THIS JUST IN: PHYLLIDA LLOYD AND MERYL STREEP TAKE ON MARGARET THATCHER
What do a lesbian, the music of ABBA and Margaret Thatcher have to do with Meryl Streep earning what will almost certainly be her 17th Academy Award nomination? Well, the actress is in talks to star in a biopic about the former British prime minister that is helmed by her Mamma Mia! director and out lesbian Phyllida Lloyd. So that old saying really does hold true: Behind every great woman playing a great woman is a great big lesbian.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Streep is in talks to star in the new biopic The Iron Lady based on the tense 17 days preceding the 1982 Falklands War. The period was a crucial time in Thatcher’s first term. After the victorious campaign, her approval ratings doubled and she went on to a second (and a third) term and BFF status with Ronald Reagan.
Jim Broadbent is in talks to play Thatcher’s husband, Denis. Pathe and BBC Films are developing the film, which is being described as “the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising and insightful portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman.”
This, of course, isn’t Meryl’s first foray into playing real-life heroines. She played nuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood in Silkwood, author Karen Blixen in Out of Africa, super chef Julia Childs in Julie & Julia and author Susan Orlean in Adaptation. She has also played gay in The Hours. Not that Thatcher is gay, just being thorough. Now, of course, we can certainly quibble with Thatcher’s politics. But the woman had an unmistakable impact on the UK, and the world.
Lloyd, who in 2006 was named No. 56 on The Independent’s Pink List of the most influential GLBT people in the UK, is known primarily for her work on serious theatrical fare including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Way of the World. So while at first to have the director of the all-singing, all-dancing musical romp tackle tough political drama might be odd, her resume more than measures up to the task.
With 16 Oscar nominations, and two wins, under her belt, Meryl, too, seems custom-built for this role. She can show steely resolve and given her skill at voices, Thatcher’s upper crust British accent should be a breeze. Plus, God, are you not just dying to see Meryl in that hair?
— by Dorothy Snarker