Gillian Anderson transformed completely to play former prime minister Margaret Thatcher (Picture: Des Willie/Netflix)
The fourth series of The Crown shows Margaret Thatcher being elected Britain’s first female prime minister in 1979, during which time she resisted sanctions against South Africa, faced the Falklands War and dealt with her son going missing during a motor rally in the Sahara Desert.
As prime minister, the Tory politician also had to meet Queen Elizabeth II for regular audiences, providing The Crown fans with several entertainingly tense scenes between Gillian and Olivia Colman, as the monarch.
Gillian’s performance as Thatcher is a far cry from one of her most recent roles – sex therapist Jean Milburn in Netflix’s comedy-drama Sex Education.
Following the release of The Crown season 4 on the streaming platform, viewers have found themselves transfixed by the 52-year-old’s transformation into the Iron Lady.
Many have called for the actor’s portrayal of the 1980s prime minister to be appropriately acknowledged with awards in the new year, when ceremonies including the Golden Globes and the Baftas are due to take place.
‘Can they already book all the awards for Gillian Anderson, in the next awards season?’ one viewer said.
‘She is absolutely phenomenal as Margaret Thatcher. What an impeccable act. Deserves so much praise and accolades.’
‘Gillian Anderson is breathtakingly phenomenal as Margaret Thatcher,’ another remarked, describing her turn as the prime minister as ‘the performance of her career’.
Gillian has also been highly praised for her performance by Charles Moore, who published an authorised biography of Thatcher in three volumes between 2013 and 2019.
While Charles has been somewhat critical about the accuracy of the political storylines in The Crown season 4, the journalist described Gillian’s depiction of the former prime minister as the ‘only convincing performance’ he had seen.
‘Meryl Streep’s star turn in The Iron Lady was of her old age: she was more uncertain acting her in her pomp,’ he added in an article written for The Telegraph.
While Thatcher, who died in 2013, was known for her steely demeanour, The Crown also shows the prime minister looking increasingly awkward while failing to fit in with the royal family during a visit to Balmoral Castle with her husband.
In the period drama, Thatcher fails what is described as the ‘Balmoral Test’, an unofficial test that the royal family supposedly uses to suss out their guests at the Scottish estate.
The Crown season 4 is available to watch on Netflix.
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