Actress Rachel McAdams Should Be Completely Sick of Time Travelers By Now

Rachel McAdams has been in a lot of movies at this point, and for good reason: she’s proven she has serious acting chops as a leading actor.

McAdams’ roles have run the gamut: she’s reliably played the straightwoman in comedies and also shown her dramatic acting ability in more serious roles. While she’s shown plenty of adaptability in the types of roles she plays, there’s been one consistent: McAdams always brings plenty of talent and believability each time out. 

There is one peculiar part of McAdams’ career that’s shown up in multiple films she’s appeared in: the concept of time travel. Let’s take a closer look at why McAdams should be completely sick of time travelers by now. 

Rachel McAdams’ acting career

Rachel McAdams
Rachel McAdams | Taylor Hill/Getty Images

McAdams has had a versatile and impressive acting career. Her first major role was as the villain in Mean Girls opposite Lindsay Lohan. From there she starred as the female lead of Wedding Crashers

According to IMDb, McAdams has starred in just about every film genre throughout her career. Some of her most notable films/TV series include: 

  • HBO’s True Detective (season 2)
  • Morning Glory
  • The Notebook
  • State of Play
  • The Family Stone
  • Spotlight
  • Southpaw
  • Game Night

McAdams is still an incredibly sought after actress. One thing that’s been consistent is her ability to play different types of roles. In True Detective, she played a hardened cop. In Wedding Crashers, she portrayed a delightfully optimistic romantic. In Spotlight, she was a dedicated newspaper reporter whereas in Mean Girls she played a bratty teenager. 

It can never be said that she plays the same role twice. But there are a few movies she’s been in that stand out for having at least one aspect in common with each other. 

McAdams and her appearances in time travel movies

McAdams has always been a consistently great performer, but in a few of her films, there’s been one recurring motif: the idea of time travel. She’s starred in four films that featured time travel as a major plot point, including: 

  • 2009’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, featuring Eric Bana
  • 2011’s Midnight in Paris, the Woody Allen-directed film also starring Owen Wilson
  • 2013’s About Time, where she played opposite Domhnall Gleeson
  • 2016’s Doctor Strange, in which she played the love interest to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Stephen Strange

All four of these films highlighted a protagonist able to move through time. But there’s a simple reason why McAdams has to be sick of these time travelers, and it has to do with her characters’ own ability to travel through time. 

Why Rachel McAdams should be sick of time travelers by now

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McAdams has appeared in so many time travel films at this point, it’s gotten to be a pattern for her. But what has to be disheartening is that despite appearing in these movies, her characters haven’t gotten the opportunity to fully partake in the fun. 

What’s most interesting about these films is that McAdams’ characters never get to engage in time travel themselves. According to a piece in Syfy, McAdams at some point should get the opportunity to time travel herself. Her characters are always the love interest of someone who travels through time. She ends up staying in the present timeline, waiting for the man to come back. It’s gotten somewhat repetitive. 

This isn’t the only somewhat ironic element of her career, though. According to IMDB, one other interesting bit of trivia about at least two of her past roles is that she has a thing for legendary detectives. For example, McAdams portrayed Dr. Christine Palmer in Doctor Strange.

Cumberbatch, aside from playing Strange, also played Sherlock Holmes on the hit BBC series. McAdams also played Irene Adler in 2009’s Sherlock Holmes across from Robert Downey, Jr. Downey also appears in the MCU as Tony Stark/Iron Man. 

It’s not readily apparent why McAdams continues to take roles where time travel is a central function, but here’s hoping she (or, more specifically, one of her characters) gets the chance to time travel at some point in one of these films.