Meryl Streep may be getting serious about landing that third Oscar. Well, that may be of an overstatement, but Streep is considering playing a key historical figure that screams of Oscar bait: Margaret Thatcher.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Streep would re-team with director Phyllida Lloyd, her “Mamma Mia!” helmer, for “Thatcher,” a biopic centering on a tumultuous time in the British Prime Minister’s history. Conceived by Damien Jones and Brian Fillis, “Thatcher” takes place primarily during the two weeks prior to the beginning of the 1982 Falklands War. The short campaign helped cement Thatcher’s reputation as the “Iron Lady” of Western Europe and made her a hero to the British people. Another Oscar winner, Jim Broadbent, may play Thatcher’s husband. The 84-year-old Thatcher served as British PM from 1979-1990.
Historical figures are nothing new for Streep. She’s played everyone from Karen Silkwood in “Silkwood” to Karen Blixen in “Out of Africa” and, most recently, Julia Child in “Julie and Julia” (as well as channeled everyone from Hilary Clinton to Anna Wintour in other roles). The former provided Streep with her 16th Academy Award nomination, but was also her – jaw-droppingly – 14th straight loss in a row. To say this is an embarrassment for both Hollywood and the Academy is hard to debate. Moreover, Streep’s continuing good humor and classy demeanor over having shown up to lose at the Kodak Theater again and again is a testament to the cinematic icon she’s become. Whether playing Thatcher can get the 61-year-old actress back in the winner’s circle remains to be seen, but portraying a legendary British figure certainly got Helen Mirren there.
After a busy 2008 and 2009, Streep has not shot anything new since “It’s Complicated.” The Nancy Meyers comedy grossed an impressive $112 million earlier this year.
No word on how soon “Thatcher” may begin production.
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