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“About Time” is the kind of movie you’re supposed to bring tissues to. With time traveling, real human flaws, a wedding, a few births and an inevitable death, there’s no holding back tears.
The film follows Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), a man who learns he can time-travel and uses it to find his soulmate Mary, played by Rachel McAdams. But he learns that his power can’t be used to change everything, including what leads up to the movie’s most emotional scene.
And as the gloomy cancer diagnosis of Tim’s dad (Bill Nighy) leaves most in the theater with dripping mascara eyes, it wasn’t too much different for McAdams, who had to give Nighy a figurative last goodbye on set.
“Bill Nighy, he just makes my heart swell,” Rachel told MTV News for our Fall Movie Preview. “There’s this scene where I had to, you know he’s sick, and I had to give him a hug and it’s kind of like maybe the last time we see him. I was crying that whole day. I could not stop every time I went to hug him.
“And then he’d have to remind me like ‘I’m not actually dying,’ ” she continued. “I was like, ‘I know, but it’s just so sad.’ ”
That realness comes from director and writer Richard Curtis (“Love Actually”), who, according to McAdams, writes moments so relatable that it’s life-changing.
“You come out of his movies and you want to call your mom and tell her you love her,” she said. “I think he’s a master at making people feel and making their hearts open and want to be nicer to the people in their life. I think his movies are really powerful that way.”
And Rachel admitted that bringing that heart-opening power to her character was not hard at all.
“It was really there on the page already, and I think as much as Richard’s a comedian — he’s very tongue-in-cheek about everything, he doesn’t take anything too seriously — he does demand that beautiful things in life are appreciated and that the time you spend with the people you love is the most important thing in the world,” she said. “It’s kind of already there beneath the surface and on the surface, and he does bring that to everyday life, so it wasn’t hard to access.”
“About Time” opens in theaters November 1.
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