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Rachel McAdams, 28

Films: The Notebook, Mean Girls

Why: She gained much notice for her first two major roles this year, the winsome heroine in tearjerker “The Notebook” and the evil antagonist in biting comedy “Mean Girls.”

Quote: The small-town girl, who still resides in her native Canada, laughs as she describes her less-than-glamorous screen debut guest-starring as a bulimic on a Canuck kids show. “(I) got paid a couple hundred bucks to make vomit (noises) for 10 minutes.”

Things have improved, as she has been cast in her last two films as popular, wealthy teens. For McAdams, who describes herself as more of a pub girl than a club girl, the typecasting is strange. “I didn’t grow up rich, so it’s kind of weird that I always play that.”

McAdams goes about her business in largely the same way she did before “Mean Girls” and “The Notebook” hit the screens earlier this year. On a plane a few weeks back, she went unrecognized even as “Notebook” unspooled onboard. Even her seatmate didn’t make the connection. “I’d have to scoot past him and we’d be 2 inches from each other’s face and he would just be staring at the screen.”

The actress says she is enjoying her time on the brink of stardom, though. “It’s at the fun point right now, where my life is the same and I have as much freedom as I ever did, but there’s a secret.”

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