Gillian Anderson reveals how she distanced herself from Margaret Thatcher’s hateful actions to play her in The Crown

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown

For Gillian Anderson, playing Margaret Thatcher in The Crown meant dismissing her own politics and setting boundaries with her partner.

Anderson makes her Crown debut later this month as the Iron Lady, and according to Harper’s Bazaar, manages to create “the weird sensation” of sympathy for arguably Britain’s most divisive leader.

The actor spoke to the magazine about the transformation she had to undergo for the role – both physically and mentally.

As well as wearing a padded suit and shifting her gait to match Thatcher’s, Anderson “had to get to a point where it’s nothing to do with my opinions of her policies, of her actions”.

“It is only about her as a human being and her motivation as a politician and as a mother,” she told Harper’s.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher

Gillian Anderson wore a lightly padded suit to play Margaret Thatcher in The Crown. (Netflix)

While filming The Crown, created by her partner of four years Peter Morgan, Gillian Anderson said she found herself questioning why certain issues were glossed over – the poll tax and her handling of Northern Ireland, for example.

But for the sake of her’s and Morgan’s “sanity – and actually for the benefit of the relationship”, the pair maintained “very clear boundaries”.

“I am not going to comment on the script, but you are not allowed to comment on the performance!”

The Crown star Gillian Anderson confuses horny fans as Margaret Thatcher.

Fans were torn when a recent trailer for The Crown season four gave their first look proper at Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.

The overall mood was summed up by a single tweet: “I must not fancy Maggie T. I MUST not fancy Maggie T. I mist NOT fancy Maggie T… oh lordy.”

Over a lengthy career Anderson has earned a reputation as a queer icon (and sex symbol).

An ardent supporter of LGBT+ rights, in 2012 she opened up about her own queerness, telling Out: “I was in a relationship with a girl for a long time when I was in high school.”

Thatcher, on the other hand, was the architect of Section 28, the much-reviled piece of legislation that banned the so-called promotion of homosexuality in British schools.

Thatcher denounced LGBT+ rights in an infamous speech at the 1987 Conservative Party conference, saying: “Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay.

“All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life. Yes, cheated.”

In 2015, documents revealed that Thatcher personally tried to block all mention of anal sex in public guidance during the AIDS crisis, claiming it could harm “public morals.”

The Crown season four is released on Netflix on November 15.