Gillian Anderson is known for playing ballsy, take action, intelligent women. From her breakout role as Dana Scully on FOX’s The X-Files, Lily Hart (House of Mirth), and Lady Dedlock (Bleak House) through to Miss Havisham (Great Expectations), DU Stella Gibson (The Fall) and Media (American Gods), Anderson has the ability to bring a mix of strength and vulnerability to her characters that make them so mesmerizing and with award nominations often following. Anderson is set to do this once again, taking on the Iron Lady herself.
Anderson’s name has been connected to Netflix’s hit period drama The Crown and the role of Margaret Thatcher since the beginning of the year, however no confirmation was forthcoming until this past weekend in a new interview with The Observer magazine and in social media posts.
“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 shared on Instagram. “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 despise, defined an era.”
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She further explores this in her interview with The Observer sharing, “I haven’t quite figured out how to talk about her yet.” While she hasn’t quite developed that aspect of her character yet, Anderson is certainly immersing herself in all things Thatcher – reading and watching everything she can get her hands on about Britain’s first female prime minister. “To a certain degree, it’s very helpful for an actor, at least in my experience, to slightly fall in love with the character you’re playing, regardless of what your opinion might be of them, if it’s a historical character, particularly. So I have.” And she is finding her research “absolutely fascinating”.
“Just everything that came later stems so entirely from her childhood,” Anderson reveals. “But that in and of itself is fascinating, and – I’m not going to use the word forgivable, but one can find compassion.”
Olivia Colman dons the crown as the Queen in the third and fourth seasons taking over from Claire Foy. While we have yet to see Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, Anderson has had the opportunity and promises we won’t be disappointed. “I’ve seen the third season, and she’s amazing.”
Joining Colman and Anderson in the next chapters of the Royal Family drama are Helena Bonham Carter who replaces Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, and Tobias Menzies takes over Prince Philip duties from Matt Smith. As we progress through the 60s and 70s with the next two seasons, Josh O’Connor joins the cast as Prince Charles and Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell as Camilla Shand (now the Duchess of Cornwall).
The Crown season 3 drops on Netflix on November 17.
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