What do you remember about Margaret Thatcher? The “Iron Lady” served as Britain’s Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, but amongst a certain generation in the States she’s remembered either as a helmet hairdo in a suit or as the hardline politician whose stringent policies inspired bands like U2, The Smiths, and The Cure to rebel against the establishment.
The new season of The Crown could change that. Played icily by The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson—a U.K native herself—Thatcher is one of the season’s most foreboding and confounding characters. She’s a woman in power, but insists on cooking for the men around her in Parliament when meetings run long. She loves her harebrained son, but practically ignores her capable daughter. She’s only six months older than the queen, but seems to live worlds away.
The A.V. Club talked to Anderson in the interview above about the role, and about what she thinks Americans do—or should—know about Thatcher’s England. We also asked if, while sporting Thatcher’s signature do, if she picked up any insight into how Donald Trump crafts his voluminous coif.