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Morning Glory – Rachel McAdams interview

Rachel McAdams in Morning Glory

Interview by Rob Carnevale

RACHEL McAdams talks about playing the producer of a failing morning news and entertainment programme in Morning Glory, appearing on the real-life Daybreak during a visit to the UK and why she enjoys using a lot of physicality in her performances.

Q. When I watched the film I was struck by how much your performance reminded me of a young Katherine Hepburn. Did you approach it that way, to try and keep that tone and that successful feeling?
Rachel McAdams: Oh, well thank you that’s very flattering. I don’t know what I was thinking [laughs]. I really loved the way Aline [Brosh McKenna] wrote this character. I thought she was really hopeful and energetic and there was lots of room for physicality, which is something that I love to do. Roger encouraged that a lot. Yeah, I don’t know that I had anyone in particular in mind. I certainly met a lot of producers… not many women in this world because it is a really taxing job and difficult to have balance in your personal life. But I liked her energy and her gusto.

Q. Can you comment a little more on what it’s like to make a film about one of the programmes you’ve undoubtedly appeared on to promote the film?
Rachel McAdams: It was very interesting to be on the other side of the fence. I watched a lot of morning television growing up as a kid because I skipped school all the time. I didn’t play hooky to go out and smoke pot or do normal things. I wanted to watch daytime television. So, I’ve had a fair amount of experience with what you see in front of you but not so much behind the scenes.

So, it was very fun to go on these shows and see the anchors with their fluffy slippers on underneath the chair, with all their cutriments right beside them, just off camera. And then from the point of the view of the control room – I mean, it’s completely crazy, very dramatic, fast paced, technical yelling. I had a hard time following it when we first got there. It’s so fast and a story is over before you’ve even acknowledged it. So, I have a lot of respect for what happens back there and how much energy and vitality you have to have to make it through the 3am and 10am shift and then do it all over again the next day.

Q. You mentioned that you were a fan of morning television as a girl, so can you tell us your favourite news programme or favourite news caster at the moment?
Rachel McAdams: Nowadays, I really like to listen to the radio. I found it a really nice way to start the morning, so I’m not that up on television anymore. I think I wore it out when I was younger. I overdosed on it. But I really like CBC. I still live in Canada, so I listen to CBC radio every morning – Jian Ghomeshi and Matt Galloway. So, that’s my short answer.

Q. Can you talk about what your Daybreak experience was on ITV? Apparently you were involved in an omelette cooking competition with co-star Patrick Wilson?
Rachel McAdams: [Laughs] Patrick won the omelette competition that I wasn’t aware we were having and then proceeded to eat his omelette. He made a really nice fluffy omelette and I made an anchovy and Mars bar omelette, which I think will catch on.

Q. How did you feel about working with such a comedy legend as Diane Keaton?
Rachel McAdams: Well, I’ve been quite fortunate because this is the second time I’ve gotten to work with Diane. It was a very strange shift because I played her daughter in a movie a few years ago [The Family Stone] and then to play her boss, who she doesn’t like… I went from being her baby in that movie, where she was so lovely and we were on the same team against Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, and then suddenly she’s like throwing jokes in my face and making fun of me and calling me ‘gidget’. I was like: “This isn’t fair?!” But it was great to get those two very different experiences with her because she can do so much. I love being around her as an actress and as a person. She’s one of those people who comes to work in 9-inch high heels and is just a fabulous person, even at 6am.

Q. You use a special body language in this movie. Did you do any special preparation?
Rachel McAdams: For my special body language [laughs]? No, that’s my secret. I’m not quite sure which parts you mean! But she was a very physical character and I did love that about her. She kind of tosses herself into everything with full force. But I’d learned that executive producers can be that way – they’re sort of just running around in high heels. I’ve seen that happen, so it seemed appropriate.

Read our review of Morning Glory

Read our interview with Harrison Ford

Morning Glory is out on Blu-ray and DVD on May 23 from Paramount Home Entertainment.