Behind the Scenes of “The Iron Lady” with Meryl Streep & Phyllida Lloyd

Just because Phyllida Lloyd had real, historical events to base her retelling of one of former United Kingdom Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher’s infamous speeches off of, doesn’t mean it was easy to do.

“It’s a conjuring trick,” explains Lloyd of trying to recreate the famous St. Francis of Assisi speech Thatcher gave the first time she arrived at 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister. “You actually have very few extras. You’re not in the right part of London. The weather is terrible, and it’s all about faith.”

But, having the real video of the event did help in another area, according to star, Meryl Streep.

“It’s wonderful the way they’ve blended archival footage with what we’re doing, to create that thrum of the moment,” Meryl Streep says of the movie’s big scene, which takes place outside the Prime Minister’s 10 Downing Street residence.

As for her use of a religious quote, Streep has nothing but respect. “Margaret Thatcher really did break ground, in that, she showed a way that a woman could be a leader,” she says.

The film opens Jan. 13.