June 20, 2021  •  Leave a Reply

Gillian Anderson plays the polarizing U.K. Prime Minister with a complicated relationship to Queen Elizabeth on the Netflix drama

It’s no surprise Gillian Anderson mastered Margaret Thatcher’s unusual manner of speaking for The Crown – her Golden Globe- and SAG-winning performance started with the U.K. Prime Minister’s mouth… specifically her teeth!

In a chat with Elisabeth Moss for Variety Studio: Actors on Actors, Anderson explained that getting Thatcher’s unmistakable look right was the first step to accessing the polarizing politician as a character.

“She was notorious for having bad teeth. And because she has such an overbite, I was just wanting to explore that,” said Anderson, 52. “Everything just looked wrong.”

She explained that she and the show’s makeup artists “were thinking about teeth prosthetics, and so we tried three or four different shapes, sizes.”

Not satisfied with the options, Anderson decided to tap into her own physicality: “It became, is that something that I can just do with my mouth, and how I hold my mouth? I actually found that, yes, that was enough. And that informed how I spoke. It was actually a gift to have made that choice, because that informed everything.”

Moss, who is no stranger to awards season, told Anderson, “It’s an absolutely mind-blowing transformation. I’m very familiar with you as an actor, and I just could not see you. I just kept forgetting. You don’t seem at all hampered by the makeup or the wig.”

Quite the opposite: Anderson thanked the series’ “extraordinary” hair and makeup team in her February SAG Award victory speech for transforming her, “Thatcher helmet [hair] thing” and all.

And beyond its many awards wins, the Netflix hit has also caught the attention of a royal insider: Prince Harry himself.

“It gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that,” he told James Corden in February.

“I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife, or myself. That [show] is obviously fiction – take it how you will. But this is being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news.”