May 13

The Iron Lady has gotten some weighty support. The Meryl Streep biopic about British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was picked up for distribution in the United States by The Weinstein Co., which has a good track record with British biopics. Last year, Harvey and Bob Weinstein steered The King’s Speech through a contentious award season to an ultimate Best Picture win at the Academy Awards. They are likely to push for a repeat of that recent history with this film, which focuses on the 1982 Falklands War and co-stars fellow Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent as Thatcher’s husband, Denis. Phyllida Lloyd, who worked with Streep on Mamma Mia!, is directing. The pick-up news came out of the Cannes Film Festival today, where footage from the unfinished movie was shown to potential distributors at the world’s biggest film market. “Having worked with both Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent, I know that they are without peer as film actors. Even so, I was absolutely blown away by what I saw of their performances as Margaret and Denis Thatcher. Phyllida is doing an incredible job,” Harvey Weinstein said in a statement. He said The Iron Lady would be released by the end of 2011, naturally — which would qualify it for the next awards race.

Apr 29

The Daily Mail has a very extensive and interesting article on “The Iron Lady”, including some quotes by Meryl’s co-star Richard E. Grant, who will be playing Michael Hesletine in the film. The fulll article can be read here: Meryl Streep, attired with uncanny accuracy as Margaret Thatcher, is shooting a scene from the forthcoming film Iron Lady. Striding down a parliamentary corridor in power suit and pearls, her blonde wig coiffed to replicate the distinctive Prime Ministerial hair-do; her voice crisp with authority, Streep, it seems, has perfectly caught the power and allure of our first female PM. But then the cameras stop rolling and an unexpected transformation takes place. She shrugs off the mask of political gravitas, kicks the air with her court-shoed heels and bursts into a chorus of Abba songs. Richard E. Grant, who plays Mrs Thatcher’s political nemesis Michael Heseltine in the film, watched with amusement and delight as Streep – who won plaudits as Abba-loving Donna in the blockbuster movie Mamma Mia! – performed an impromptu medley of songs from the film.

We were doing a scene in which Mrs Thatcher walks down a corridor with a group of ministers. Between shots, Meryl, still suited and bewigged as Mrs T, sang the Abba hits. It was so incongruous and hilarious and it sums up her humour and sense of mischief. It’s naff to say it, but Meryl makes you feel better about yourself. As an actress, she’s the best of the best. But she’s also unbelievably down-to-earth. She knew everyone on the set by name. She’s appreciative of what other actors do. She has no entourage. It’s like working with a British theatre actress: very unexpected and disarming in someone who has 16 Oscar nominations and two Academy Awards in the bag.

Apr 22

The Daily Mail has published a brand new production still from “The Iron Lady” as well as some more background information on the upcoming release.

Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent show their true – blue – colours as they portray former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis. It’s a recreation of the 1980 Conservative Party conference at Brighton, when the Fighting Lady (as Time magazine dubbed her that year) put the country on alert over battles with unions regarding pay and jobs. It was also the time when she made her famous ‘You turn if you want to: the Lady is not for turning!’ speech, although the speech itself is not included in the segment.

Director Lloyd and the picture’s writer Abi Morgan use the conference to demonstrate Mrs Thatcher’s dominance of, and popularity within, her party – as well as her deep unpopularity in the other half of the nation. Outside the Grand Hotel and the all-blue iron curtain of the Tory Party faithful, thousands of protesters had marched on Brighton to express their anger at Mrs Thatcher’s policies, many of which were seen as Draconian. Some within her party were a bit wobbly, too, but Mrs Thatcher would not stand for any dissent. The film shows many high (and low) points of her life and career but overall, it is a portrait of a woman whose steely resolve dominated the British political landscape. “The film covers a big spectrum of her life in order to sum up the kind of person she was, and why she has this iconic status,’ an executive on the picture told me. Alexandra Roach portrays the young Margaret; Harry Lloyd is the young Denis; and Olivia Colman (brilliant in forthcoming film Tyrannosaur) plays Mrs Thatcher’s daughter Carol. As I mentioned before, Meryl buried herself in research on her subject, and was also advised by a line-up of Tory insiders. A friend who visited the set said there was a scary moment when Meryl was spotted with prosthetic make-up as the former PM in later retirement. ‘I thought I was staring at Maggie for real! Meryl’s not impersonating Maggie – she is the very essence of her,’ I was told.

