During a Manhattan q & a last Tuesday night, Meryl Streep explained that The Iron Lady is “three days in the life of a little old lady who just happens to [have been] the longest-serving prime minister in the 20th century and the only female in the western world to rule a nuclear country. I mean, pretty interesting stuff, to look at a life in its ebbing and in its diminishment…our movie is about her history through her eyes.
“We took things from three days of a life — things that would be called up from a fire on a television, an explosion. What memory would that trigger? A son calling and saying he’s not gonna make it again up to see her. What memories would that trigger about lost sons? It’s imagining Margaret Thatcher as a human being, which is very, very hard for some people.”
The interview, which included Iron Lady director Phyllida Lloyd, was moderated by Hollywood Reporter award-season columnist Scott Feinberg. It happened almost a week ago but it took several days for the Weinstein guys to transfer it to YouTube. It happened at the DGA theatre on 57th Street, and it ran for about 40 minutes,
“I would like to think that everybody that got on a subway and saw some old lady sitting across from them…that they would imagine that a whole huge life lay behind all those wrinkles and that seemingly nondescript forgettable face,” Streep said at one point.
“I mean, there is almost nothing less interesting in our consumerist society than an old lady. Dismissed. We don’t make movies for her, we don’t give a damn, we can’t sell her anything, she doesn’t buy anything. But just the idea that everything — the whole panoply of human experience: births, deaths, struggles, joy — everything’s in there. And just to imagine that. That’s what I would hope.”