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Rachel McAdams Redefined: Romantic comedy sweetheart to Oscar-nominated dramatic actress

Rachel McAdams arrives at the 88th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

At the peak of movie stardom, Rachel McAdams decided to step away from the limelight to find her voice.



McAdams' break-out performance came in 2004's Mean Girls as Regina George, the belittling leader of the Plastics. With follow up roles in The Notebook and Wedding Crashers, McAdams' star was on the rise.

In 2006, the actress was set to be featured in Vanity Fair's "Hollywood Issue" along side Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightly. But when McAdams found out at the last moment that the photo shoot was a nude session, she decided not to participate.

McAdams then decided to step away from acting.

"I think things were moving so fast and I still felt quite young to be navigating the world of Hollywood and what comes along with it," McAdams told Metro UK. "I was just trying to find my own voice within all of that noise."

McAdams eventually returned to film and went on to star in movies like Sherlock Holmes and Midnight in Paris. But it was in 2015 that McAdams redefined her career, shifting from roles in lighter romances in comedies to intense dramas. She portrayed more serious and complex characters, starring in the HBO series True Detective and playing journalist Sacha Pfeiffer in the ensemble drama Spotlight.

While Spotlight was expected to be nominated for several Oscars, McAdams was pleasantly surprised to receive her first nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Not knowing when the nominations were being announced, she was awoken by congratulatory text messages and calls.

"This is such an incredible honor. I am shocked and delighted," the actress said after hearing of her nomination. "Never been so happy to get a call at 6 a.m.!"

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