Meryl Streep has been cast as political activist Emmeline Pankurst in Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette. The film, which is due to begin shooting in the UK on Monday, stars Carey Mulligan as a young woman who turns to violent protest after seeing her peaceful efforts to further women’s rights come to nothing.
Streep’s role will not be a large one, however Pankhurst was a crucial leader of the women’s suffrage movement, founding the Women’s Social and Political Union and receiving very harsh treatment while imprisoned. Streep’s presence in this role will add to the film’s growing stock of gravitas.
Also set to appear in the film are Helena Bonham Carter, Romola Garai, Anne Marie Duff, Samuel West and Brendan Gleeson.
The script has been written by Abi Morgan, who also wrote award-winning Streep vehicle The Iron Lady, in which Streep took on the iconic role of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Morgan’s other credits include the masterful Shame, directed by 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen.
It’s already shaping up to be another good year for Streep, whose upcoming films include The Giver and Into the Woods; she is also nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for August: Osage County.