Birthdate: November 17, 1978
Birthplace: London, Ontario, Canada
Throughout a career that has evolved from smash comedies and teen romances to the MCU, Rachel McAdams (birthname: Rachel Anne McAdams) has remained an interesting, intelligent movie actor who has tended to do her best work in ensemble settings, such as her Oscar-nominated role in Tom McCarthy’s Best Picture-winning Spotlight (2015).
Although McAdams has appeared in fewer films than her feverish rate from 2002 to 2015 (during which she had nearly 30 major film credits), the period since has involved her entry into the MCU, as Dr. Christine Palmer in Doctor Strange (2016) and the sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) with Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen.
Rachel McAdams, who trained in classical theater in Canada before coming to Hollywood, made the transition exceptionally well, almost exactly following the pattern of Ryan Gosling—both were born in the same London, Ontario hospital and both were cast in the leads of the smash romance, The Notebook (2004), which, along with the hit comedy, Mean Girls, the same year, turned McAdams into a highly visible star.
In 2005, McAdams proved that her career movies would be unpredictable: From the airborne thriller, Red Eye (2005), to yet another smash comedy, Wedding Crashers (2005), with Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Bradley Cooper, and Christopher Walken, to Neil Burger’s wartime drama, The Lucky Ones (2007) with Tim Robbins and Michael Peña, McAdams displayed a fine range within contemporary settings and genres.
Rachel McAdams has worked with a remarkable roster of world-class directors, albeit for the most part in their minor features. These include Ira Sachs (Married Life (2007)); Roger Michell (Morning Glory (2010)); Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris (2011)); Terrence Malick (To the Wonder (2012)); Brian de Palma (Passion (2012)); Anton Corbijn (A Most Wanted Man (2014)); Wim Wenders (Every Thing Will Be Fine (2015)); Cameron Crowe (Aloha (2015)); and Antoine Fuqua (Southpaw (2015)).
However, McAdams also made a major impact as an ace Boston Globe reporter in the strong ensemble of McCarthy’s Spotlight—a powerhouse lineup including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, and Stanley Tucci—and stole scenes away from Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in the blockbuster duo of Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).
Joining her second movie franchise, Rachel McAdams co-starred with Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelsen in co-writer/director Scott Derrickson’s MCU entry, Doctor Strange (2016), and then renewed her Palmer role in the Sam Raimi-directed sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), with new cast members Elizabeth Olsen and Michael Stuhlbarg.
With Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio, McAdams co-starred with Rachel Weisz and Alessandro Nivola (winning the best supporting actor British Independent Film award) in the drama, Disobedience (2017), premiering at the Toronto Film Festival. McAdams then co-starred with Jason Bateman in the action comedy, Game Night (2018), with Jesse Plemons, Michael C. Hall, and Kyle Chandler, and released by Warner Bros.
McAdams was cast as the co-lead opposite Abby Ryder Fortson and Kathy Bates in the long-anticipated Judy Blume adaptation written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (2023), was released at the poor box office and good reviews by Lionsgate after a San Francisco Film Festival premiere.
A native of the Canadian city of London, Ontario, Rachel McAdams’ parents are Lance and Sandy McAdams. Her siblings are Daniel and Kayleen McAdams, a movie makeup artist. McAdams attended Toronto’s York University, where she studied theater and graduated with honors. Rachel McAdams was in a highly publicized relationship with her Notebook co-star Ryan Gosling in 2007. McAdams is in a relationship with Jamie Linden, with whom she has a son. Her height is 5’ 4”.
Fellow Londoners: Coincidentally, Rachel McAdams was born in the same London, Ontario hospital as her co-star in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling.
Hot: McAdams appeared twice in consecutive years on Maxim magazine’s “Hot 100 Women” list.
Passing Time: Rachel McAdams has had the curious experience of playing roles of women in four movies in which her fellow male actor gets to time-travel, but she does not: The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009), About Time (2013), Midnight in Paris, and Doctor Strange.
Who Needs a Car?: McAdams lives in Los Angeles but doesn’t own a car, and instead uses public buses or bikes.
Roots: Rachel McAdams is a member of the Scottish Clan Gregor.