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Rachel McAdams Talks About 'State of Play'


Rachel McAdams State of Play

Rachel McAdams in 'State of Play.'

© Universal Pictures
Rachel McAdams is used to fielding questions from reporters but in State of Play, directed by Kevin Macdonald and starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, it’s McAdams who’s doing the questioning. McAdams plays a cub reporter who teams up with a seasoned veteran reporter (Crowe) to work on a story involving cover-ups and murder.

At the LA press day for the Universal Pictures thriller set in the worlds of politics and journalism, McAdams said turning the tables and being the one who gets to ask the probing questions was pretty fun, actually. “I was shadowing journalists a little bit. We were introduced to some people at the Washington Post and it was funny because they were tricky. They would turn the questions around and I would have to keep saying, 'No, this isn’t about me. This is about you.' So it was funny. That’s their job and they’re doing it 24-7."

McAdams said they were allowed to explore the Washington Post offices. " We kind of went all over. They took us all over and I met people who worked online. I met young people and the people who have been doing it forever. There is a difference, there’s a real shift. It’s interesting."

The cast also spent time with the movers and shakers in the world of politics. "We spent some time on Capital Hill," said McAdams, "And there was this guy there that’s been in that world for probably his whole life and he kind of took us around and took me around and introduced me to some of the politicians. He took me to some press conferences, and I sat with some Congressmen, and I got that side of things as well. It was so valuable, actually shooting in Washington itself at a time where there was all this election fever, and it was a great education."

Russell Crowe's character is much more hard-nosed than McAdams'. Crowe plays a journalist who's been around the block a few times, who prefers hitting the streets and getting his hands dirty to doing his research on the computer. Needless to say, the young journalist who understands and embraces blogging butts heads with the grizzled veteran. Their characters don't always see eye to eye, and McAdams enjoyed the experience of standing up to Crowe. "We got along really well. We really hit it off, so it kind of developed naturally. We had a bit of a disagreement our first meeting, which was true to our characters, so it was kind of perfect. We both had opposing viewpoints and were very stubborn and wouldn’t relent. So we fell into it quite naturally and we became friends. I really enjoyed working with him, so it kind of just happened that way."

Asked to elaborate on their disagreement, McAdams said she couldn't remember the exact details. "I think it was about giving the photographs to the police or something. I can’t remember who said what, but we were having an argument about something we were going to have an argument about."

McAdams is in good company - you might even say great company - in State of Play. Not only is she working opposite Crowe and Affleck, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright-Penn are also integral players in State of Play. "I was definitely the least experienced of everyone in that film, so I definitely felt like a bit of a fly on the wall sometimes. And the scenes with Helen [Mirren] and Russell were great to watch them go at each other. And I just kind of sat there and just took it all in. They were really inspiring to watch the way they work."

"...I was a little nervous to begin with," admitted McAdams. "My first meeting was with both Russell and Helen at the same time. I admit I was a little shaky, a little nervous and my hands were even shaking when I shook Russell’s hand. But it was great, they were all really supportive and I was really excited to be there."

On Her Other 2009 Films

McAdams picked up the 2009 ShoWest award for the Female Star of the Year, and with the jam-packed year she's having it's an award she definitely deserves. In addition to State of Play, McAdams will be seen in The Time Traveler's Wife and Sherlock Holmes. The Time Traveler's Wife film has traveled a rocky road on its way to a theatrical release, but it appears New Line will finally send the film into theaters on August 14th. McAdams revealed the film's delay had a lot to do with Eric Bana's hair. "We wound up doing a reshoot and Eric was the hold up. He had to shave his head for a different role. For Star Trek,’ I think. And so we were waiting on his hair."

"It wasn’t really reshot," said McAdams. "We did an additional scene in the meadow so we were also waiting on the meadow to look the way it did, so we were waiting on the seasons. [Laughing] Basically we were waiting on nature and Eric’s hair."

McAdams hasn't had a chance to see the final cut of Time Traveler's Wife yet and she's just as anxious to see how it turned out as the fans of the book undoubtedly are. "I saw a cut quite a long time ago, a very, very rough cut. So I haven’t seen it in a while. From what I remember then, it’s quite focused on the relationship. There is time travel in it, obviously, and it’s kind of cool in the way that they deal with it. And his shoes kind of clicked down the stairs and some cool shots with that. But really Robert Schwentke, the director, he really explored the relationship and how you carry on with the love of your life when you have this imposition, to say the least."

Continued on Page 2

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