Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain's first and only female Prime Minister died today at the age of 87. Many have spoken out following her passing, noting the historical importance of Thatcher's election and the mark she left on Britain (for better or worse). One of those who have issued statements following her death now includes Meryl Streep, who portrayed Thatcher in 2011's "The Iron Lady" (for which she won the Best Actress Academy Award).

Streep, in a statement to The Wrap, said, " "Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics."

Interestingly, Streep acknowledges that the fiercely conservative Thatcher, whose policies of deregulation towards the financial sector and her encouragement of the privatization of certain state-owned companies, didn't always make for the best politician. "Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others," Streep said. "There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to the pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty."

Still, Streep says that Thatcher was a groundbreaker, a woman of great strength, conviction, and importance, even if her politics were (then and now) somewhat questionable. Without even knowing it, Thatcher was a feminist role model to young girls around the world. "To have withstood the special hatred and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer; and to have managed to keep her convictions attached to fervent ideals and ideas -- wrongheaded or misguided as we might see them now-without corruption -- I see that as evidence of some kind of greatness, worthy for the argument of history to settle," Streep said.

You can read the full statement over on the Wrap. And if you haven't seen Streep as Thatcher, we encourage you to watch "The Iron Lady," on DVD and Blu-ray. Streep really embodies the politician, and in a day marked by sadness, it's one that will truly allow you to appreciate what the Prime Minister meant to Britain and the rest of the world.

[via TheWrap]
categories Movies