07 November 2013 1296 Views

Rachel McAdams Talks “About Time,” Holiday Movies, “The Notebook”, And Cameron Crowe’s New Project

by Michael Lee

Rachel McAdams About Time Interview Image Header

Rachel McAdams is no stranger to time travel. The actress has starred into two time travel films already, the first two being The Time Traveler’s Wife and Midnight In Paris. Now in her third time travel film, About Time. In the film, McAdams plays Mary, Tim Lake’s (Domhnall Gleeson) love interest. While he cannot change history, he can twist the events in his life to make it better. But About time is so much more than a romantic comedy with a sci-fi twist, there is an underlying message that everyone can relate to.

We had a chance to talk to the actress at the press event, where she talked about what it was like to have a role in her third romantic time travel movie, if she is experiencing time travel envy, some of her favorite holiday films, working with Richard Curtis on his last film, being the only American in a primarily English cast, working on the latest Cameron Crowe film, and which gender admits they love The Notebook. Hit the jump to read the entire interview.

This film couldn’t be any different from The Time Traveler’s Wife, but was there an initial pitch meeting where you said, “No, I’ve done the time travel thing before”?

Rachel McAdams: I actually didn’t really think about it because I just read the script and loved it. I loved the sentiment behind it. And because I’ve actually never played a time traveler, for all the time traveling I’ve done, I took myself out of the equation again. I’ll have to make amends on the next time traveling film I do. But, I just fell in love with the story and where these characters wound up. I was swept away on Richard’s journey. It really wasn’t until I was doing press when people said, “You know, this is your third time travel film.” I wasn’t counting Midnight in Paris. I hadn’t thought about that.

It seems that the men in your life like to jump in time. Do you have any time travel envy?

McAdams: Yeah, I would love to be a time traveler, next time. It’s a fun construct, isn’t it? It’s an enticing thing to indulge and fantasize about. It’s like winning the lottery and thinking about what you would go back and do again. And I love the sentiment that maybe we should just embrace what happens. There’s that whole idea that your mistakes make you stronger and better, and it’s the messiness of life that ultimately leads you to the most interesting things. Everyone asks, “What would you do over?,” and I don’t know because then I wouldn’t have a story to tell. If you did everything over and made it perfect, what would you talk about?

Is there something you’d like to relive?

McAdams: I guess time with family and my grandparents. My mother’s parents died when I was quite young, so I would like to be able to go back and know those people, as an adult.

About Time Rachel McAdams Movie Still

What was it like being the American surrounded by all of these British actors?

McAdams: Great! I’m glad it was pointed out in the film that I was American, so people didn’t think I just had a bad British accent, but it was great. They’re so funny, and the timing is impeccable. There are so many actors in this film, in particular, who have such a wealth of theater in their background, so the level of professionalism was incredible. Being able to work together, as an ensemble, is really seamless, and it happens really quickly. There’s no messing about with that, and yet they have such a great sense of humor about everything. I always forgot Domhnall wasn’t English because he would stay in his English accent, all day. Even when he came in for make-up, he was in his English accent. It wasn’t until we got our make-up taken off, at the end of the day, that he would suddenly go back into being Irish. I was like, “Why are you talking like that? Are you doing a bit right now?” He was like, “This is how I talk.” It was impeccable. He was really good at it. It was an inspiring group to be around.

So, are you working on the Cameron Crowe movie now?

McAdams: We’re in the throes of it now, yeah.

Like Richard Curtis, Cameron Crowe makes great use of using music in a film, is there a particular playlist you listen to or do they play music while on set?

McAdams: Yeah. Music can be such a great tool. Richard uses it in such a beautiful way. He was very communicative about what he wanted, musically, and how that could inform the scenes. I’m always so grateful to have that, when directors share that with you, because it just takes away so much of the mystery. I find that really helpful. Richard would play music. When you’re playing music through the streets of London at 2 o’clock in the morning, there’s something so cool and magical about that. It takes you to a special place, very quickly. And Cameron is the same way. He’ll play songs in the middle of a take, and then you stop and wait and let it wash over you. It’s really fun.

Were you aware that this is supposedly Richard Curtis’ last film, as a director?

about-time-movie-posterMcAdams: Yeah, I was. I had heard that nasty rumor, and it’s one of the reasons I did the film. I’m such a fan of his, and I thought, “Well, this might be my only chance.” So, I reached out to him for that reason, too. I hope it’s not. It’s tough because he’s taking time away from film to save the world. He’s so altruistic and raises so much money to fight poverty. It’s hard to ask him to take time away from that. It feels selfish. So, I can’t fault him for why he’s making the switch. He’s an incredible person. He’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and he brings that to the film. I felt like we were living the film we were making.

How was the experience making this film different from any other?

McAdams: It really was. It really did feel like we were enjoying the process so much because that’s what the movie was about. That idea was always present. And Richard just sets the tone for that, too. He mines out the greatest moments in life, and he calls special attention to them. He undercuts them with humor, but he really takes measure of the good stuff. I think that’s such a talent, and a really admirable way to live. His family is a big part of the filmmaking process. His partner, Emma, who is a collaborator of his, would bring baked goods, every day, and lottery tickets on Friday. We were just totally spoiled, and it was a really lovely experience.

What was it like being the American surrounded by all of these British actors?

McAdams: Great! I’m glad it was pointed out in the film that I was American, so people didn’t think I just had a bad British accent, but it was great. They’re so funny, and the timing is impeccable. There are so many actors in this film, in particular, who have such a wealth of theater in their background, so the level of professionalism was incredible. Being able to work together, as an ensemble, is really seamless, and it happens really quickly. There’s no messing about with that, and yet they have such a great sense of humor about everything. I always forgot Domhnall wasn’t English because he would stay in his English accent, all day. Even when he came in for make-up, he was in his English accent. It wasn’t until we got our make-up taken off, at the end of the day, that he would suddenly go back into being Irish. I was like, “Why are you talking like that? Are you doing a bit right now?” He was like, “This is how I talk.” It was impeccable. He was really good at it. It was an inspiring group to be around.

Do you have a favorite holiday movie?

McAdams: I love Love Actually. That’s probably one of my favorite Richard Curtis films. I also love this little movie called One Magic Christmas with Harry Dean Stanton, who played Gideon, the angel who lived in the tree, and Mary Steenburgen’s character hates Christmas. It’s actually really emotional. It really goes there. It gets a little bit dark. Harry Dean Stanton is like the voice of Christmas past. I don’t know. I’ve always loved it. My mom and my sister and I watch it, every year. It’s a good one.

You’ve done a lot of romantic films. Is there something in particular that attracts you to that genre

McAdams: I love stories with love in them. I just prefer those films. Every so often, I come across a film where there’s no love story. It doesn’t have to be romantic, but there’s a lack of love, and I don’t get that. I’m like, “Something’s missing.” It’s just personal taste, I guess. It doesn’t always have to be a sweeping romance. I just feel like love and passion are synonymous with each other, whether it’s for a person or a thing, and I just want to see movies that are infused with passion.

What’s your relationship to The Notebook, at this point? Would you like to move on from it, or will it always hold a special place in your heart?

McAdams: Oh, I think it will always hold a special place in my heart, yeah. I’m very grateful for that film, and I feel very lucky to have been a part of it. Anything that seems to reach people is a real privilege to be a part of. And the amount of men that come up and confess that they secretly like the movie just delights me, to no end. I never get enough of that. Or the women who rat out their husbands.



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