Meryl Streep was thrilled when she was asked to play former British leader Margaret Thatcher because the Prime Minister left an "indelible impression" on her at a lecture.
Streep has been criticised for taking on the role of someone who is in frail health, but she insists she wants movie fans to remember Thatcher as the Iron Lady - the title of her new movie.
She tells WENN, "I did not meet her. I did see her once at my daughter's university in 2001/2002. We went to see her lecture and that made an indelible impression on me."
And Streep is keen to answer critics who feel she should have waited until after Thatcher's death to portray her onscreen.
She adds, "We have come under criticism for portraying a person who is frail and in delicate health. Some people have said it's shameful to portray this part of a life. But the corollary thought to that is if you think debility, delicacy, dementia is shameful. If you think the ebbing end of life is something that should be shut away, if you think that people need to be defended from those images, then yes... you think it's a shameful thing. But I don't think that.
"I have had experience with people with dementia and I understand it and I think it's natural. We are naturally interested in our leaders and we tell stories about ourselves through the stories of important people."