The rumours were true: Gillian Anderson has officially joined The Crown as polarising Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The Netflix show confirmed the casting in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, informing fans that Anderson will portray Thatcher in season four, which is being filmed now.
“I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman,” Anderson said in a statement.
“Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era.”
Gillian Anderson will play Margaret Thatcher in The Crown Season Four, now in production. pic.twitter.com/OVCO8o2bVk— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) September 7, 2019
Thatcher became the UK’s first female Prime Minister in 1979 and held the post for more than eleven years. Her uncompromising policies and personal style saw her dubbed “The Iron Lady” – which later became the title of a biopic starring Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar for playing her.
However, Thatcher remains an incredibly divisive figure who is maligned by many for policies including privatising state-owned industries and reducing the power of trade unions. Some political commentators have accused her of amplifying the divide in prosperity between different parts of the UK. She famously, and controversially said: “There is no such thing as society.”
Anderson’s Thatcher will appear alongside Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth II in season four of The Crown. In the 2013 stage play The Audience – which was written by The Crown‘s creator Peter Morgan – the two women were portrayed as very wary of one another.
However, in her memoirs Thatcher dismissed suggestions that she and the Queen had a difficult working relationship, writing that “stories of clashes between ‘two powerful women’ were just too good not to make up”.
We still have a bit of a wait to see how their relationship will be portrayed in The Crown. Season three of the acclaimed period drama, which also introduces Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, is due to debut on Netflix on November 17.
Season four, expected at some point in 2020, will introduce a young Princess Diana in addition to Anderson’s Thatcher. Bring it on.
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