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Rachel McAdams turned down 'Iron Man,' 'Casino Royale' roles for this reason

Rachel McAdams felt “guilty” for turning down roles in big-name films after her success in “The Notebook” and “Mean Girls.”

McAdams, 44, opened up about her fame and the breaks she has taken from Hollywood while promoting her upcoming film “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.”

The actress turned down huge industry successes throughout a two-year pause in her career, including “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Casino Royale,” “Iron Man,” “Get Smart” and “Mission: Impossible III.”

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Rachel McAdams wearing a black bra top and shorts

Rachel McAdams revealed that following her Hollywood success, she turned down big-name films during a two-year career break. (Mark Seliger for Bustle)

“There’s certainly things like ‘I wish I’d done that,'” she told Bustle in a new interview.

Rachel McAdams on a couch wearing all black

Rachel McAdams told Bustle there are some roles she wishes she would have taken. (Mark Seliger for Bustle)

“I step back and go, ‘That was the right person for that.’”

Rachel McAdams in a yellow suit

McAdams believes she made the right decision turning down roles during a two-year pause in her career. (Mark Seliger for Bustle)

Rachel McAdams in a black blazer with no shirt

McAdams revealed she knew she was “in such a lucky spot” after her career took off, but she did what she “needed to stay sane.” (Mark Seliger for Bustle)

Despite believing she made the right decision, McAdams revealed she “felt guilty” for passing on the roles.

“I felt guilty for not capitalizing on the opportunity that I was being given, because I knew I was in such a lucky spot,” she explained. “But I also knew it wasn’t quite jiving with my personality and what I needed to stay sane.” 

“There were definitely some anxious moments of wondering if I was just throwing it all away, and why was I doing that? It’s taken years to understand what I intuitively was doing,” she noted.

McAdams grew up in Canada and eventually attended the four-year theater program at York University. After graduating in 2001, the actress landed her breakout role in “Mean Girls” just a few years later.

The cast of Mean Girls

McAdams landed her breakout role in “Mean Girls” in 2004. (Getty Images)

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She went on to star in several cult classics, including “The Notebook” and “Wedding Crashers.”

McAdams has also appeared in “Sherlock Holmes,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Doctor Strange.”

“It did feel a little overnight,” McAdams told Bustle about her rapid ascent to a Hollywood A-list star.

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams on a poster

McAdams became a household name after starring in “The Notebook.” (Getty Images)

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

Ryan Gosling and McAdams starred in “The Notebook.” (Getty Images)

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McAdams’ sister says the actress has always been able to prioritize her own wants.

“[Rachel is] very confident in what she believes and being able to align with her inner compass,” Kayleen McAdams told the outlet. “There can be moments when you do things that you might not be ready for. You take a job that isn’t exactly right for you because you’re feeling those external pressures.

“Rachel has such a strong internal sense of self and a really strong belief that the world will work out as it should.”

Rachel McAdams at a premiere

McAdams stars in the upcoming film “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” (Getty Images)

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