Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

Gillian Anderson calls Margaret Thatcher’s leadership style ‘dictatorial’

Again, never forget: Section 28.

By Jamie Tabberer

Gillian Anderson has called Margaret Thatcher’s leadership style “dictatorial” in a new interview.

The star portrays the former Conservative Prime Minister in the new series of Netflix’s The Crown.

Gillian – also known for roles on The X-Files and Sex Education – has won positive reviews from critics for her performance since the new episodes dropped on Sunday.

“They say that leaders should never go beyond seven years”

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar (and as reported by The Telegraph), the 52-year-old said she “wouldn’t necessarily agree with [Thatcher’s] leadership style.”

“By the end, I think she became quite dictatorial,” she said. “She was in power for 11 years, and they say that leaders should never go beyond seven years or they start to go mad.”

Speaking about how she prepared for the role, Anderson said: “Childhood is always a very helpful and informative place to start. Margaret Thatcher grew up as a grocer’s daughter and as an alderman’s daughter – a Methodist – so all of those aspects defined who she was as Prime Minister, her policies and how she budgeted for the country.

“She built her world; she really worked hard to get where she was.”

The star has previously said she had to block out opinions of Thatcher’s policies in order to play her.

One of her most controversial was Section 28, which effectively banned the promotion of homosexuality and LGBTQ issues in schools from 1988 to 2003.

Read the full interview in the Attitude December issue, available to download and to order globally now.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £3, or digitally for just £1.54 per issue.