Meryl Streep to play British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst

The actress, shown here in February at the French premiere of "August: Osage County," is in final negotiations to join "Suffragette."
(Michel Euler / Associated Press)

Meryl Streep will portray political activist Emmeline Pankhurst in the historical drama “Suffragette,” extending the actress’ string of real-life female roles including Julia Child in “Julie and Julia,” Anna Wintour in “The Devil Wears Prada” and Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”

According to Screen Daily, Streep is in final negotiations to join the project and “will have a small but important role in the film, which will see her character give a ‘tour de force’ speech on women’s rights during a political rally.”

The film stars Carey Mulligan as an activist in the early days of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.K. Filming begins there Feb. 24, with Sarah Gavron directing a script by “Iron Lady” scribe Abi Morgan. “Suffragette” also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Romola Garai and Samuel West.

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Born in Manchester in 1858, Pankhurst founded the Women’s Franchise League and the Women’s Social and Political Union, and she and her followers became known for their militant tactics. In 1999, Time named her one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.


Streep’s performance as Thatcher in 2011’s “The Iron Lady” earned her her third Academy Award.


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