Meryl Streep Plays Margaret Thatcher

02/08/2011 at 05:00 PM EST

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher Pictures
Meryl Streep and Margaret Thatcher
Alex Bailey, Getty
Meryl Streep is nothing if not masterful at channeling real-life figures in her films. After successfully playing Julia Child in 2009's Julie & Julia,, her latest transformation is equally impressive.

Witness the first photo of the actress as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Streep, 61, began shooting the biopic, The Iron Lady, in January, according to U.K.'s The Telegraph. The film is reportedly set in 1982, chronicling 17 days of Thatcher's life leading up to the Falklands War and how she dealt with the events.

Thatcher was 56 at the time.

"The prospect of exploring the swathe cut through history by this remarkable woman is a daunting and exciting challenge," Streep said in a statement. "I am trying to approach the role with as much zeal, fervor and attention to detail as the real Lady Thatcher possesses. I can only hope my stamina will begin to approach her own."

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