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THE HOURS

About The Production (Continued)
"Also, Stephen is from the theater, as are most of the cast, so the attention paid to exploring the character was very specific. Stephen's a great collaborator. He would go over each and every moment, making sure we had thought of everything. Sometimes, one choice would lead to another idea and we'd try that. It was exciting to work with him."

Tony Award winner Stephen Dillane, who appears in ‘The Hours" as Virginia's husband Leonard Woolf, found the key to his role in David Hare's screenplay.

"I thought the screen adaptation was excellent, very moving. Leonard Woolf was a remarkable man in his own right, deeply committed to his ideals both in his personal life and politically. His autobiography is a good read. Woolf has the unusual ability to capture contemporary details that give us insight into the times in which he lived. He was unusually engaged in the political and aesthetic debates of his period. He was also a man who tried to live according to his beliefs, and he records with disarming sincerity and honesty his successes and failures in this endeavor.

"Some people think Leonard Woolf was insensitive and overprotective, and that he obsessively controlled Virginia Woolf's life. Some say Virginia Woolf both needed and wanted Leonard Woolf's protection from her own self-destructive instincts. Who knows? The screenplay follows the book by inclining towards the former interpretation."

Two-time Academy Award® nominee Miranda Richardson. who portrays Virginia Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell, says that one of the reasons she was attracted to the "The Hours" was the strength of David Hare's writing and the idea that her character brings a certain lightness to Virginia Woolf's life and to the film as well.

"It's such a beautifully complex script, which reflects the book and yet has qualities all its own," observes Richardson. "I quite enjoyed that my character Vanessa, by comparison to her sister Virginia, has an almost carefree quality about her. The push and pull between them reminded me of so many sister relationships. They were practically symbiotic, with a subtle undercurrent of rivalry. I think that Vanessa felt she had to look after Virginia as she would one of her children, and yet she also seemed to have the temptation to duck away emotionally from Virginia's intensity."

During pre-production, Daldry insisted on a lengthy rehearsal period for himself and the actors, something that is rare in feature filmmaking. "Since I come from the theater," he explains, "it's very hard for me to predetermine my view of a scene, or of a sequence of scenes, without an exploration with the actors beforehand. For me, it's the only way to work out the internal dynamics and the emotion of a scene. From that, I can plan where the camera might or might not be. There's a great joy in having the writer at rehearsals; he can rewrite to the input of the actors, and to their strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly. what we were lucky to have was a wonderfully experienced group of actors, many of whom have worked extensively in the theater and are used to this way of working. They were able to participate in the rehearsal process in a way that David and I could understand. We found it incredibly useful."

"Stephen is very attentive to the actors and the acting process," says Claire Danes, who plays Clarissa's daughter. Julia. "I have a modes

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