Meryl Streep defends portrayal of old Margaret Thatcher suffering from dementia

Updated: Dec 02, 2011, 18:55 PM IST

London: Meryl Streep has defended her portrayal of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as an old woman suffering from dementia in her latest movie ‘The Iron Lady’.

The film has drawn criticism from Thatcher’s former colleagues; including former Conservative party chairman Lord Tebbit.

He has called the performance “half-hysterical, over-emotional”.

“I wanted to capture whatever it was that drew people to her or meant people have a special venom for her,” the BBC quoted Streep as saying.

“I felt that if we did it in the right way, it would be OK

“There is a feeling that the walls are just more permeable between the present and the past and one intrudes on the other.

“It’s something that I don’t think there should be a stigma about, it’s life, it’s the truth.

“We’ve all had that moment where you can’t remember why you went upstairs and so it was extrapolating that feeling of disorientation, momentary as it is,” she said.

The movie told in a series of flashbacks, sees an elderly Baroness Thatcher struggling with advanced dementia and in regular conversation with her late husband Denis Thatcher, played by Jim Broadbent.

Michael Portillo has, meanwhile praised Streep’s performance in the movie, due for release on January 6.

The rest of the film deals with her rise and eventual fall from power, and has scenes of her bullying her cabinet into submission.

Referring to Carol Thatcher’s book detailing her mother’s decline, Streep said that although Carol received a lot of criticism for speaking out but those people who have patients suffering from the disease at home are grateful.

“Carol caught a lot of flak for speaking about this, but other people who have dementia in their family are grateful,” she added.

ANI