Dan Epstein: You just met Claire Danes in the hallway for the first time. What's it like being in a movie with someone and never meeting them?
Miranda Richardson: It's a bit sad. It would have been nice to talk to her more.
DE: What role did your character, Vanessa Bell, have in Virginia Woolf's life?
MR: They were sisters and, in real life, they were practically symbiotic. But the movie condensed that life. There were jealousies from Vanessa to Virginia and vice versa. Virginia admired and envied her domestic life. The fact that Vanessa could almost have it all, family, and have her work.
DE: What did the kiss between Vanessa and Virginia mean to you?
MR: That Vanessa could never provide Virginia with all she needs. It could never be enough. In fact it kind of pushes her away. There's nothing she could do and it's incredibly sad.
DE: Was there a lesbian undercurrent to that?
DE: Does that relieve you?
MR: No. I'm amused.
DE: Is there a danger people will think that?
MR: You can't please all the people all the time. People may think that.
DE: It has been suggested that Virginia Woolf was sexually abused as a child.
MR: I didn't deal with that. These two are meant to be a mutual support to each other but, at this point in their lives, they are separated physically and mentally.
DE: Have you read much Virginia Woolf?
MR: Not much.
DE: When you read the script did you want to read more?
MR: Sure. I read two or three more books and some biographies of the sisters.
DE: How much thinking did you do about women's choices through the years?
MR: I did think about that. I also thought, "Would I want to live in another time?" I think probably not as much medically as anything. I would be dead. I got ill at age 10. Everyday is a blessing to me [laughs].
DE: Could you not stop looking at Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose?
MR: It was a supreme prosthetic. It's seamless. Even up close, you couldn't tell.
DE: Would you want something prosthetic?
MR: Maybe a trunk or a tail.
DE: You've worked with David Hare on stage. What did he bring to this project as a screenwriter?
MR: I think the script comes off the page. It's clear and complex in a really good way. Hare is also great to have on set. He visited while we were filming.
DE: What do you think the audience for The Hours is?
MR: Maybe not midwest America. I do think the feelings in the movie are universal.
DE: It's not exactly a movie people could just run out and enjoy.
MR: It's not a big fun movie. Horses for courses. Different kind of evening certainly.
DE: How important is it to do different kinds of films?
MR: Really important, and I want to continue that. It makes me feel resilient when you tackle different things.
DE: Did you and Nicole get to know one another?
MR: No, we didn't, and that is one of my regrets. It's frustrating. I was only there for eight days.
DE: Was there much rehearsal?
MR: They must have used all that up by the time they got to us.
DE: What was it like working with the kids?
MR: They were quite idiosyncratic. They hadn't done anything like this before, and that gave them a quality of freshness. It was tricky, but I thought they did well.
DE: Who do you relate to more Virginia or Vanessa?
MR: I think Vanessa. She was creating on a daily basis, and she also had a fully fledged domestic life.
DE: What can you tell us about the film The Actors?
MR: It should be huge fun. It's a romp. Michael Caine and Dylan Moran play terrible actors in a terrible production of Richard the Third. They are desperate to make some money and they get caught up with gangsters. Michael Gambon gets to wear a terrible dyed black toupee. I look like a long tall glass of milk.
DE: What was the filming of David Cronenberg's new film, Spider, like?
MR: Really great apart from September 11th in the middle of it. That was the weirdest day, because we were wondering what any of what we were doing was worth. But David convinced me. David is very calm on set, and a wonderful director.