First clip of Meryl Streep as 'The Iron Lady': Watch it here!

There’s a story about Fred Astaire during one of his first auditions for studio execs. Their terse comments went as follows: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Also dances.” The first glimpses of Margaret Thatcher in the biopic The Iron Lady have a similar feeling.

We don’t see the indomitable Thatcher for a full 34 seconds of the minute-long trailer as advisers dissect her, demand she abandon her hat and signature pearls, and tell her she needs to lower her voice because it lacks authority. The message is simple: To pull apart someone like Thatcher and treat her like any other politician — a problem to be fixed — is a fool’s errand. And the minute Streep, as Thatcher, comes on the screen, it’s apparent who the fools are.

Streep displays her usual brilliant balance, delivering Thatcher’s reply with a mix of fierceness and humor that have become the actress’ trademark. After this brief look into Thatcher’s world in 1979, just before she became the U.K.’s first female prime minister, we see flashes of what would become her ascension to global icon status.

Set to release in the U.S. on Dec. 16 by Oscar heavies The Weinstein Company, the film is already garnering buzz for the 16-time Academy Award nominee, who — gasp! — hasn’t won a trophy since 1983. It also stars fellow Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent, Olivia Coleman, and Richard E. Grant.

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  • psc

    Make that 16 nominations

    • TorontoTom

      And 3 wins (FINALLY!)

      • Juneau

        Ditto! This will be her year.

  • O’Brien

    You may take my life, but you will never take my pearls.

  • Marion

    Long Live Meryl Streep! It looks like another great performance from her.

  • Damon

    She’ll get her 17th nomination with this movie..it screams Oscar..and the date to be released is so Oscar bait.

  • claudenorth

    It appears that La Streep prepared for this role by watching Mommie Dearest. The hair, the make-up, the facial expressions, the phrasings — all of it screams Faye-Dunaway-as-Joan-Crawford.

    • @claudenorth

      Except Streep isn’t Faye Dunaway. Meryl is famous for taking characters that on paper or in essence sound like laughable caricatures, and turning them into fully fleshed-out, utterly believable human beings. So why don’t you wait until the film’s out and you actually see her full performance before jumping to conclusions based on what, 5 seconds of Streep-as-Thatcher footage?

    • vineyarddreams

      THANK YOU!!! I was trying to figure it out, and you are SO right…she looks very much like JC in MD, but I bet that calms down as the movie goes on.

    • John

      Umm…she looks like Margaret Thatcher. Sounds like her too. Learn a little bit of history, why don’t you?

  • Terry

    EW, please…you are a friggin’ entertainment mag. All it would take to know that she’s actually been nominated SIXTEEN times is to google it. jeez.

  • Nathan

    It’s been a long time since Meryl won her last Oscar, it’s about time for number 3.

  • trista

    go Meryl… go Meryl. Looking forward to another brilliant performance from a brilliant actress.

  • outside agitator

    she looks great! who’s the guy on the right?

    • G.R.

      I’m guessing that’s probably Jim Broadbent…

      I love the look on Meryl’s face after she says “The pearls are non-negotiable!” LOL

  • snot

    i love meryl and i actually am looking forward to this movie.

  • amy

    It’s kind of tough working up any sympathy for Margaret Thatcher (England’s female answer to Reagan).
    The most surprising thing is that it’s–apparently–being distributed by Fox instead of Fox Searchlight or the Weinstein Company.
    Oh well. Looks like Meryl’s acting up a storm again.
    Snooze.

    • Brawlers

      The only movie I saw, I happened to see Saturday night with my mom on my spuoateons mommy getaway. We went and saw Milk, and Sean Penn did do a fabulous job. I was glad to see him get it because I was so impressed with his performance, but I was also impressed with how much credit he gave to Rourke both during and after the show. I think it’s nice when it shows who the true friends are in the business.I’m now waiting for the wrestler and slumdog to come out on Netflix.

  • jfms777

    Meryl’s co-star is Jim Broadbent? What a combination. She deserves to work with the best. And she got the best. Cannot wait.

  • sam

    this looks like a parody.

  • googie

    can’t wait

  • star jonestown

    Don’t care. The oscars are a joke.

    Anglophilia is curable.

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