The Crown viewers have branded Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher as a ‘bad impersonation’ of the late Prime Minister.
The actress, 52, who is in a relationship with series creator Peter Morgan, depicts Mrs Thatcher in the late 1970s and 1980s in the fourth series of the Netflix drama, which was released yesterday in the US and UK.
However viewers were left confused by her over-the-top performance, saying it was like a caricature and needed to be ‘turned down a notch’. Several said it was akin to Janet Brown’s impersonation of the Prime Minister in the 1970s and 1980s.
One tweeted: ‘Got #TheCrown on. Gillian Anderson has clearly seen a lot of Janet Brown videos…’ Another added: ‘Is Gillian Anderson playing Mrs Thatcher or Janet Brown? #TheCrown.’
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Gillian Anderson, 52, who is in a relationship with series creator Peter Morgan, depicts Mrs Thatcher in the late 1970s and 1980s in the fourth series of the Netflix drama (pictured)
Pictured, Margaret Thatcher in Scarborough, England on 18 March 1989
However viewers were left confused by her over-the-top performance, saying it was like a caricature and needed to be ‘turned down a notch’. Several said it was akin to Janet Brown’s impersonation of the Prime Minister in the 1970s and 1980s
Janet Brown as Margaret Thatcher at a 1988 Christmas show in Croydon, London
Another posted ‘#TheCrown is normally so spot on with their performances but Gillian Anderson’s Thatcher is way off. It’s like a bad impersonation. Everyone else on all series is so spot! Such as shame as it draws away from the drama.’
A third wrote: ‘Gillian Anderson plays Margaret Thatcher in #TheCrown like a cart horse attached to a fog horn.
‘Thatcher didn’t talk in a speechifying voice. And she was fragile looking, delicate colouring, small hands and feet – her femininity, a surprising contrast to the drive and steeliness.’
However others were impressed with her performance and said it will win Anderson ‘all the awards’.
One tweeted: ’20 minutes in… and already the decision to cast Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher is one of the best television has ever made. #TheCrown.’
Another posted: ‘Netflix’s decision to cast Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher is undoubtedly one of the best TV decisions ever made. A true acting masterclass! Ok handBlue heartFlag of United Kingdom #TheCrown.’
Gillian Anderson’s voice left other viewers confused, with some saying it was too raspy
A third added: ‘#TheCrown @GillianA absolutely mesmerising performances but Gillian Anderson as Mrs T.’
Others said they were left ‘confused’ over whether they are attracted or repulsed by Anderson as Thatcher.
The Crown’s fourth series focuses on Thatcher’s rise to power and her dramatic social reforms in the 1980s, which divided the country as it led to weakening of the power of the trade unions and the 1984 miners strike.
‘Having a hard time separating my hatred of Margret Thatcher, to my hard crush of Gillian Anderson. So confused,’ wrote one, while a second agreed:
‘Gillian Anderson as Thatcher has made me the most sexually confused I have ever been in my life.’
A further added: ‘If anyone needs me today I’ll be having several conflicting emotions about Gillian Anderson in The Crown,’ while a fourth penned: ‘Gillian Anderson is still up there as my girl crush despite being cast as Margaret Thatcher.’
In a new interview, the actress revealed she received help from two vocal coaches and rehearsed in ‘dark and abandoned rooms’ to channel the late politician, who led the country from 1979 until 1990.
The X-Files star admitted getting into costume also helped her play the stateswoman as she said: ‘Never in my life would I wear the shoes she wore. But walking in the way I learned to walk as her, and in those shoes, just helped so much.’
Thespian Gillian, who also sported a fat suit and ‘really uncomfortable nylon stockings’ on set, insisted she ‘let go’ of her ‘preconceived ideas of Margaret’ and had picked up on the politician’s mannerisms by watching old videos of her.
On feeling distant from her distinctive voice, she told The Sun: ‘It’s quite easy to parody her voice, which makes it hard to identify with. It was about trying to find the balance, but at the same time understanding who she was and how she operated.’
Taking to Twitter, one person joked: ‘If anyone needs me today I’ll be having several conflicting emotions about Gillian Anderson in The Crown’ (pictured)