Meryl Streep as Thatcher: Why Not Cast a Brit?

The Hollywood Reporter says Meryl Streep could be cast as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, a biopic to be helmed by Streep’s Mamma Mia director, Phyllida Lloyd. Fellow Oscar winner Jim Broadbent is lined up to play Thatcher’s husband Denis. Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neill is already debating whether the film will net Streep her third Oscar.

By now, we all know that Streep is a master at accents – and she did a decent British one in her Oscar-nominated role in The French Lieutenant’s Woman back in 1981:

But why didn’t they pursue a real British actress for the role? Surely, everyone from Emma Thompson to Julie Walters would have loved to have taken a crack at the Iron Lady. The truth of the matter is that the film probably won’t secure financing if Streep isn’t in the role. After all, Ms. Meryl is one of the few actresses of any age these days who has real box office clout. Like many in the audience, I love Streep as an actress more now than I ever did.

Unfortunately, the quality of the material she chooses doesn’t always rise to her level of talent. (Yes, I’m looking sqaurely at you, Mamma Mia and Julie and Julia. Yikes.) Here’s to hoping that The Iron Lady bucks that trend – although Lloyd’s involvement as director should give one pause.

In other news:

  • Could Brits Aaron Johnson or Jamie Bell step into Tobey Maguire‘s suit to play Spider-Man? (Guardian)
  • Neil Gaiman‘s Doctor Who episode will be Episode 3 of the next season, he has revealed. (Digital Spy)
  • Eddie Izzard gets a mixed review from The New York TimesBen Brantley for stepping into James Spader‘s role in David Mamet‘s Race on Broadway. “James Spader had played the part to near perfection when the show opened in December. But I had hopes that Mr. Izzard, a brilliant stand-up portraitist of human perversity, might give a jolt of shock therapy to an often glib and mechanical play. Yet he is on deflatingly good behavior in this recently recast production…Mr. Izzard’s performance is smart and sensitive, but it generally feels more submissive than subversive.”
  • Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters gave props to the UK for making him what he is today: “Without the UK I might still be dressing up as an abortion in some underground club in New York. The UK has made me a respectable career person.” (The Sun)
  • Harry Potter actress Afshan Azad, who plays Padma Patil in the series, was allegedly attacked by her brother and father, both of whom face charges.(The Sun)
  • Uh-oh! Naomi Campbell looks pissed and she has a cell phone in her hand. Fall back, papper-snappers! (Daily Mail)
  • Ricky Gervais will appear in an upcoming episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David has revealed. (Mirror)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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