Actress Rachel McAdams on the Oscar-nominated Spotlight and investigative journalism.
WHILE Rachel McAdams caught our attention on the red carpet with her Ellie Saab lace gown and the jumpsuit with tulle panels, the 37-year-old has been busy receiving praise at festivals like Santa Barbara International Film Festival for her role of an investigative journalist in Spotlight. The movie, based on Boston Globe journalists and their investigation in to the child sex abuse in their area in 2003 received a standing ovation at Venice Film Festival. We get talking with the Canadian actress about the director Tom McCarthy, Sacha Pfeiffer (the real life character McAdams essays) and her role in the movie.
How did the project start for you?
I got the script, then Tom and I had a Skype meeting. He told me that the journalists were available to talk and study, including Sacha. He told me just how extraordinary she was and I got to know that first hand.
Did the script grab you instantly?
It did. I was interested in the abuses in the Catholic Church. I only knew it as a general concept. There’s a thriller in there, even though it’s a slow burn.
Do you think that kind of investigative journalism can prevail in the world right now?
I do believe that stories want to be told, and that entertainment wouldn’t be such a big money maker if we didn’t all want to hear and tell stories still.
What was it like to meet Sacha?
I met her and Hans, her husband — who’s also portrayed in the film, and is played by one of my best friends, Duane Murray. We all had dinner together. She’s a foodie like me, so we bonded over baked goods.
And Sacha’s reaction at the premiere?
For all of us, I was so moved. The audience got up and gave them a standing ovation. I got really emotional, because they are unsung heroes. It’s the power of film to spark conversation, to shed some light on something, and you can’t tell this story enough.
Tom is an actor and a director.
Does that help?
He’s an amazing man. Him and Josh (Singer) had worked on it for years, and done so much research. They became reporters in their own right. And it didn’t stop there. You always could see them in the corner of the set, behind their computer screens, digging in and making adjustments.
Despite the heavy subject matter, was it fun to make?
It was amazing and we all had a good experience. It was inspiring and creatively challenging, and we all bonded. Tom was such a great leader. He’s a funny, smart man and he cares, so that combination made it a great journey.
Spotlight releases today.
— Team Indulge