Rachel McAdams (Photo by Michelle Quance/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)
Variety/Penske Media/Getty Images

Rachel McAdams Reveals She Went Braless While Breastfeeding On Set

“I felt like a milking machine,” the actress said about her experience filming Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.

There are many reasons to admire Rachel McAdams. She’s managed to be a well-respected mainstay in Hollywood for two decades, transitioning from funny movies like Mean Girls to tear-jerkers like The Notebook seamlessly. She’s kept her private life just that, private. And now here’s the big one. Throughout filming of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, McAdams went braless while breastfeeding. And if you’ve ever breastfed or indeed, have breasts in general, you understand that this is no small thing. Especially while filming a movie.

McAdams welcomed her second child, a daughter, just five months before taking on the role of hippie earth mom Barbara Simon in the screen adaptation of Judy Blume’s 1970 preteen masterpiece, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.

“I felt like a milking machine,” McAdams told Bustle about her experience at the time, explaining that she was pumping between takes when the costume designer threw her a curveball. “Why don’t we just try this without a bra?”

While McAdams was aware of the potential issues that could arise with breastfeeding without a bra (think leakages, lack of support, the ever-changing size of postpartum breasts) she did not shy away from the challenge. “The great irony is Margaret just can’t wait to get into a bra,” McAdams told Bustle. “But I’m playing a kind of wild child, hippie artist mom [who] doesn’t wear a bra throughout the whole film. [We] really wanted Barb to feel like a real person who’s still figuring herself out, to put Margaret and her on similar trajectories.”

Rachel McAdams plays Barbara Simon in the movie adaptation of Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It's Me Margaret.Lionsgate

The Spotlight star, who also shares a 5-year-old son with partner Jamie Linden, is no stranger to pumping on set so that might have made her more comfortable. In 2018, she wore a breast pump during a fashion photo shoot that went super viral for normalizing pumping.

And now five years later she’s at it again, pumping on the job, only this time she’s making it work for her character. A character she chose because Barbara Simon resonated with her own parenting. “As a mom, it’s not too, too hard to find the messiness, the privilege of getting to watch a child grow up and be their parent,” McAdams told People. “I think that's a really lucky place, a spot to be in, and I think Barb feels that.”

Clearly McAdams felt a kinship to this character. We can only assume going braless during shooting helped her connect to that inner hippie wild child.

Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret premieres in theaters on April 28.