Meryl Streep to star as Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette

The Oscar-nominated actress will act alongside Carey Mulligan in the drama

Jess Denham
Thursday 20 February 2014 13:17
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Meryl Streep is in final talks to play Emmeline Pankhurst in Sarah Gavron's new historical drama Suffragette
Meryl Streep is in final talks to play Emmeline Pankhurst in Sarah Gavron's new historical drama Suffragette

Meryl Streep looks set to take on the role of British womens rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst in Sarah Gavron’s forthcoming Suffragette.

Streep, 64, is said to be in final negotiations to star alongside English actress Carey Mulligan in the historical drama. Mulligan has been cast as Maude, a young foot soldier who turns to radical, violent protesting during the feminist movement of the early 1900s.

Shooting for Suffagette is scheduled to begin in the UK on Monday, with Gavron directing from Abi Morgan’s script. Morgan worked with Streep on The Iron Lady in 2011, in which she plays another important female - former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Streep’s role will be much smaller than Mulligan’s but she will give an important, rousing speech during a political demonstration, industry insiders have reported.

Pankhurst became a political icon after forming the Women’s Social and Political Union to fight for female liberation in Britain. She led the suffragette movement, vandalising 10 Downing Street and employing militant tactics to encourage change after peaceful protesting proved futile.

Pankhurst, who died in 1928 aged 69, was named one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century by Time magazine in 1999, who described as a woman who “shock society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back”.

Streep is nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Violet Weston in August: Osage County alongside Julia Roberts.

She has won three Oscars before, for The Iron Lady in 2012, Sophie's Choice in 1983 and Kramer vs. Kramer in 1979, and has been nominated 18 times.

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