Rachel McAdams says her new movie Spotlight almost didn’t see the light of day because of it’s sensitive subject matter.
The 36-year-old The Notebook actress joined costars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Mad Men‘s John Slattery, along with director Tom McCarthy for an interview with the Hollywood Reporter to explain how difficult it was to address the shocking story of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 6, 2015
At one critical point in pre-production, it seemed the film would not be made when DreamWorks, which had enlisted Participant Media to co-finance the movie’s $15 million budget, pulled out.
“We never knew why,” said producer Nicole Rocklin. “They never told us. But I can speculate. It’s a movie about pedophilia in the Catholic Church.”
As reported by The Inquisitr, McAdams plays Sarah Pfeiffer, a real-life journalist who, as part of a team of investigative journalists, shook the Catholic church to its core in the early 2000s with a series of articles about the sexual abuse that was happening across the United States.
— TIME.com (@TIME) November 4, 2015
The articles set off a series of events that eventually led to an apology released by the Pope to the victims and their families.
According to McCarthy, they hoped the film production would capture the journalists drive to dig up the truth on behalf of those victims.
“Investigative reporting can be tedious. It can be endless. But it can also be exciting. And that’s the drama we’re trying to capture in this movie,” said director Tom McCarthy.
The most difficult aspect of making the film, said Ruffalo, was to share the dark story without driving away movie-goers.
“No one wants to watch a priest molesting a kid. That’s very hard for an audience to watch,” Ruffalo said.
— NapaFilmFest (@NapaFilmFest) November 4, 2015
Rachel McAdams took her role so seriously that she spent a great deal of time with the real Sarah Pfeiffer to learn every detail about the woman she would portray.
“Rachel McAdams has asked me how long I kept my fingernails. What size Post-it Notes I preferred,” Sarah Pfeiffer wrote in The Boston Globe about her time with McAdams.