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With the unbelievable number of films that are released every year the number of genres that exist is constantly increasing and the type of movies available for actors to work on is constantly opening up. Some actors, it can be said, are best suited to very particular roles, and become known for their stints in romantic comedies or action flicks. The sad thing, however, is that sometimes an actor gives an unbelievably good performance in a certain type of movie, but chooses to abandon that in favour of roles which eventually appear to be the ‘safe choice’.
One such actor, we can’t help but notice lately, is the lovely Rachel McAdams. Seriously underrated in terms of her acting ability, McAdams has starred in a whole host of popular films over the past few years, and is the kind of actress who is enjoyable to watch on screen – I will deliberately watch a film simply because she’s in it – quite an accomplishment. However, when we take a look at her filmography of late, there has been a bit of a pattern forming. From tear-jerking romantic films like The Time Traveller’s Wife, The Notebook and her latest role in The Vow, to her appearances in light-hearted comedies such as Wedding Crashers and Morning Glory, and even thriller style movies like Red Eye and State of Play, Rachel McAdams has never played the bad guy. And, as anyone who has ever seen Mean Girls (I’m sure there are fewer film fans who haven’t seen it than have) can testify, when she does play the bad guy, she does it brilliantly.
Some of Regina George’s lines in Mean Girls are among the most unforgettable movie dialogue of the noughties. Her scathing tone and biting one liners (‘Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen.’) made her a force to be reckoned with, and she lit up the screen as the vindictive high school bitch Lindsay Lohan’s character attempts to take down. Despite being 24 going on 25 when she took on this teenage role, she was utterly believable and entrancing, and, while the character left audiences desperate to see her get her comeuppance, as an actor, she instantly gained the respect of fans when she was interviewed about the film and we saw that a sweet, bubbly person like Rachel was capable of portraying this malicious character so well.
Why then have we not seen her in a similar role since then? Since it obviously isn’t that McAdams isn’t capable of giving a convincing performance as a villain, it is a shame that we haven’t seen her in such a role post-Mean Girls. No one’s suggesting she should come straight out of a film like The Vow and suddenly take on the part of a deranged serial killer – a real villainous role is something that requires careful consideration before taking on. Another incredibly underrated actor, Stanley Tucci, discussed this dilemma after taking on the role of a paedophile and child killer in The Lovely Bones. While roles like this (and that is obviously an extreme case) are a rare and demanding challenge, they are serious parts to play in terms of audience reaction and the way viewers may then respond to you as an actor. So McAdams doesn’t need to go to extreme lengths, just change it up a little and maybe play another super-bitch at some point soon, paying subtle homage to the memorable character who first really showed what an amazing actress she is.
According to the net, Rachel McAdams is working on two movies at the moment, an untitled romantic drama due for release later this year, and Passion, set for release in 2013. This film, we are a bit more excited to hear about. From the synopsis, Passion sounds a little darker and more dramatic than some of her other recent movies, including a theme of ‘murderous revenge’ – we for one cannot wait for this, and hopefully we’ll see a reappearance of the darker, more immoral traits we know she is so very capable of portraying.