Rachel McAdams almost had a different career path, admitting to turning down Iron Man, Casino Royale and other box office hits.
Following the massive success of Mean Girls and The Notebook, Rachel McAdams had her pick of movies she could star in. That also means she had a say in which movies she would turn down…and it’s actually quite a lengthy list of box office hits.
Rachel McAdams did take some good parts for herself in movies like comedy hit Wedding Crashers and the underrated Red Eye, but offered Bustle a collection that she now feels “guilty” about snubbing, including a trio in 2006–The Devil Wears Prada, Casino Royale and Mission: Impossible III–and 2008’s Iron Man and Get Smart. Those roles would presumably go to Anne Hathaway, Eva Green, Michelle Monaghan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and, again, Anne Hathaway. Each of those would prove successful (most critically, all commercially), with Iron Man being the most impactful of the lot, launching the most profitable movie franchise ever. Paltrow would play Pepper Potts a total of seven times, while McAdams would have to wait until 2016’s Doctor Strange to join the MCU, reprising it for last year’s Multiverse of Madness.
On the hint of regret in her movie choices, Rachel McAdams said, “There’s certainly things like ‘I wish I’d done that,” before turning humble: “[But] I step back and go, ‘That was the right person for that.’” Still, she said, “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.” Coming to terms with her decisions, she acknowledged, “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.”
Of course, Rachel McAdams has hardly been slacking in her movie choices post-2008, with terrific turns in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, 2011’s A Most Wanted Man and Best Picture winner Spotlight (2015), earning her only Oscar nomination to date. She will next co-star in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, which author Judy Blume has praised.
How do you think Rachel McAdams would have done in the movies she turned down? What is your favorite performance of hers? Let us know in the comments section below!