Meryl Streep will play British activist Emmeline Pankhurst in Ruby Films’ Suffragette, the studio has announced. Pankhurst was the leader of the British Suffragette movement who founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the early 1900s. The veteran actress, who is an outspoken feminist and equality advocate herself, has come into the project on short notice, since the film begins shooting in the UK on Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Streep is diving back into the indie scene with a hard-hitting drama about the Suffragette movement.
Suffragette stars Carey Mulligan, who plays a young foot soldier of the early feminist movement who is radicalized and turns to violence after seeing peaceful protests achieve nothing. Streep plays a supporting part. The film will reunite her with screenwriter Abi Morgan, who worked with Streep on the Margaret Thatcher biopic Iron Lady. Sarah Gavron is directing. The film doesn’t have a distributor yet, which means that it may take some time and a couple of festival tours until Suffragette comes to a theatre near you.
Carey Mulligan will star as Maud, a young foot soldier.
Ruby’s Faye Ward and Alison Owen are producing while Cameron McCracken, Tessa Ross and Katherine Butler are exec producing. Streep’s filming schedule will not interfere with her attendance at the Oscars next week. The August Osage County actress is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for her portrayal of family matriarch Violet Weston in the John Wells drama.
Streep is currently up for the Best Actress Oscar for August Osage County.