Early on in Rachel McAdams' career, she was a mainstay of rom coms and teen comedies, from Mean Girls to The Hot Chick. Of course she's best known for playing the protagonist in one of the most popular romance movies of the 21st century thus far, The Notebook. Since then, she has played a variety of roles that range from knee-slapping comedies (Wedding Crashers and Game Night) to intense dramas (Disobedience and Spotlight). But she hasn't been acting very much in the last few years, which has been an intentional decision on her part. In a recent interview with Bustle, Rachel got candid about where she's been lately, what her family life looks like, and how she turned down some of the biggest movie roles to instead take a break from acting.
Rachel McAdams Reveals the Huge Movie Roles She Turned Down and What Her Quiet Family Life Looks Like in the South
Rachel had a public relationship with Ryan Gosling after they filmed The Notebook together, but the couple called it quits in 2007. She has since settled down with screenwriter and filmmaker Jamie Linden; their romance was private from the start, but they were first spotted together in 2016 in Paris. They're not married, but they share two children together. Rachel has never even revealed the names of their children because she chooses to keep their life as private as possible even though she is in the spotlight. So it's no wonder that the couple chose to live far from Hollywood. Rachel and Jamie live somewhere in the South (Jamie is originally from Florida) with their two children and two dogs. She says her favorite thing to do is take a bike ride with the kids around town.
"All my bikes have baby seats," she said. If her life seems to be normal, that's because it's by design. Rachel has intentionally turned down movie roles and work opportunities in order to maintain some normalcy in her life.
“I guess I always had a sense that it would be okay; either it’s going to work out or it’s not,” Rachel said. She said taking a step back from acting temporarily helped her "feel empowered," like she was "taking back some control." This allowed her to "come in from a different doorway" throughout the rest of her career.
In fact, you might be surprised to learn the list of hit movies that Rachel turned down: The Devil Wears Prada, Mission: Impossible III, Iron Man, and Casino Royale. During those years, she said she spent time with her family in Toronto, just enjoying the peace and quiet.
“There’s certainly things like ‘I wish I’d done that,’” she admitted. But when she looks at the people who were cast for those roles, she thinks to herself, "That was the right person for that."
Some people may think Rachel is crazy to turn down these opportunities, but she has always been true to herself. In 2006, the famous Vanity Fair cover that featured Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley, which was shot by the iconic Annie Leibovitz, was supposed to also feature Rachel. When she arrived to set that day, she discovered that both Scarlett and Keira had agreed to pose nude. It wasn't something she was comfortable with, and she eventually left the set. This makes it easier to understand how Rachel turned down these big movie roles.
“I felt guilty for not capitalizing on the opportunity that I was being given, because I knew I was in such a lucky spot. But I also knew it wasn't quite jiving with my personality and what I needed to stay sane," she said. “There were definitely some anxious moments of wondering if I was just throwing it all away, and why was I doing that? It’s taken years to understand what I intuitively was doing.”
The interviewer shared details about how the waiter asked Rachel for a photo after telling her that The Notebook was her favorite movie of all time. Rachel gladly agreed. She said that the fame she developed early on in her career wasn't easy to handle. "It did feel a little overnight," she said. But she has done her best to take everything in stride and focus on what's most important to her: her family, her mental stability, and gratitude for all the success she has had.