Phyllida Llloyd was a multi-award-winning British director, best known for her extravagant opera and theater productions, including "The Virtuoso" (1991) for the Royal Shakespeare Company and "Six Deg...
Officials from the U.K.'s Women in Film and TV organisation have created a countdown of the country's biggest and brightest talents to celebrate the ladies who have made an impact on the entertainment industry.
Other celebrities to make the cut include actresses Dame Maggie Smith, Carey Mulligan, Naomie Harris and Miranda Hart, while The Iron Lady director Phyllida Lloyd, Wuthering Heights filmmaker Andrea Arnold and We Need to Talk About Kevin director Lynne Ramsay have also earned a mention.
Meryl Streep plays the part of the U.K.'s first female prime minister in director Phyllida Lloyd's movie, which has been snubbed by Thatcher and her family.
Thatcher's children were reportedly "appalled" by the film's plot, which shows the former politician as a lonely old woman looking back on her momentous career in the 1980s.
Now, Cameron has waded into the debate over the storyline, questioning why Lloyd focused on Thatcher's later years in the film.
He tells BBC Radio 4, "It's a fantastic piece of acting by Meryl Streep. You can't help wondering, why do we have to have this film right now? It is a film much more about ageing and elements of dementia rather than about an amazing prime minister.
"My sort of sense was a great piece of acting, a really staggering piece of acting, but a film I wish they could have made another day."
The Oscar-winning actress stepped into the shoes of Britain's famous former Prime Minister for the film and recently confessed she only had a week to practice Thatcher's voice and posture.
She insisted she was "ready" by the time the cameras rolled - but now she's revealed the early days onset were fraught with problems and she even told director Phyllida Lloyd she was having second thoughts about taking on the role.
Streep tells The Independent, "I got on a plane and I had not 'done' her. So day one was a bit not great, but there were all these splendid English actors at Pinewood (Studios in England) and you've got to love other actors - they gave me my belief. And you really have to believe, right to the soles of your feet."
On the second day of filming, Streep was required to shoot a major scene in the movie but her doubts about playing Thatcher were creeping in.
She adds, "I was so freaked out. But sometimes a bath of fire is good - when it's terrifying and hard and ridiculous - that's good... Sometimes I got hysterical and lost my mind and thought, 'I don't think I can do this.' Phyllida would say, 'Yes you can'...
"It's good to be nervous, insecure - that's a very good thing. I mean, it's horrible, but it's the thing that enables you to understand weakness. And often you need to know what that is."
I've got to be honest. The last trailer for The Iron Lady was a little underwhelming. We've seen it all before: a controversial world leader, played by an actor synonymous with "distinguished," dealing with personal and political trials while on a journey to make a change in the world. I guess this new trailer is really more of the same...but somehow, it just makes The Iron Lady seem better that I previously thought.
Meryl Streep's performance seems stronger, and the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and her husband Denis Thatcher (played in the film by Jim Broadbent) seems thicker, rockier and more compelling. Of course, the real story is the opposition Thatcher gets due to her policies, actions and gender from other nations, British citizens, and her own colleagues. None of it is "surprising." Anyone even marginally familiar with Margaret Thatcher will know right away what to expect from the film, more or less. But the delivery seems triumphant, and grand: qualities more than applicable to the subject in question.
We recommend you check out the new trailer for The Iron lady, directed by Phyllidia Lloyd. It probably won't shock you...but stir you it just might.
Click here to watch the new The Iron Lady trailer at Apple.com.
The legendary actress was thrilled to receive the call from her Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd asking her to play Britain's formidable first female prime minister, and presumed she would have months to prepare before heading to England to start shooting The Iron Lady.
But the star's personal life took an unexpected turn for the worse, and a shaken Streep only had a matter of days to turn into Thatcher for the cameras.
She tells Britain's Live magazine, "Phyllida said she had a film about Margaret Thatcher. I immediately said I wanted to do it. How many people get to play the first female leader in the Western world?
"I thought I would have a lot of time to prepare, but my husband had a very serious series of operations and then my best friend died. It was just a Christmas and New Year from hell.
"I remember landing in London in January this year, and having to hole up in a little living room by the electric fire for one solid week, 24 hours a day, immersing myself and getting a feeling for what her life must have been - that complete focus, intense preparation, knowing she had to be ten times faster, more prepared, ahead of everybody. I was ready by the time we started."
The Hollywood actress tackles the part of the U.K.'s first female prime minister in The Iron Lady, but rumours emerged earlier this year (11) suggesting Thatcher's grown-up children Carol and Mark were "appalled" by the plot.
During a promotional event for the film in London on Monday (14Nov11), director Phyllida Lloyd reached out to the family to assure them about Streep's portrayal of Thatcher.
She says, "I'm sure they view any attempt to put their mother on screen with trepidation, as I'm sure we all would.
"But I think that when they see Meryl's performance they will understand how much care and attention to Lady Thatcher's dignity she's given it.
"I think Margaret Thatcher was a superstar in this country and I think we all felt we needed a superstar to play her, somebody of huge intelligence, passion and power and warmth."
Lloyd adds that Streep took to the role with "astonishing ease and brilliance".
The Weinstein Company just purchased themselves some Oscar-bait with The Iron Lady, an upcoming picture starring Oscar winners Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as her husband. The picture is directed by Phyllida Lloyd (who guided Streep's performance in Mamma Mia!) and currently is set to release sometime in 2011 (presumably this fall or winter, just in time for the Academy to say, "Hey! We like this!").
