MIRANDA RICHARDSON (RITA SKEETER)
Miranda Richardson was born in England on March 3rd 1958. She comes from Southport in Lancashire (near Liverpool), and has one sister, eight years her senior. Her parents and sister are not involved in the performing arts. At an early age, she performed in school plays, having shown a talent and desire to 'turn herself into' other people. She has referred to it as 'an emotional fusion; you think yourself into them'. This mimicry could be of school friends or film stars. She left school (Southport High School for Girls) at the age of 17, and originally intended becoming a vet. She also considered studying English literature in College, but decided to concentrate on drama and enrolled at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (as did many well-known British actors). After three years she graduated and moved into repertory theatre. She became affiliated with the Library Theatre in Manchester in 1979, where she became an assistant stage manager. She obtained her Equity card, and after several regional productions, first appeared on the London stage (Moving at Queens Theatre) in 1981. British television roles soon followed, and then film. Since then, Miranda has moved into the international arena, and has made films in America, France and Spain. Television work (on both sides of the Atlantic) continues, as does some stage work. Her roles are diverse, but powerful and engaging. She has been quoted as stating "what I basically like is doing things I haven't done before" and this continually comes through in the variety of roles she has played in her career. She is also selective in the roles she takes, being uninterested in performing in the standard Hollywood fare, and preferring more offbeat roles. She was approached to play the Glenn Close role in 'Fatal Attraction', but found it 'regressive in its attitudes'. Her attitude is summed up by a quote from an interview that appeared in the New York Times (Dec 27 1992) "I would rather do many small roles on TV, stage or film than one blockbuster that made me rich but had no acting. And if that's the choice I have to make, I think I've already made it". According to '1994 Current Biography Yearbook', Ms Richardson resides in South London with her two Siamese cats, Otis and Waldo. She has now moved to West London. Her hobbies include drawing, walking, gardening, fashion, falconry, and music. She, by her own admission is a loner and lives rather modestly. An actor who studied with Ms Richardson at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre in the late seventies described her as "a strong minded, specially gifted, rather pretty young woman who enjoys wearing jewelry. She wore toe rings, which in the late seventies and especially in England, were a rarity and considered rather racy." He also remarked on her drive, even then, to be an actress of the highest calibre.
Turned down the role, subsequently taken by Glenn Close, in Fatal Attraction (1987)
Played roles in four unrelated movies in which her character was in charge of having heads cut off: Alice in Wonderland (1999) (TV), as the Queen of Hearts; Sleepy Hollow (1999), as the Western Woods Crone; "Blackadder II" (1986), as Queen Elizabeth; and Chicken Run (2000), as Mrs. Tweedy.
Attended Southport High School for Girls (Southport, England)
Father: William Alan Richardson (Marketing Executive). Mother: Marian Georgina Richardson. Sister: Lesley Richardson (Chiropodist, born in 1949).
Gave up smoking after being hypnotised.
Grew up in Southport, Merseyside
Wanted to become a vet.
One critic wrote that "Miranda Richardson has a face like an English sky".
In one of the sketches on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) (20 March 1993), The Rain People, her character tells Phil Hartman's character that she draws inspiration for a particularly emotional scene from a childhood experience. She awoke after a bad crash, saw her father's face, and told him that she was alright. Then, she saw that it was just her father's severed head in her lap. This makes both actors cry, and produces a great scene for which Phil Hartman's character wins the Oscar. He takes credit for the scene and claims the story as his own (and messes up the details). Miranda's character is so angry she screams, "I want his severed head in my lap!" several times.
Cast, ironically, as Rita Skeeter, one of Hermione Granger's least favorite people, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), after she did an impersonation of Hermione in "Harry Potter and the Secret Chamberpot of Azibaijan", a Comic Relief sketch, in 2003.
She trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the late seventies with Daniel Day-Lewis, Amanda Redman, Jenny Seagrove and Greta Scacchi.
When Richardson was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in Tom & Viv (1994) she was seen as the least likely nominee to actually win. She was so unlikely and the film was so seldom heard of that a TNT public telephone poll cited her film as "Tom and Vic".
Nominated for the 1987 Olivier Award for Actress of the Year for her work in "A Lie of the Mind."
Graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
"I like people to be surprised by the turn of events. I don't want things just to be pat and formulaic. If there's some sort of internal combustion in the character or a desire to change the way things are going, that makes for conflict, which is the essence of drama."
Why did I not stop to have children? I suppose because the opportunity didn't present itself. Yes, many women feel they are not complete without having children, but I have different creative outlets.
"I would rather do many small roles on TV, stage or film than one blockbuster that made me rich but had no acting."
"Somebody referred to me as a ringleader, which I wouldn't have classed myself as, but anyway, there you go."
"You can have a laugh in Los Angeles, or you can weep in Los Angeles, depending on your attitude towards it."
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