Rachel McAdams was raised in St. Thomas, Ontario. Starting at the age of four, she competed in figure skating. By the age of 13, she was performing in Shakespearean productions in summer theater camp.
In high school, McAdams intended to apply to college to study cultural studies, because studying theater would be "a bit of a joke". At the last minute, a drama teacher encouraged her to audition to be a drama major. She eventually majored in theater at York University and graduated with honors and a B.F.A. degree.
She began her professional on-screen career with an appearance on the Disney series "The Famous Jett Jackson" (1998) followed by a pilot for MTV. After a few more films, she hit it big after her appearance in the hits Mean Girls (2004) and The Notebook (2004).
Attended Original Kids Theatre Company in London, Ontario
Her father Lance is a truck driver, and her mother, Sandy, is a nurse. She has a younger sister, Kayleen and younger brother, Daniel.
Born in the same hospital as The Notebook (2004) co-star Ryan Gosling - St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario.
In 1995, she received an acting award for her role in the one-act high school play I Live in a Little Town when it was presented at the prestigious Ontario Showcase at the Sears Drama Festival.
Studied theater at York University in Toronto, where she appeared in numerous stage and student film productions. During her senior year, she played a child in The Piper, a workshop led by a creative team from Toronto's Necessary Angel Theatre Company.
Worked at a McDonalds for 3 summers.
Was told to partly model the character of Regina George after Alec Baldwin's performance in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).
Received a record five MTV Movie Award nominations in a single year.
Graduated from York University in Toronto with honors & a B.F.A. in theater
Formerly a vegetarian.
She donated many signed head-shots to Rocky Stone to be auctioned off to raise money to buy more toys for less fortunate kids as part of the Toy Mountain Campaign.
Is of Irish decent
Attends David Rothenberg's on-camera acting class in Toronto with fellow actors Scott Speedman, Kenneth Mitchell and Polly Shannon.
In December 2005, she was #1 on MuchMusic's "Who To Do: 20 Sexiest Girls" list. This list is aired each year, and there is also a separate list for guys. She was voted the #101 on FHS's list of Sexiest Women in the World (2005).
Named #14 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2005 list.
Met her boyfriend, Ryan Gosling, on the set of The Notebook (2004).