Season 3 has yet to premiere and already Netflix has added Gillian Anderson to The Crown‘s season 4 cast. The upcoming third season will feature an all-new cast as the fictional Queen Elizabeth II and her family grows older and years go by. As such, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman will take over for Claire Foy as Elizabeth; Tobias Menzies will play Prince Philip, a role originated by Matt Smith; Helena Bonham Carter steps in for Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret; finally, Ben Daniels will play Margaret’s husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, first played by Matthew Goode.
According to Deadline, Anderson will play former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Anderson’s casting gives us a good hint as the time period for season 4 as her time in office ran from 1979 to 1990, making her not just the first female Prime Minister but also the longest-serving PM in the 20th century. Anderson’s attachment to The Crown season 4 has been rumored for some time but was made official via the series’ Twitter account on Saturday.
Included in that official Twitter announcement was a statement from Anderson about her casting as Thatcher.
“I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman. Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether loved or despised, defined an era.”
Thatcher was the leader of the Conservative Party in the UK from 1975 to 1990. Her policies and role in the course of the nation she oversaw in the 20th century make her one of the most recognizable PMs next to Winston Churchill. Anderson is one of many actors who have portrayed Thatcher in film and TV, with memorable performances including Meryl Streep‘s in 2011’s The Iron Lady and Andrea Riseborough‘s in the 2008 UK TV movie Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley.
The Crown season 3 will begin in 1964 and end in 1977, covering The Beatles and their rapid rise to stardom as well as England’s win at the 1966 World Cup. Additionally, Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve) will be introduced this season as the fictional Camilla Parker-Bowles (née Shand) and the adult Prince Charles will be portrayed by Josh O’Connor (Florence Foster Jenkins). The Crown season 3 arrives on Netflix on Sunday, November 17.