Netflix confirms Gillian Anderson cast as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown

Catherine Gee
Gillian Anderson is the latest star believed to be joining the cast of The Crown - WireImage
Gillian Anderson is the latest star believed to be joining the cast of The Crown - WireImage

Gillian Anderson, star of The X Files and The Fall, will play Margaret Thatcher in the forthcoming third series of The Crown

Now confirmed by Netflix, the British-American actress will be portraying the former prime minister during her 11-year premiership. Anderson will become the first person to play Mrs Thatcher in a major TV show or film since Meryl Streep won an Oscar, a Bafta and a Golden Globe for her role in 2011's The Iron Lady

Streep's performance is now considered the yard-stick for portraying Mrs Thatcher on screen, though Andrea Riseborough (in The Long Walk to Finchley) and Patricia Hodge (in The Falklands Play) have both won acclaim for their own depictions.

The producers of The Crown have kept the events of the third series a secret so far, but it's possible that we will see the events of the miners' strike, the Falklands War and Mrs Thatcher's tearful resignation speech outside 10 Downing Street in 1990 depicted on screen.

The third series of The Crown will see all the main roles recast to match the advancing ages of the characters as the series dramatises events from the Seventies and Eighties. Olivia Colman is set to take over the role of the Queen from Claire Foy, Helena Bonham-Carter will play Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies is starring as the Duke of Edinburgh, Josh O'Connor will portray the Prince of Wales, Emerald Fennell will play Camilla Shand and Ben Daniels will appear as Antony Armstrong-Jones. 

Margaret Thatcher in 1979 - Credit: PA
Margaret Thatcher in 1979 Credit: PA

It has not yet been announced who will play Diana, Princess of Wales, or the young Princes Andrew and Edward. And while Jason Watkins is set to play the former prime minister Harold Wilson, it is not yet known who will appear as James Callahan. 

Anderson has most recently appeared in the Netflix comedy Sex Education and is due to appear on the West End stage in All About Eve. She has also been in a relationship with Peter Morgan, who created The Crown, since 2016.