Streep tells of Thatcher admiration

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Hollywood star Meryl Streep has spoken of how her admiration for Lady Thatcher grew as she made a film about the UK’s former Prime Minister.

The actress has won plaudits and talk of an Oscar win for her role in The Iron Lady, a controversial movie which has drawn criticism from the ex-Tory party leader’s former colleagues.

But Streep said that making the film has given her greater respect for a woman who succeeded against overwhelming odds.

“The more I learned, the more my view of her changed. Wherever you stand on her policies, and many people didn’t like her, the scale of her influence and the fact that she got things done was extraordinary,” she said.

“And the mental, physical, spiritual energy that it took to live every one of those days as head of the government was phenomenal. It’s really humbling to consider that she was at 10 Downing Street for 10½ years. I admire that achievement. I stand in awe of it, even though I didn’t agree with a lot of her policies.”

Streep, 62, plays the politician over 40 years, showing her rise to the top. She said: “I was aware of her very early on and, even though her policies were not popular, to say the least, in my circles, people were kind of thrilled that a woman had become leader.

“When I was in college the professions open to women were so few – there were very few women that went to law school, no one dreamed of being a corporate head, it was out of the question.

“You could, perhaps, become leader of a company, maybe if they made make-up. You could be editor of a magazine but only if it was a woman’s magazine...that’s the world that Margaret Thatcher entered and then rose right to the very top and it’s extraordinary.”

She said: “I had some very definite ideas, the way that I do about certain things on my own face, which I obviously know very well, and I knew if I emphasised certain things it would look more like her.”