storm" in Fantastic Four, and she almost
got it, but lost out to Jessica Alba.
Rachel's career slowed down in 2006. She was originally signed on as the female
lead in The Last Kiss but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, and the
role was given to Jacinda Barrett. She decided to take a year off from acting,
to spend time with friends and family. McAdams then signed on to star in the
drama Married Life across Pierce Brosnan and Patricia Clarkson. She turned down
the role of bond girl "Vesper Lynd" in the James Bond film Casino Royale.
McAdams was also in-talks to star in Iron Man and The Dark Knight, but she
declined both roles. She stated in an interview sometime in May 2006 that she
did not want to star in a big-budget action film because she wanted to pursue
Despite having appeared nude in The Notebook McAdams opted out of a cover shoot
for Vanity Fair—in which she was to appear alongside two other young Hollywood
actresses, Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley—upon finding out it was to be
nude. Tom Ford, artistic director for the cover, instead appeared with them.
When McAdams appeared on set and discovered it was nude, she politely declined,
according to Knightley.
The latest movie she starred in (as a reporter) is State of Play. Filming was
originally scheduled to start in November 2007, but after the film lost its two
leading actors, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, the movie has been delayed, started
in late January and wrapped production in April 2008.
Rachel auditioned to play Sophie in the film version of the musical Mamma Mia!
but lost out to her Mean Girls co-star Amanda Seyfried.
Awards and achievements:
McAdams received popular acclaim for both roles and was honored for her work,
most recently a record number of five nominations and three wins at the MTV
Movie Awards in 2005. McAdams beat competition including Beyoncé Knowles,
Jessica Alba, and Jessica Simpson. She won the MTV award for 'Best Kiss' along
with Ryan Gosling in The Notebook.
McAdams was nominated for a Genie Award for her role in Perfect Pie. She was
also nominated for the BAFTA's Orange Rising Star award which acknowledges the
new talents in the acting industry. The award went to James McAvoy.
She hosted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's 2006 Scientific and
Technical Awards. McAdams received a Civic Award for her contribution to culture
from the city of St. Thomas in 2006.