Jan. 5 - Meryl Streep shines on the red carpet at The Iron Lady's European premiere in London, telling Reuters that she admires some of Margaret Thatcher's qualities. Edward Baran reports.
She was one of the 20th century's most divisive figures. So perhaps it's no surprise the new film about Margaret Thatcher's life The Iron Lady is proving no less controversial. At the movie's European premiere in London, Meryl Streep, who plays the former British Prime Minister, said she'd been more focussed on the person than the politics. SOUNDBITE: Meryl Streep, actress, saying (English): ''I admire many of her qualities, I don't agree with many of her policies. You know when you play a character you don't really judge them, you just try to get as close as you can, especially to one that exists and has made a mark on history, you try your best to get as close to the truth as you can.'' Some critics have said the film is overly sympathetic towards Margaret Thatcher -- others that the portrayal of her in old age as frail and confused is unfair while she's still alive. But Streep is relaxed about the debate: SOUNDBITE: Meryl Streep, actress, saying (English): ''I think, the thing that I noticed when I was making the film, is how fiery hot on both sides the feelings were, people wanted to hold her as this indelible icon or they wanted to regard her as a monster, and to me the only interesting thing is to look at Margaret Thatcher as if she were a human being, which after all she is..'' Despite mixed reviews, Streep is being hotly tipped for success at next month's Oscars. Her performance has already gained her a Golden Globe nomination and it's expected she'll also gain recognition from the Academy when nominations are revealed later this month. Edward Baran, Reuters.