Phyllida Lloyd: First of all it's not a biopic. It's all told from her point of view. We're experiencing how did it feel to be there not objectively, but how did it feel to be the first female leader of the western world coming from a very lower class background coming into this world of privileged, entitled men. It's how does it feel to walk into a room of men who all fought in the Second World War to be the person who is in fact in charge of a war knowing that all the men are looking at you. Of course she's not had any experience with this so we're trying to put ourselves in her shoes using our own experience of the workplace.
WaH: I read that you said that this movie could only have been made by a female team.
PL: Not that it could only have been made by women but I think it is a personal project for all three of us. The kinds of themes in the film that we identify with in terms of being a woman in largely male dominated world. Abi's screenplay takes a very particular look at -- she's very interested in details, fragments and there are a lot of details in the film that we see and feel that perhaps are not the obvious territory for a film about a politician. But because we notice little things that to us are significant. That's all to do with the fact that it's a film about memory and I think it's definitely three women's idea of a woman's journey. Do you agree Abi?
Abi Morgan- Yes very much so. Also because it's a film about memory, it's about a woman who is being hijacked by memories so that way we can come in very left of field again through the details through the random moment that you remember. So you may remember what you were eating but you don't necessarily remember the nature of the conversation but you remember that there was a sort of atmosphere when you were eating and we kind of went in in that way.
The Hollywood Reporter in the wake of their complete dismissal of women in both its writer and director roundtables has done a 360 and put together a whole cover on the lack of women directors and other women in power in the business. While the package is interesting (while not saying anything we didn't already know), I just wish that this didn't seem like such a fix up for their earlier ridiculousness.
While we might want to celebrate the successes of women in Hollywood cause it is so much more fun than talking about all the work that needs to be done (trust me, I know), we must continue to push and make people aware of the disparities. Part of the problem is that no one wants to believe that things are so bad. But it is bad. In their piece, Why the Odds Are Still Stacked Against Women in Hollywood, a couple of women who have the clout give some quotes along with Martha Lauzen who tracks women working in Hollywood at San Diego State and all those quotes are extremely depressing but real.
You make have to wait another couple of weeks to see the film but now you can watch the Q and A conducted by The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg on Tuesday night at the DGA theatre in NYC. Enjoy!
Clearly the powers that be know they have to get women (many who don't agree with Thatcher) to want to see the movie so they are doing everything they can to build buzz. There's no one who can sell the film as well as Streep who is so respected and cares deepply about women's issues. It's smart to begin the conversation in England where people have a very different relationship to Thatcher. It will be an even bigger challenge here in the US to get people to see the film since we don't have as deep of a connection (like or hate) to her. Still, I can't wait for her to get to the US to start talking about the film.