In anticipation for Meryl Streep’s depiction of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, the much acclaimed actress sat down with 60 Minutes for a down-to-earth interview that made me admire and respect her even more than I already did.
I haven’t always been a Streep fan. For a while, I felt similarly to the same way Jerry Seinfeld did when, in Seinfeld, he maligned Streep for over-acting when he likened Elaine to the actress, at least when it came to Elaine's behavior in the bedroom. But I’ve done a 180 since those dark, anti-Streep days and now see almost everything she’s in, from Mama Mia, The Devil Wears Prada, Prime and It’s Complicated, to Julie & Julia, The Hours, Adaptation and Doubt. (Other older Streep films I've seen include the classic Kramer vs Kramer, The River Wild, The Bridges of Madison County, Death Becomes Her, Defending Your Life, Postcards from the Edge and Heartburn.)
My favorite bit of commentary that she provided in her 60 Minutes interview was her discussion about playing “strong women” in film:
“No one has ever asked an actor, ‘You’re playing a strong-minded man.’ . . . We assume that men are strong-minded or have opinions, but a strong-minded woman is a different animal.”
She also had intriguing things to say about some of the men with whom she’s shared leading roles including Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson.
Meanwhile, I’m antsy to see her take on the powerful Thatcher. I’m even thinking about taking my 13-year-old daughter to see it with me as she's fascinated with the notion of female political power. The movie sounds promising, particularly after reading The Hollywood Reporter's review of the film:
"Playing both the staunch human battleship and the diminished old woman sifting through her past, Meryl Streep is riveting in The Iron Lady. Her physical and verbal mimicry are uncanny, but her embodiment of an indomitable, uniquely British spirit perhaps even more so. The performance provides this engrossing if somewhat deferential biopic of Margaret Thatcher with a richly conflicted center that befits one of the most divisive figures in 20th century politics."
A reviewer from the U.K.'s The Guardian also heaped praised upon Streep -- though he didn't seem as enamoured of the film, writing:
"Yet Streep, it transpires, is the one great weapon of this often silly and suspect picture. Her performance is astonishing and all but flawless; a masterpiece of mimicry which re-imagines Thatcher in all her half-forgotten glory. Streep has the basilisk stare; the tilted, faintly predatory posture. Her delivery, too, is eerily good – a show of demure solicitude, invariably overtaken by steely, wild-eyed stridency."