Meryl Streep to play Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette

The new film, also starring Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, is being penned by The Iron Lady screenwriter Abi Morgan

Meryl Streep is reuniting with her Iron Lady screenwriter Abi Morgan to play votes campaigner Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette. 


The Oscar-winning actress, currently in contention for her fourth award from the Academy, will join Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan, who plays Maude – a young woman involved in the women’s rights movement. Described as a “foot soldier of the early feminist movement,” the character becomes radicalised and turns to violence as a means for change.

Streep’s role will be small but important, according to ScreenDaily, with her character delivering a “tour de force” speech during a political rally. The 64-year-old has already showcased a convincing British accent, winning one of her three Oscars for her turn as former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Morgan’s The Iron Lady. 

Born in Manchester in 1858, Pankhurst is best known for founding the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903, a group of suffragettes who famously resorted to militant tactics as a means of campaigning for women’s votes. Repeatedly sentenced to stints in prison, Pankhurst and her followers also partook in hunger strikes to garner attention and secure better conditions. 

Suffragette – which also features Romola Garai, Anne-Marie Duff and Samuel West – will begin filming in UK on Monday 24 February with Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) attached to direct.