Netflix has confirmed after months of rumors that Gillian Anderson will be playing deeply controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of “The Crown.”
“I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman,” the “X-Files” actor said in a statement that the show tweeted. “Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era.”
The casting ― along with Anderson’s remarks about the Conservative politician known for her right-wing policies ― immediately sparked heated discussion on social media.
Some were simply excited to see Anderson cast in such a meaty role in the acclaimed royal drama.
Some criticized Anderson for her comment about “falling in love” with the Iron Lady, whose policies many condemned as having undermined the U.K.’s working class. Others defended Anderson, pointing out that actors often find ways to identify with their characters.
And still others simply observed that Anderson in the polarizing role would likely leave many viewers with, well, confusing feelings...
Season 4 of “The Crown,” which will also star newcomer Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, is currently in production. Season 3, which stars Oscar winner Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, is slated for release on Netflix in November.