Everybody likes Rachel McAdams; the starlet, who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in more serious roles, is a dependable presence in Hollywood.
Marking her appearance in Terence Malick’s latest To the Wonder (out now) here is a rundown of the ten defining performances of McAdams’ still-growing career.
- To the Wonder (2013)
McAdams’ role in Terence Malick’s romantic drama more than solidifies her status as the acting superstar she is known for being.
Although her performance is brief, her screen presence resonates, with the actress stating she worked closely with the director, touring the character’s local town in Oklahoma to research for the role. Her character, horse ranch worker Jane, is said to be based on Malick’s current wife.
- Mean Girls (2004)
Rachel McAdams’ career-making performance came in 2004’s Mean Girls, the popular teenage high-school film of the noughties.
Her role as Regina George, leader of clique The Plastics, was the film’s best, her character one of the most memorable on-screen bitches in recent memory.
Scriptwriter Tina Fey (30 Rock) commented that McAdams was cast as Regina because being so 'kind and polite' made her perfect to play 'such an evil-spirited character'.
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- The Notebook (2004)
Another film from 2004 that gained stratospheric popularity upon its DVD release, The Notebook was the weepie of the noughties.
Starring alongside Ryan Gosling, McAdams played Allie Hamilton, one half of a couple who fall in love in the 40s - a story narrated in the present by an elderly man to a fellow nursing home resident.
With only a tiny amount of film roles under her belt, McAdams beat a whole heap of actresses to the part, with her role extended upon her casting.
- Wedding Crashers (2005)
Returning to comedy films, Rachel McAdams plays it straight alongside Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan in Wedding Crashers, a hilarious yarn about two men who crash weddings to meet women.
Here she plays Claire Cleary, the object of Wilson’s affections, and daughter of Christopher Walken’s politician, and showcases the charm which helped win her the acclaim of being branded ‘the next Julia Roberts.’
- Red Eye (2005)
Turning her attention to the thriller genre, McAdams starred in Wes Craven’s Red Eye, an enjoyably gripping ride in which her character Lisa Reisart is embroiled in an assassination plot by Cillian Murphy’s chilling terrorist whilst onboard a flight to Miami.
A film that could easily have lacked atmosphere without the acting talent to back it up, critics praised the actresses work, complementing her chemistry with fellow actor Murphy, and perhaps solidifying her nomination in the first ever Rising Star category at the BAFTAs
- State of Play (2009)
Following a 2-year break from the spotlight, Rachel McAdams’ return to screens was welcomed by all heralding her appearance in the political thriller State of Play, alongside an impressive cast ranging from Russell Crowe to Helen Mirren and (her To the Wonder co-star) Ben Affleck.
Critics praised her performance as junior political reporter Della Frye, marking 2009 as the start of a huge year for the actress.
- Sherlock Holmes (2009)/Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
With only one franchise on Rachel McAdam’s filmography, Sherlock Holmes is a great one to be a part of, playing female lead Irene Adler in Guy Ritchie’s film, love interest to Robert Downey Jr.’s incarnation of the London detective.
Third wheel to the escapades of Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson (Jude Law,) McAdams provides bravura in a role that would have been forgettable in the hands of many other actresses - returning for a cameo role in 2011 sequel A Game of Shadows.
- Morning Glory (2010)
Playing a television producer attempting to improve ratings of a morning television show, Morning Glory was touted as a starring vehicle for McAdams, in a cast comprised of Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford (no mean feat.)
The film unfortunately failed to find an audience at the box office, but critics noted how McAdams is equally as impressive in comedic roles as she is serious - being likened to fellow actress Amy Adams.
- Midnight in Paris (2011)
Reuniting with Wedding Crashers co-star Owen Wilson, her role as Inez in Oscar-nominated Midnight in Paris was impressively written specifically for her by directing legend Woody Allen (she has Diane Keaton to thank for that.)
Allen has stated that he wanted to give her the opportunity to play something other than 'beautiful girls,' with Inez being overwhelmingly pretentious and oppressive; leaving it for McAdams to prove she can play against type.
- About Time (2013)
Following her appearance in To the Wonder, McAdams is to be seen in three other films this year, the most intriguing of which is a starring role in Richard Curtis’ comedy drama (peppered with sci-fi) About Time.
With a cast comprised of Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy, McAdams is on lead actress duty, and will no doubt wow the world upon the film’s release in March.
To The Wonder is out now.