Image Credit: James Fiedler Jr./The Washington Times/Landov; Sylvain Gaboury/PR PhotosOkay, Meryl Streep. I get it. You are an incredible actress — and you’ve got 16 Oscar nominations (and two wins) to prove it. Heck, your body of work over the last five years alone is more impressive than most thespians will manage in a lifetime: You made me howl as the hilariously bitchy Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, you made me tremble as the unrelenting Sister Aloysius in Doubt, and you made me want to quit my job and pursue a life of culinary excellence after seeing last summer’s Julie & Julia. (Did I mention I experienced a two-Kleenex meltdown following your rendition of “Goodbye to My Mama” in A Prairie Home Companion?)
Now comes word you’re close to signing on to play former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in a biopic from your Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd that will focus on the 17 days preceding the 1982 Falklands War. (Jim Broadbent is being eyed for the role of Thatcher’s husband, Denis.) At the risk of inflating your ego, I have to admit that I especially love when biopics take on a narrow focus instead of going the birth-to-adversity-to-triumph-to-bad-old-age-makeup route. In fact, I’d head directly to Fandango and pre-order my tickets for Thatcher right this minute if I could be certain a night at the movies won’t cost a third of my weekly salary by the time this project makes it to the cinema. (Four bucks for a paper cup of carbonated water, caramel coloring, and aspartame? How much higher can they go?)
But before this blog post turns into a love letter, I’ve got to ask: Isn’t it time you dug a little deeper into the stacks of scripts that you’re inevitably sent every week? ‘Cause it seems to me that “Meryl Streep” is getting a little soft, that the awards nominations are coming a little too easy anymore. Why couldn’t you have tackled the role of Churchill instead of Thatcher? I mean, we all know you can sleepwalk your way through a British accent, but what about a British man’s accent, eh? And, sure, it’s easy to look great when you’re opposite Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin in a Nancy Meyers’ home-furnishings porno, but let’s see what you can do playing a suspected perp on CSI: Miami. You won’t have any “dingo ate my baby” zingers to hang onto on that set, lady! In other words, until you’ve walked a mile in David Caruso’s shades and lived to thank the Academy afterward, you can consider yourself on notice.
Who else wants to give Meryl Streep a wakeup call? Okay, and in all seriousness, who’s excited about Thatcher?