Rachel McAdams

Four years ago, Rachel McAdams was ShoWest’s Supporting Actress of the Year. This year, she has moved on up to Female Star of the Year, an ascent McAdams appreciates, but only with a grain of salt.

“They’re really good at coming up with these big sweeping award titles, aren’t they?” McAdams says by phone from New Zealand, where she has been “making memories, not movies” for the past three weeks. “Don’t get me wrong. I love the event and my sister loves Vegas, so it makes for a nice couple of days.”

After laying relatively low following breakout years that saw her star in “The Notebook,” “Wedding Crashers” and “The Family Stone,” McAdams is returning to the spotlight with two high-profile movies on tap for this year: political potboiler “State of Play” on April 17 and Guy Ritchie’s update of “Sherlock Holmes,” due on Christmas.

In “Play,” she’s an inexperienced reporter; in “Holmes,” she’s a femme fatale force of nature. Taken together, the two films are an indication of McAdams’ range and willingness to mix things up.

“The part in ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is great because it’s a character that leaps into everything with both feet,” McAdams says. “She’s got a sordid past with Holmes, and you’re not sure where she’s coming from. Robert Downey is just amazing in the part, and I think Guy Ritchie’s style will work for a modern ‘Holmes.’”

“State of Play,” adapted from the acclaimed 2003 BBC miniseries, has McAdams’ fluff-oriented blogger clashing with an old-school Washington reporter, played by Russell Crowe. The two end up joining forces as they dig deeper into the suspicious death of a congressman’s mistress.

“What I love about the movie is that it shows there is a level of danger to great reporting,” McAdams says. “You are out there putting yourself on the line.”

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