The untold truth of Rachel McAdams

Chances are, there's a movie you've seen that stars Rachel McAdams. If not, you may have been living under a rock: She's completely taken over the silver screen since gracing us all as Regina George, the high schooler we love to hate, in 2004's Mean Girls.

After pursuing acting full time following graduation from high school herself, McAdams never actually dreamed she would make it in Hollywood. In fact, she didn't think she'd end up in the U.S. at all. "I really thought I'd be doing theater in Canada," she admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 2015. "I'd grown up doing children's theater there, and I always imagined myself being artistic director of a children's theater company."  

This Canadian can certainly act, from making us fall in love with her in The Notebook to scaring us silly in the thriller, Red Eye. However, there are plenty of other facts you probably never knew about her, too. This is the untold truth of Rachel McAdams.

Rachel McAdams was aiming to be a pro ice skater

Before she had any aspirations to act, Rachel McAdams was interested in ice skating — so much so that her coach encouraged her to go pro. "I definitely was in the sequined, bedazzled era," she told Glamour, quipping, "I probably put more effort into my skating outfits than my clothes."

Indeed, much like acting onscreen, McAdams was able to put on quite a performance on the ice. She picked up a pair of skates when she was only 4 years old and competed against other Canadians until she turned 18, per The Scotsman. However, even though she won competition after competition, she didn't feel as confident on skates as she did on her school's stage. "I was quite nervous in sports in a way that held me back ... My knees would knock together and I thought I was going to be sick," McAdams explained to the outlet in 2012, noting that "the nerves propelled [her] forward" while acting.

"I wanted some kind of outlet to express myself," McAdams added. Obviously, the sequins simply weren't cutting it.

Rachel McAdams' sister is her makeup artist

While we imagine many celebrities shed their secrets to their stylists in their morning makeup chair, Rachel McAdams has a makeup stylist that knows much more about her than anybody else she's worked with in showbiz. It's because she happens to be her sister, Kayleen McAdams (via The Hollywood Reporter). "Kayleen has a very calming effect on me," the actress told the outlet (per HuffPost). "Spending two hours with her beforehand sets me for the night."

Kayleen has worked with countless other A-listers, like Sofia Vergara, Mandy Moore, and Duchess Meghan Markle, and was even honored by her big sister and fellow makeup artists at the Variety x Armani Makeup Artistry Dinner in February 2020. But interestingly enough, these siblings worked together long before either one made it in Hollywood.

As teenagers growing up in Canada, Rachel and Kayleen spent three years serving burgers and fries at McDonald's. It was a family affair, because their younger brother, personal trainer Daniel McAdams, was involved in the fast food business, too. In fact, Kayleen happened to be their manager. "It was a great place to work," Rachel told Glamour, but admitted, "I was not a great employee. I broke the orange juice machine one day." 

It sounds like the sisters are on great terms these days though — especially considering Kayleen could completely ruin Rachel's red carpet look if she ever wanted revenge.

Rachel McAdams doesn't have any social media accounts

While she's seen everywhere onscreen, one place you've surely not spotted Rachel McAdams is on social media. Yup, this actress is saying no to the hyper-connective worlds of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. "I listen to the news on the radio. I don't have a television and I am really bad at e-mail," the not-so-tech-savvy star told People back in 2009. "It was only recently that I heard about Twitter for the first time, and it's all I've heard about since. I'm really ignorant."

When McAdams steps out of the spotlight, she prefers that the paparazzi not catch a glimpse of what's going on in her day to day. "I really like having a life outside work," she later admitted to Glamour. Though she loves to act, the celebrity aspect is one thing McAdams can live without. In fact, nobody even knew for sure that McAdams had been pregnant with her first child until she was spotted walking with her longtime boyfriend, screenwriter Jamie Linden, and their son (whose name has never been announced) in 2018. That November — seven months after giving birth — the private couple finally confirmed the baby news to The Times.

Basically, if you want to know what's new with this Hollywood star, you're definitely going to have to do some digging. As McAdams' Southpaw co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal, told the Los Angeles Times, "She very clearly has her life and her work life."

Rachel McAdams has a certification in sailing

While some actors might not be very interested in being a student — unless it's on screen, of course — Rachel McAdams is always up for learning a new skill. This is especially true if it will help her performances on the big screen. 

"I use filming as an excuse to take classes," McAdams admitted to Glamour. So when the actress found out that her character would be specializing in sailing in the movie Wedding Crashers, she decided to get certified on the sea. "Now I can handle a 26-foot boat," she said, adding, "I love dipping into these other lives."

From learning to sew in order to play a seamstress on screen to being trained in throwing knives for her time on the television series, True Detective (via Time), McAdams clearly takes her work very seriously. After all, being an actor is all about experiencing life through someone else's eyes and, as McAdams told Marie Claire, "Cracking yourself open and creating more understanding of how weird and amazing life is." That sounds about right.

Rachel McAdams bikes everywhere

Fancy cars are something most celebrities seem to splurge on, but for an actress who isn't interested in fame, what does Rachel McAdams ride around on? A bicycle. In fact, the movie star told The Star in 2019, "Funnily enough, I've never actually owned a car. I've always rented. I sort of drive my bike like a maniac around Toronto. That's my vehicle of choice."

Previously explaining to Parade that "the environment is a passion" for her, McAdams said, "I try to introduce it into every part of my life if I can, always looking for a greener, lighter way to do everything." It's this passion that ignited an additional profession for the actress: In 2007, McAdams finally gained an interest in the Internet and became a blogger, sharing her dream to become green on her own webpage called Green is Sexy (via Marie Claire). She put her going green skills to the screen 10 years later when she narrated a documentary about noise pollution called Sonic Sea — it ended up winning an Emmy.

