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Jim Broadbent, Meryl Streep

English actor Jim Broadbent is currently on the silver screen in British director Mike Leigh‘s new drama, Another Year (read Leah Rozen‘s stellar review here), where he plays a good-natured geologist named Tom.

But come the New Year, he’ll join Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep to start work on the Margaret Thatcher biopic, The Iron Lady. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, the period film will zero in on Margaret Thatcher‘s days in office preceding the Falklands War in the 1980s. And when it comes to his co-star, Broadbent believes Streep is the appropriate actress to play the former British Prime Minister, regardless of the fact that she’s American.

“I think years ago a film about Thatcher was attempted, and they had a phone-in vote on a BBC morning news program: ‘Who do you think should play Margaret Thatcher?’ And Meryl actually came out on top!” Broadbent recently told New York magazine.

He added: “I think it’s perceived that Thatcher needs a star, really, and she’s perfect casting in many ways. She’s got a good look, and she’ll absolutely do it in a brilliant way. She’s also got an interesting eye on the script: She can bring an outsider’s view on the story, so that it won’t become a lazy, parochial piece that Brits understand but where nobody else really knows what’s going on. She can ask the questions that foreign audiences will ask.”

Back in October, Broadbent — who plays Thatcher’s dedicated husband, Denis — raved about Streep’ talent, saying that her part will be “sympathetic” toward the now 85-year-old Thatcher.

The film is expected to open sometime next year.

Do you think Meryl Streep will make a good Margaret Thatcher?

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By MacKenzie Wilson