A Minute With: Rachel McAdams on remembering her "Vow"

Wed Feb 8, 2012 5:05am EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eight years ago, Rachel McAdams hit Hollywood's map in teary, romantic drama "The Notebook." Since then, she has broadened her range of work to include laugh-out-loud comedies such as "Wedding Crashers," adventure films like "Sherlock Holmes" and recently, the Woody Allen movie "Midnight in Paris."

But the Canadian actress has returned to her romantic roots with new drama "The Vow," due in theaters on Friday. The actress portrays Paige, a young bohemian artist happily married to Leo (Channing Tatum) until a devastating car crash leaves her with a head trauma that erases her entire memory of their relationship.

While Leo tries in vain to get her to remember him, Paige reverts back to the person she was five years earlier -- a law student with a conservative wardrobe who doesn't understand why she's estranged from her parents or why she broke off her engagement to a charming businessman (Scott Speedman). Leo must make Paige fall back in love with him if he is to win her back.

McAdams, 33, sat down with Reuters to talk about the film, the surprise success of Oscar-nominated "Midnight in Paris" and why she feels compelled to always take breaks between projects.

Q: "The Vow" is actually based on a real story that happened to a couple from New Mexico. Did you meet Krickitt Carpenter, the woman upon whom the character Paige is based?

A: "I did. Both Channing and I met her and her husband (Kim Carpenter). It was nerve wracking at first because you want to do justice to their story. At the same time, our story was only inspired by them, so we were playing different people. But they are an incredible couple. They had a strong faith in God and had that to fall back on. They had only been married two months when it happened in the early '90s. Today they have two children."

Q: Your character dressed and behaved one way before the accident and another after it. Was that challenging?

A: "It was difficult to play almost two different people at times, and to keep the thread going between my character and Channing's character. You want some sense of hope that these people might find each other again. I did some research into brain injuries and the emotional effects of that. It's quite isolating. The more your family and friends try to bring back your memories, the more you pull away."   Continued...

<p>Cast member Rachel McAdams arrives for "The Vow" film premiere in Hollywood, California February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Redmond</p>