"Truthfully, I never really wanted to be a big movie star.
I never even wanted to work outside of Canada, or outside of the theatre." Mc Adams returned to her film career in 2008.
Mc Adams began figure skating when she was four years old, but turned down an opportunity to move to Toronto when she was nine years old for pair skating training. She also made her Canadian film debut that year in the comedy My Name is Tanino.
In 2015, her highest profile roles were in the second season of the HBO crime drama True Detective, and as journalist Sacha Pfeiffer in the drama Spotlight.
In 2005, she starred in the romantic comedy Wedding Crashers, the psychological thriller Red Eye, and the comedy-drama The Family Stone.
She was hailed by the media as Hollywood's new "it girl", and received a BAFTA nomination for Best Rising Star.
Todd Mc Carthy of Variety criticized her break from the big screen but felt that, despite a performance of "tender feeling", "her natural vivaciousness and spontaneity are straightjacketed" by the film noir format.
Afterwards, Mc Adams starred with Tim Robbins and Michael Peña in the road trip comedy-drama The Lucky Ones, a story about three Iraq War soldiers on a brief road trip back in the United States.
In 2005, Mc Adams starred with Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Bradley Cooper in the romantic comedy Wedding Crashers.