"Having worked with both Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent, I know that they are without peer as film actors. Even so, I was absolutely blown away by what I saw of their performances as Margaret and Denis Thatcher. Phyllida is doing an incredible job," said Harvey Weinstein.
This film will undoubtedly be good, but damn, that picture still gives us the heebie-jeebies.
Source: The Weinstein Company
The Hollywood actress is said to be in negotiations to re-team with her Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd for the 1982-set film, which will show Thatcher in the run-up to the Falklands War.
Moulin Rouge! actor Jim Broadbent has reportedly been lined up to play the former British leader's husband, Denis, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Thatcher led Britain for 11 years between 1979 and 1990. Her career famously waned prior to the conflict in the Falklands but she received a boost in popularity after the 72-day war, which saw her triumph in the U.K.'s 1983 election.
Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher? The actress is in talks to reteam with her Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd for Thatcher, a biopic of the former British prime minister.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jim Broadbent is in talks to play Thatcher's husband, Denis.
The film is being developed by Pathe and BBC Films.
Damien Jones is producing and came up with the story with Brian Fillis, who wrote the screenplay.
Set in 1982, the project tracks Thatcher as she tries to save her career in the 17 days preceding the 1982 Falklands War.
Made her theatrical debut with "The Virtuoso," a little-known play by Thomas Shadwell
Named the Associate Director at the Bristol Old Vic theater
Began working for BBC Television Drama after graduating from Birmingham University
Directed a reading of Sylvia Plath's "Three Women" as part of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium in Oxford
Television directing debut, a British production of the opera "Gloriana"
Feature directorial debut, the big screen adaptation of "Mamma Mia!"; film starred Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Amanda Seyfried
Joined the creative team behind "Mamma Mia!" a musical based around the ABBA songbook; "Mamma Mia!" won the 2002 Tony Award for Best Musical
Once again directed Streep, as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, in "The Iron Lady"
Phyllida Llloyd was a multi-award-winning British director, best known for her extravagant opera and theater productions, including "The Virtuoso" (1991) for the Royal Shakespeare Company and "Six Degrees of Separation" (1992) for the Royal Court. She directed "Mamma Mia!" (1999), a musical based on the tunes of the 1970s musical phenomenon, Swedish pop band ABBA, that became a hit in London's West End, Broadway, and eventually worldwide. It seemed there was no better person to bring this particular musical to the big screen so, in 2008, Lloyd made her feature film-directing debut with the movie version of "Mamma Mia!" (2008) starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan, among other performers, including newcomer Amanda Seyfried.<p>Phyllida Christian Lloyd was born on June 17, 1957 in Bristol, England. She spent five years working in BBC Television Drama after graduating from Birmingham University in 1979. Six years after graduating, Lloyd became Trainee Director at the Wolsey Theater in Ipswich, followed by a position at Everyman Theater in Cheltenham as Associate Director, and finally in 1989, she was awarded an Associate Director title at the Bristol Old Vic, where she directed "The Comedy of Errors." Lloyd received two academic honors in 2006: an honorary degree from Bristol University and the title of Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theater from Oxford University. Lloyd made her theatrical debut in 1991 with "The Virtuoso," a little-known play by Thomas Shadwell that received critical praise. Her first commercial success came a year later, with "Six Degrees of Separation" opening at the Royal Court Theater and moving to London's West End.<p>In 1999, Lloyd joined the creative team behind "Mamma Mia!" a musical about a girl named Sophie who reads her mom's diary and has to figure out who her real father is. The soundtrack to the story was taken from the ABBA songbook, with familiar titles such as "Dancing Queen," "Take A Chance on Me," and, of course, the title song. The musical was the brainchild of three women: creative producer Judy Craymer, writer Catherine Johnson, and director Lloyd. Their collaboration was key to the musical's commercial success, and it was more than a coincidence that the story centered around three very strong women. It won the 2002 Tony Award for Best Musical, and in 2007, became the 18th longest running Broadway musical of all time. Lloyd took directing reigns once again when "Mamma Mia!" opened in Los Angeles in September 2002.<p>Lloyd's talent with theater caught the eye of Nicholas Paine, who ran Opera North. The director soon found herself directing opera, with highly successful productions of "La Boheme," Cherubini's "Medea," and "Gloriana." The latter was made into a 2000 television feature in the UK, and won a Performing Arts Emmy Award that same year. She returned to theater in 2003 with the production of John Webster's play "The Duchess of Malfi" at the Royal National Theater in London. Lloyd also made great strides with her work outside of the stage. In 2006, Britain's <i>The Independent</i> newspaper named the director one of the "100 most influential gay and lesbian people" - a list that included the country's most remarkable artists and activists such as Ian McKellen, Elton John and fashion designer Alexander McQueen.<p>In 2007, Lloyd directed a reading of Sylvia Plath's "Three Women" as part of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium in Oxford. A few months later, she shot the big screen adaptation of "Mamma Mia!" in London and Greece, with an impressive cast that included Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and up-and-coming star Amanda Seyfried in the role of Sophie. A fun, life-affirming musical, the film debuted smack dab in the middle of a particularly competitive summer movie season, which included the long-awaited fourth installment of "Indiana Jones" and the Batman sequel, "The Dark Knight."
Lloyd was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) at the 2010 Queen's New Years Honours List for her services to the film industry.