Meryl Streep wanted to capture Thatcher 'venom'

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A 17-year-old high school student (Anna Paquin) witnesses a bus accident in New York City and gets caught up in the aftermath. Matt Damon stars as her high school teacher while Mark Ruffalo acts as the bus operator. Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan.
December 7th, 2011

Meryl Streep wanted to capture the "special venom" people have towards Margaret Thatcher.

The Oscar-winning actress portrays the British prime minister in forthcoming movie 'The Iron Lady', and she admits she was drawn to the "amazing" part because she wanted to play all sides of the controversial leader.

She said: "It's an amazing part. There's nothing like it around. Certainly there aren't a lot of parts that loom so large in everyone's imaginations, and that people come to with such feeling from every corner.

"I don't know if it's sympathetic or it's empathetic, everybody sort of sees her in a different way, through the prism of their own need or life.

"I wanted to in some way, capture whatever it was that drew people to her and whatever it was that made people have a special venom towards her."

However, it was not the only reason Meryl was keen to take the part - she also has a fascination with elderly women.

She added: "I'm interested in older ladies, I always have been. People that have lived thick layered, interesting, varied, challenging lives."

The 62-year-old star has been tipped as an Academy Award for the portrayal of Margaret, and she admits it still matters to her, even though she is the most-nominated actress in history.

She added to the BBC: "Sadly it still matters! It does! It's so exciting. It really is. I remember the first time I went, Lord Olivier was here and Gregory Peck was there and Bette Davis was behind me. I've been going to that thing for many years, but it's still, sort of, the one."