The Crown star Gillian Anderson, who portrays Margaret Thatcher in season 4 of the hit Netflix drama, has discussed how her partner Peter Morgan approached her about playing the role of the 1980s British prime minister.
In the new season of The Crown, Gillian, 52, does a strikingly good job at embodying the Tory politician, complete with a bouffant hairstyle and laboured manner of speaking.
While the actor’s transformation into the Iron Lady was an extreme one, it appears the show’s creator, Peter, who she has been in a relationship with since 2016, had her in mind for the role early on.
On Thursday 19 November, while being interviewed by radio presenter Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2, Gillian explained that Peter asked her if she thought she could accurately portray Britain’s first female prime minister on screen.
‘He asked me whether I thought that I could do it,’ she said.
‘And then when I said that I thought I could, he talked to the casting director Nina Gold, who informed him that I was already on the list.’
Gillian added she wasn’t quite sure what to make of the fact both Peter and Nina had thought of her for the role.
‘They fortunately had the same thought,’ she said. ‘Not quite sure why, but I’ll take it as a compliment.’
Gillian described her experience on The Crown season 4 as ‘extraordinary’, explaining that while she feels ‘fortunate’ to have been ‘involved in beloved series’ throughout her career, ‘this feels like it’s almost on another level’.
She added that when she was approached about playing Thatcher, she felt like it was an offer she ‘couldn’t not say yes to’.
‘I think all actors are interested in complex characters and given how divisive she was, she definitely is about as complex as one gets,’ the X-Files actor said.
‘It wasn’t a difficult thing to say yes to. I was a huge fan of the show and had huge respect for all the actors who’d been on it before. So it felt like something that I couldn’t not say yes to.’
Gillian also offered a small insight into the upcoming third season of Sex Education, in which she plays sex therapist Dr Jean F. Milburn.
The actor told Zoe that there’s ‘lots of drama to be witnessed’ in the show, as she prepares to head back to Wales for filming.
The Crown season 4 is available to watch on Netflix.