Rachel McAdams goes from romantic comedy darling in “The Notebook” and queen bee in “Mean Girls” to a new role with Marvel Studios. Playing Dr. Christine Palmer in Doctor Strange, she is a highly skilled trauma surgeon, who is not only Dr. Strange’s colleague but a friend as well. So what does Rachel thing about joining the Marvel universe? Read on to see the exclusive interview below!
I was invited as media to cover this press event. All opinions are my own.
Rachel McAdams Interview:
Q : How is it joining the Marvel universe?
Rachel McAdams – “It was everything I had hoped for and more really. I assumed I would be working with you know the crème de la crème really and I was. So it was just great to be in such great hands. And you now just from costumes to everything was just so well done, so beautifully thought through and well-crafted.”
Q: Were you a Marvel fan prior to doing the role?
RM – “I hadn’t read the Dr. Strange comics growing up. I was kind of reading you know Judy Blume and stuff like that. But I’ve since educated myself. I think the Dr. Strange ones are so different from the other comics which is nice. I love the movies, but I hadn’t read a lot of the comics. So yeah.”
Q: What did you have to do to prepare for your role? You’re playing a doctor. Did you do some research or was there anything specific you did?
RM – “I’m a little funny when it comes to blood and guts and stuff like that. But my mom’s a nurse so I’d kind of grown up with, around medicine which is probably why I became an actress instead. I did get to shadow some amazing brain surgeons, a female brain surgeon in Toronto, another surgeon in London. And then we had a surgeon onset every day. So and he taught me to do sutures and was practicing on turkey breasts, raw turkey breasts. That was interesting. Oranges, that was a little more easier to take in my purse so I could practice wherever I went.
I read this really great book called “Do No Harm” by Henry Marsh who is a world-famous brain surgeon. It was just a phenomenal book and really like eye-opening when it comes to you know being your own advocate when it comes to your health. So it gave me some good insight into things, questions to ask if I was ever in that position.”
Q: Onset, what was it like to be in scrubs with everyone else all in superhero stuff?
Rachel McAdams – “I loved it. I got to wear like orthopedic running shoes every day. And you know, like high heels – the older you get the harder it is to wear them. So I was really grateful for that. And I was a little jealous of the levitation cloak but I was happy to be comfortable.”
Q: How do you prepare to get genuinely startled?
RM – “That’s a good question. You hope they get it on the first one because that is usually startling, the first time. And then you just kind of fake it the rest of the time. They were very kind of helpful in you know….I was never quite sure where the startling was coming from, the sounds were coming from….I’m also a total scaredy-cat in real life. So you know it’s not a far stretch for me.”
Q: Your character is so intensely emotional in the film. How do you draw on that emotion for the character?
RM – “Oh good question. I mean I do think having a mother as a nurse who’s so compassionate and she really unfortunately would take her work home with her sometimes. So, and I think Christine’s more that kind of character. I kind of grew up with that a little bit and have great admiration for people who do that for a living. So I suppose I drew from my mom a bit.
But also you know Benedict is such an extraordinary actor that you just have to be present with him and it all kind of falls into place. I mean, we did a lot of crying together. We cried one day for eight hours straight, every single take. And I’ve never been able to do that before. You know it was just like water works all day long. We both had these incredible headaches at the end of the day. And I was like, well we’re dehydrated you know. So yeah, so I really have to you know give kudos to him for that.”
Q: How did you go about getting this role? And when you found out that you got it what was your reaction?
RM – “Oh, I was just over the moon. I met with Scott and he was just so incredibly passionate and you know a self-proclaimed comic geek. And I think that’s who you want at the helm of something like this. It was so personal for him. I just knew he was the right guy for it and that you know I’d be great hands. And that Marvel would be so supportive as well. So I was just excited at the possibilities.”
Q: Do you have a favorite moment from filming or from watching the film?
RM – “I love that moment when Tilda says, “it’s not about you”. I just thought that was so powerful. When I read that in the script I thought, you know that really hit me. And I thought, you know how great that a seemingly fun comic book movie takes a turn like that. And is kind of you know talking about something that deep and profound. I just I thought it was really simple and true and a really beautiful message.”
Q: So we know that this movie won’t be the end of Dr. Strange, how do you feel about being further involved in the Marvel cinematic universe? And what would you like to see your character do if you had your choice?
RM – “Oh, I want my own cloak! I haven’t really thought about it because it’s sort of to be determined. I think the success of the film you know determines that. So I mean I loved being a part of it so of course you know I would be more than happy to go forward with it.”
If Rachel could have a superpower, what would she pick? She’d want to be invisible so she could go in people’s homes and see their interior decorating!
Rachel McAdams was the true sweetheart I saw her to be. She was kind, and funny. After the interview, she took a group photo with us. I sat next to her on the couch and told her that I was such a big fan of hers. I’m an even bigger one now!