When British author H.G. Wells created the term “time machine” way back in 1895, he could never have imagined the lasting impact his ideas of fourth dimension travel would have on the career of Rachel McAdams.
His book, The Time Machine, has been filmed twice for the big screen, but the ideas of shifting ripples of time have also inspired three very different movies starring the London, Ont., born actress.
This weekend she co-stars with Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy in About Time as the present day girlfriend of a 21-year-old who uses his ability to switch time zones to learn information to woo her.
“I know I have a little bit of time travel in my past but this is different,” McAdams says. “The element of time travel thrown in was unique and quirky and dealt with lightly.”
Previously the Mean Girls star appeared as Clare Abshire in The Time Traveler’s Wife, starring opposite Eric Bana playing a Chicago librarian with a genetic disorder known as Chrono-Displacement that causes him to involuntarily travel through time.
From the outset their relationship is a strange one. When they first meet she has known him since she was six years old, but because his syndrome flips him to random times in his life on an ever shifting timeline he is always meeting her for the first time. Confused? Not as confused as Clare, who tries to build a life with Henry even though his ailment keeps them apart.
Based on a best-selling novel, it’s a three-hankie story about love with no boundaries and how romance can transcend everything, even death.
In Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris it’s Owen Wilson who jumps through time — finding himself transported back to 1920s Paris and hanging with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston and Alison Pill), seeing Cole Porter sing at a party, drinking with Hemmingway — while McAdams stays put, bringing him back to reality, as his irritating present-day fiancée Inez.
But what about actual time travel? When she was asked by AOL if there was anything she would go back in time and change in real life, McAdams said, “I was a figure skater, so I would take back a lot of fashion choices on the ice. A lot of sequins. I would pull back on the sequins a little bit and maybe less blue eye shadow.”