Meryl Streep becomes Baroness Thatcher in Iron Lady film

17:40 14 November 2011

Meryl Streep unveils the poster for new film The Iron Lady on the South Bank in London

Meryl Streep unveils the poster for new film The Iron Lady on the South Bank in London

Former prime minister Baroness Thatcher is set for a high-profile role in Londoners’ lives again, in the form of Hollywood legend Meryl Streep.

Steep was in town today to promote The Iron Lady, her new film about the ex-PM.

The Oscar-winning actress unveiled a poster for the movie just across the river from the Houses of Parliament.

The film includes scenes from Lady Thatcher’s childhood up to the present day, and portrays the price she paid for power.

With Big Ben as a backdrop, the 62-year-old Hollywood star said she was very “happy” to be in Britain and told Londoners to get ready to see her face on posters all over town.

But according to reports earlier this year, not everyone is as happy about her depiction of Lady Thatcher.

The Daily Telegraph reported in July that Lady Thatcher’s children, Mark and Carol, were “appalled” at the sound of the plot, which they were said to have likened to a “left-wing fantasy”.

At the promotional event, the film’s director Phyllida Lloyd denied The Iron Lady is an ideological film and said she was convinced Streep’s performance would win Lady Thatcher’s children over.

She said: “I’m sure they view any attempt to put their mother on screen with trepidation, as I’m sure we all would.

“But I think that when they see Meryl’s performance they will understand how much care and attention to Lady Thatcher’s dignity she’s given it.”

Ms Lloyd, who also directed Streep on the smash hit musical Mamma Mia!, said the actress had taken to the role with “astonishing ease and brilliance”.

She said: “I think Margaret Thatcher was a superstar in this country and I think we all felt we needed a superstar to play her, somebody of huge intelligence, passion and power and warmth.”

The Iron Lady has been billed as a historical drama, but there was a comic moment at the unveiling today.

Streep and Ms Lloyd initially had difficulties when the strings attached to the sheet of paper covering the poster failed.

The pair drew on their shared experience in the theatre and managed to improvise by tearing it away with their hands.

Asked what it had felt like to play the Iron Lady, Streep said audiences would have to “wait until January” to find out.

The Iron Lady will be released on January 6.

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