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TOKYO (AP) — Rachel McAdams, the actress who portrayed a Boston Globe reporter in the Oscar-winning “Spotlight,” believes journalists should be praised as “unsung heroes,” although nothing is easy about their jobs except for the frumpy clothes they get to wear.

“It really is a dying art, and not for the faint of heart either,” she told reporters in Tokyo Thursday. “They keep institutions on their toes and keep people accountable.”

“Spotlight,” directed and written by Tom McCarthy, depicts how newspaper reporters uncovered how dozens of priests in the Archdiocese of Boston had molested and raped children for decades, while church higher-ups covered it up and shuffled abusive priests from parish to parish.

The film, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, opens in Japan Friday. The cast includes Mark Ruffalo and Micheal Keaton.

McAdams acknowledged that when she first read the script she wasn’t sure anyone would come to see the film because it lacked the cinematic flash associated with blockbusters. McAdams, who also starred in “The Notebook” and “Southpaw,” was happy it brought out crowds.

“People were interested in seeing something that was just about the truth, that is the story that needed to be told, and gave voice to the voiceless,” she said.

McAdams worked closely with the reporter she portrayed, the Pulitzer-winning Sacha Pfeiffer, to build her character.

She saw that reporters have a hard job because they never know if they will get a story, the hours are long, they rarely get encouragement and pressures are high from powerful interests.

The one good thing about the job is that you can put on a pair of pants and a T-shirt like “a uniform” every day, and not have to think about clothes, she said, appearing at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in an elegant mini-dress splashed with colorful flowers.

“I liked that about playing this character. She was comfortable, which is not usually what actresses are,” she said.


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