Rachel McAdams has seen nearly all of her movies on planes

Many actors avoid watching their own films for various reasons — even Meryl Streep, who's widely hailed as one of the greatest actresses of her generation, refuses to tune into her movies. Fellow actor Rachel McAdams, however, has had no choice but to see herself act on multiple occasions ... as her in-flight entertainment. 

"I've seen all my movies on a plane," McAdams explained on Late Night with Conan O'Brien back in 2005. "Except for Red Eye," she added, before quipping, "Which is strange." Honestly, it only makes sense why an airline wouldn't show a flick about a woman being manipulated on a plane. It's just bad business. Even McAdams herself has admitted that filming the thriller made her scared of soaring the skies — something this celebrity was never afraid to do before. "I don't think they're linked but it does make me pause and wonder if they are," she later said to The Scotsman, jokingly adding, "So perhaps I will explore that in therapy someday." 

For now, this fear certainly hasn't stopped McAdams from flying back and forth from her home base in Canada to working in Hollywood. This leading lady is still at the top of Tinseltown.

Rachel McAdams wants to play a superhero in ThunderCats

Rachel McAdams is a superstar who is looking to be a superhero. Sure, she was reportedly offered the chance to play Pepper Potts, the love interest of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark in Iron Man (a role which, of course, would later go to Gwyneth Paltrow), but she apparently turned that down. McAdams later joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portraying a nurse alongside Benedict Cumberbatch's titular superhero in Doctor Strange. But that role just wouldn't scratch a certain acting itch.

As an admitted fan of graphic novels, there's a live-action movie that McAdams would jump at the chance to be a part of: a starring role in ThunderCats. That is, if it ever actually gets made. "I would love to play Cheetara," she told Blackfilm.com back in 2005. And while rumors have certainly circulated the Internet for years claiming that a big screen adaptation was indeed in the works, as of this writing, there doesn't seem to be much legit showbiz interest in the project. McAdams seems to have no inside knowledge either. "I haven't [heard anything about the actual movie]," she told the outlet with a laugh, adding, "Let me know!"

Rachel McAdams' moles became a trending topic

Rachel McAdams might avoid social media herself, but that doesn't mean fans have kept quiet about the actress in the Twittersphere — so much so that she would probably be surprised to learn that her moles became a trending topic in June 2020. (Yup, you read that right). 

You may not have noticed them before due to a little bit of movie magic, but this star's moles on her neck and face have long landed her on listicles celebrating A-listers who show off this feature in real life. Cafe Mom, for example, wrote of The Notebook star, "McAdams is so proud of her complexion that she went sans makeup on Allure's August 2014 cover, deliberately flaunting her marks." 

However, McAdams' moles became a hot topic in Internet searches when she starred opposite Will Ferrell in Netflix's Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. While her character's singing in the comedy may not have been 100 percent McAdams' own voice (via Refinery29), the mole on the left side of her face most definitely is. Not everyone's a fan (we are talking about social media here, after all), but several viewers felt inspired after watching the flick. "I [realized] part way through that Rachel McAdams was moley. Like me," a Metro reporter wrote. "... She's got a proper, significant, raised mole on the side of her face which, for once, wasn't covered by airbrushing, her hair or make-up. And it felt incredible to see."

Rachel McAdams has a pretty bad horse allergy

Some people want a job so badly that they'd lie on their resume for it — but Rachel McAdams took this fib a step further when she wanted to land a role so badly that she lied about her severe allergies in order to get it.

When approached to join the artsy film, To the Wonder, McAdams couldn't wait to work with its director, Terrence Malick. However, when he mentioned to her that a big scene between her and co-star Ben Affleck would involve horses, she did what any good actress would do and pretended to get excited about it. "I said, 'I love horses...,'" McAdams explained to The Indy Channel (via Horse Nation). "[But] I'm so terrified and allergic."

While filming the scene in question, the crew quickly caught on that horses weren't her pick to perform with when McAdams' eyes immediately swelled shut. Thankfully, she wasn't riding one at the time.

If Rachel McAdams wasn't an actress, she would be a farmer

A job in the entertainment industry is sure to take over most aspects of an actor's life. While many stars would choose a career as a singer or even as a social media influencer if they weren't acting, Rachel McAdams has much different — and much more low key — aspirations. If she wasn't busy starring on the big screen, this actress would be working in a big red barn as a farmer (via The Hollywood Reporter). Nope, this leading lady clearly isn't afraid to get her Diors dirty.

Even though she's continuing to make Hollywood hits, McAdams is still making the time to live out her dream of farming at her home outside of Toronto. At least, in the easiest way she can for now. "We live in the country, so there's a little farm down the road," she explained during the "Heroes of Health" virtual event in April 2020 (via Today). "We can go and look at the animals."

It seems safe to assume it's not a horse farm.

Rachel McAdams almost quit acting after she rose to fame

Rachel McAdams was only 25 years old when her success exploded after shooting both the teen comedy Mean Girls and love story The Notebook in the same year. However, after wrapping up her time on these two big hits in 2004, she nearly called it quits from acting altogether. The fame was getting to her, going so far as to affect her then-romance with co-star Ryan Gosling.

To get away from it all, McAdams eventually headed back home to Canada in 2006, where she moved in with her brother and felt the need to live a normal life. "I had to kind of reassess," she explained to Marie Claire, "and go, What did I want this [success] to be, and how did I expect it to look?" During that time, McAdams turned down major roles in The Devil Wears Prada, Mission: Impossible III, Casino Royale, and Get Smart. When she finally decided to step back again into the spotlight in 2008, she was very selective of the parts she chose to take on (via Elle). 

"There was no instruction book available about how to deal with [fame]," McAdams later admitted to The Times. "... Truthfully, I never really wanted to be a big movie star." Indeed, it's always been all about the story and the craft for this actor instead.