Meryl has been helped in achieving the full Maggie look by hair and make-up expert J. Roy Halland, while Consolata Boyle, who created the clothes for The Queen, has designed costumes for The Iron Lady. She and her team tirelessly researched the six decades of Mrs Thatcher’s political career. For instance, Ms Boyle tracked down the creators of Mrs T’s iconic blue blouse with the pussy-bow collar (the one Meryl is seen wearing in Alex Bailey’s photograph) and recreated it, as she did her blue suit. And Meryl’s dresser Jane Law studied newsreel footage so she could recreate Mrs T’s look to a T. The movie, produced by Damian Jones, Pathe and Film 4, may not be ready for any of the autumn film festivals such as Toronto and Venice – although in order to qualify for the Oscars it will have to open in Los Angeles and New York by the end of December. At the moment, Pathe is provisionally set to release it here in the UK on January 6, 2012.

Apr 20

Between April 18 and April 28 eBay will host charity auctions for Mother’s Day gifts donated by celebrity moms to support women-oriented charities. They will also help Women for Women International raise money for its programs for women survivors of war through several celebrity charity auctions on eBay Giving Works eBay’s charity fundraising program. Women for Women will auction off three unique celebrity experiences: a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Ashley Judd, a red-carpet experience and meet-and-greet in the U.K. with Meryl Streep during the premiere of her new film, “The Iron Lady,” and a trip to New York to visit with kate spade’s creative director Deborah Lloyd, plus a $1000 kate spade shopping spree.

Mar 06

A new picture from yesterday’s filming of “The Iron Lady” has been added. It’s a case of BIN there, done that for the Iron Lady… as these latest pictures from the filming of her life story show. Trademark handbag by her side, Mrs T, played by a ­spookily similar-looking Meryl Streep, has to fight her way past vast piles of rubbish bags in a ­recreation of 1979’s ­Winter of Discontent. Shortly after, Thatcher led the Tories to victory – and 11 years in Downing Street. The Iron Lady, due in cinemas at the end of the year, tells how Britain’s only female Prime Minister rose to power.

Feb 16

Brand new pictures from the “Iron Lady” set, taken on February 15, 2011, have been added to the image library. In the scenes currently being shot in South London, Mrs Thatcher is seen confronting protesters in the 1980s who are angry about job cuts and the introduction of the controversial poll tax.

Feb 15

Pictures from the set of “The Iron Lady”, taken on February 11 2011, have been added to the image library.

Feb 13

Much has been written in the British press since the first promotional still for “The Iron Lady” has been published. It’s sometimes difficult to interpret the UK press since they’re either very pro or anti Thatcher, which ultimately influences the tone of their articles.  First, the Daily Mail has reported that Meryl Streep was not able to talk to Margaret Thatcher herself. “Margaret Thatcher refused to meet actress Meryl Streep to discuss a new film about the former Prime Minister over fears that it could distort her 11 years in power.” Unfortunately there is no further source for this stated. Then, also courtesy the Daily Mail, pictures from the set have been revealed. “New shots of the actress on set showed a different side of the legendary politician. Meryl, filmed a scene [on February 11, 2011] in which the ex-PM gives daughter Carol a driving lesson in an old Austin Maxi.” Then, there’s more analysis on the first promotional still and Meryl’s ability to perform by the Telegraph. And lastly, according to the Guardian, Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher reveals a modern icon. The photograph of Meryl Streep as Thatcher reminds us of the potent combination that created the image of an “Iron Lady”.

Feb 09

Many thanks to everyone for the heads-up on these exiting news. Pathé UK has released the first shot of Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Streep is in the 2nd week of filming The Iron Lady in London.

It’s the first feature from director Phyllida since she directed Streep in Mamma Mia. Jim Broadbent plays Thatcher’s husband Dennis. Damian Jones is the producer. Fox will release here in Britain through its output deal with Pathé, which is handling international sales itself. Pathé will unveil footage at Cannes. North American rights are still unsold. “I am trying to approach the role with as much zeal, fervour and attention to detail as the real Lady Thatcher possesses – I can only hope my stamina will begin to approach her own,” says Streep.

Jan 19

Article courtesy Bloomberg. Actress Meryl Streep visited the British Parliament to watch Prime Minister’s Questions today as she prepared for her role playing Margaret Thatcher.

Streep will portray the former prime minister in “The Iron Lady,” which deals with the run-up to the 1982 Falklands Conflict. Cameron’s office said she contacted it to secure a pass to the House of Commons viewing gallery. The half-hour weekly question session sees Cameron dealing with any topic about which lawmakers choose to ask him. Its combative style makes it the highlight of Britain’s political week, and party leaders spend hours preparing. When Thatcher was in office between 1979 and 1990, there were two 15-minute sessions a week.